Thursday, August 18, 2016

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

David Swift's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying takes on a more amusing tone in hindsight of Mad Men. Not strictly because it involves the advertising business in the 1960s but because both works feature a similar name: Robert Morse.

A whole four decades before Mad Men re-introduced him to mass audiences, Morse's big break came in the form of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. And his J. Pierpont Finch has more than a few similarities with Don Draper.

Both men quickly go from complete unknowns in New York City to the top of their business. Of course knowing their personality types, neither Finch nor Draper climb up the corporate ladder in an honest manner. Sometimes a few strings need to be pulled to get what one wants...

That aside, Finch and Draper are of different temperaments. Draper indulges in numerous vices while Finch is noticeably more virtuous in nature. And Finch's environment relies more on backstabbing whereas Draper's focuses more on competence (which is a tall order what with all the drinking and sleeping around).

Anyway, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying certainly captures the era it's both from and set in. But it's because of that aspect the film hasn't aged well. Still, seeing this then a particular scene from Mad Men's final season makes for an amusing combination.

My Rating: ****

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