Yes, it’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying! The story of a sociopathic window washer whose sadistic sexual games and unrivaled ambition destroy countless lives! This one’s got a lot of plot, so strap yourselves in.
Our story starts here as deceptively simple-looking J. Pierpont “Ponty” Finch, heading to the kind of window-washing job where you wear a suit, picks up a copy of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He is transformed by its life-affirming message of scruple-free ambition.He wanders into the first office he can find, the headquarters of the World Wide Wicket Company, and decides to launch his schemes.He immediately sleeps with the personnel director and gets hired for the mailroom.
Personnel director introduces him to the local color, the gay nephew of the president of the company, plus Michelle Lee and two less attractive secretaries, Glasses and Not-Carol Burnett.
It’s 1967, so all of the secretaries at the World Wide Wicket Company are husband-hunters who do no work all day. Because they’re girls.
Plus a couple aspiring drag queens.
Ponty sleeps with the head of the mailroom to make a good impression.
Later, he attempts to seduce the president’s secretary. Look. there are a LOT of bland white people in this movie, so don’t expect us to remember everyone’s names.
The president of the company is Rudy Vallee and his office looks like Captain Kirk lives there.
President’s gay nephew preens as he informs his co-workers that he is the new head of the mailroom.
Only to be upstaged by the news that his rival has clawed his way into the junior executive pool.
The news sends him into a screeching hissy fit.
The prissy bitches in the junior executive pool flare their nostrils at Ponty and spin around in their chairs at the sight of him.
Later, some chick in some major foundation garments shows up and wiggles her ass while doing a sort of Carol Channing/Marilyn Monroe pastiche.
This drives the men in the office into a sexual frenzy and they get their Fosse on.
Sad to say, we can’t find an embeddable video of this number, but by all means, click here to watch it, because if you’ve got Fosse choreographing a number entitled “A Secretary is Not a Toy,” how can you NOT watch it?
Not content to remain a junior executive for much longer, the outrageously ambitious schemer once again sets his sights on getting into the boss’s secretary’s big panties. In the throes of her lust, she reveals that the president will be in the office Saturday morning.
Michelle Lee, knowing a rising star when she sees one, uses the less attractive secretary to sing her way into a dinner date.
Later, she does her best Streisand impersonation for him.
Ponty sleeps with the president of the company that Saturday morning and gets a new office out of it.
The bitches in the junior executive pool hiss at him and call him the “office mattress” as he packs his things.
He gets assigned the dumb secretary who’s sleeping with the president and can’t take deep breaths.
He convinces her to seduce his superior, who promptly gets fired.
Having destroyed the man’s life, Ponty gets his office and Not-Carol Burnett as his secretary.
Figuring he’s got a formula now, he sends the wheezy secretary off to seduce the next guy in the chain.
Unfortunately, he’s a vicious old queen who uses a cigarette holder and fires Ponty on the spot. Ponty trails him to get some dirt on him…
…and finds him at the local pre-Stonewall gay and lesbian center’s talent night.
Ponty informs the Old White Dude Posse and they throw the queer out.
He reacts with dignity.
Ponty gets promoted to Vice President of Advertising and Boss’s gay nephew has another hissy fit.
Michelle Lee finds Ponty with sexy secretary. She doesn’t believe his “mammogram” excuse.
But she makes out with him anyway because she gets off on old guys watching.
Having turned the World Wide Wicket Company in a seething cauldron of sexual tension, Ponty can’t even use the men’s room without being outrageously cruised by paunchy middle-aged executives.
His incessant preening may have something to do with it too.
He comes up with a shitty promotional idea for the company and sexy secretary has to announce a treasure hunt on live television. Because she’s stupid…
She fucks it up.
With the company’s reputation in ruins, Ponty gets dragged by an angry mob of old white guys in to see the Chairman of the Board. This being a musical…
He sings his way out of it.
Seriously, you have to watch this one. Robert Morse may have been playing to the back seats in this movie a bit too much, but this is one hell of a number and he owns it from top to bottom.
Anyway, the little sociopath sings his way out of it and the next thing you know, the chairman of the board marries Miss Foundation Garment and announces both his retirement and his replacement, who is ….well, you know.
Gay Nephew reacts gaily to the news.
Ponty enters his office, which has more of a Captain Picard vibe to it, and drunk with power, asks the secretaries to get naked.
Instead, they send Michelle Lee in to cool him off. Everyone applauds their kissing.
Having accomplished all he set out to do and realizing he needs new challenges, he ditches everything and heads to Washington to assassinate President Johnson and start a military coup to take over the government. The end.