Big business means big laughs as Robert Morse schemes and scams his way to the top in this bold andbawdy musical that celebrates the Great American Corporate Wayand lampoons it at the same time. With musical supervision by the legendary Nelson Riddle (Pal Joey), this tune-filled comic gem is a goldmine of great Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls) songs, including "I Believe In You," "Rosemary" and "The Company Way." Written, produced and directed by David Swift (The Parent Trap) and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway hit, this classic musical is "bristling with humor, romance and song" (The Hollywood Reporter)! The story charts the meteoric riseof an ambitious window washer (Morse) who, with the help of a simple guidebook, gets the job, gets the girl (Michele Lee), gets the raise and gets the attention of the Big Boss (Rudy Vallee) himselfall by his second day at work! Now it's only a matter of hours before he goes from zero to CEO!
This fizzy musical was a Broadway smash in 1962, and boy, is it a product of its era. Executive washrooms, gray-flannel-suit businessmen, hip-swinging secretaries--they're all preserved in the movie's brightly colored amber. J. Pierpont Finch (Robert Morse) is the window washer who climbs the corporate ladder in a few days, guided by a how-to book. The Frank Loesser songs
are great fun, the Bob Fosse dances are very clever and mod, and the gaudy set design may have given Andy Warhol a few ideas. The jack-in-the-box performance of the elfin Robert Morse doesn't seem toned down from his Tony-winning stage turn; think Mickey Rooney doing Jerry Lewis. Still, Morse is a unique presence, and his mad little solo dance down a real Manhattan street is an interlude of sublime daffiness. Grand old crooner Rudy Vallee shines as the president of Worldwide Wicket, barking his beloved alma mater's fight song: "Groundhog! Groundhog!" --Robert Horton