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How To Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 4,871

My Rating

Movie Info

After years of capitalizing on the weaknesses of a gullible public, a London advertising executive finds that his worst qualities have literally taken on a life of their own in this scathing satire. Successful copywriter Dennis Bagley (Richard E. Grant) lives a posh life with his lovely wife, Julia (Rachel Ward), in the London suburbs. Pushed to distraction by a bothersome new pimple-ointment account, he flirts with renouncing his career and becoming socially aware. Immediately thereafter,



Bruce Robinson

Jul 10, 2001

Image Entertainment

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (6) | DVD (12)

The running gag is that [this film about advertising] takes its own high-concept formula of a yuppie's just desserts and whips it up with more tang than any consumer could want.

September 1, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Grant alone makes this eminently worth renting.

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source:

Thanks to Grant's bravura performance, the film is wickedly enjoyable.

January 13, 2004 Full Review Source:

The difference between Withnail and I and this film is that here, Robinson is trying to deliver a message instead of focusing on his characters. Mistake.

December 20, 2003

One of the strangest, most outrageous, most bitter, irreverent and bitingly funny satires the movies ever offered.

August 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)


October 11, 2002

acerbic but overstated satire

August 1, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

A dark comedy from Great Britain about the advertising world.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for How To Get Ahead in Advertising

One of my favorite films and for sure one of the best comedic performances is put in by Richard E. Grant. Actually I am very surprised by all the negative reviews I've read on here.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

I'm not really sure why I watched this movie, it was so strange. It was interesting at the beginning but by the end I just didn't care anymore.
May 13, 2011

Super Reviewer

About to suffer a nervous breakdown due to a looming deadline to create a pimple cream campaign, a hot shot advertising exec grows a boil on his neck, which soon develops a face and a nasty personality. Does he need a dermatologist, or a psychologist? This weird and witty advertising satire from the director of WITHNAIL AND I has been sadly neglected over the years.
March 15, 2011
Greg S

Super Reviewer

This is a fantastic film, satire at its best. It's a crime that Bruce Robinson hasn't directed more films! Can't wait for The Rum Diary!
September 14, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Dennis Bagley: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOIL!
    – Submitted by Toby C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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