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The Barefoot Executive (1971)

A young man who works in the mailroom at a TV network wants to move up the corporate ladder but finds himself stymied by his selfish boss. By chance he discovers that his neighbor's ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Butler

Writers:

Joseph L. McEveety (screenplay), Lila Garrett (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Steven Post
Joe Flynn ... Francis X. Wilbanks
Harry Morgan ... E.J. Crampton
Wally Cox ... Mertons
Heather North ... Jennifer Scott
Alan Hewitt ... Farnsworth
Hayden Rorke ... Clifford
John Ritter ... Roger
Jack Bender ... Tom
Tom Anfinsen Tom Anfinsen ... Dr. Schmidt
George N. Neise ... Network Executive
Edwin Reimers Edwin Reimers ... Announcer (as Ed Reimers)
Morgan Farley ... Advertising Executive
Glenn Dixon Glenn Dixon ... Sponsor
Robert Shayne ... Sponsor
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Storyline

A young man who works in the mailroom at a TV network wants to move up the corporate ladder but finds himself stymied by his selfish boss. By chance he discovers that his neighbor's chimpanzee has a knack for picking successful TV programs. He uses the chimp's programming skills to land himself a job in the programming department of the network. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A CHIMP is the CHAMP at picking the top TV shows! See more »

Genres:

Family | Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rating Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raffles the chimpanzee insists on watching "Mother Carey's Chickens", which turns out to be the top-rated television program that night. "Mother Carey's Chickens" is a 1911 novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin that was first filmed as Mother Carey's Chickens (1938). Walt Disney Productions (the studio behind "The Barefoot Executive") filmed its own version of the story as Summer Magic (1963), with Hayley Mills. See more »

Goofs

Steven's hair length fluctuates between shots. See more »

Quotes

Francis X. Wilbanks: Oh, I'm ruined. I'm ruined! What's Crampton gonna say?
[Cuts to Crampton getting dressed while cursing Wilbanks loudly to himself]
E. J. Crampton: You lame brain. You thick-skulled, pin-headed, dim-witted bumbler!
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Gunsmoke (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

He's Gonna Make It
Written by Bruce Belland & Robert F. Brunner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent work from one of my favorite periods of live-action Disney films
17 August 2006 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

The Barefoot Executive may appear to just be a light and fluffy 1960s/1970s-style Disney comedy, and it can certainly be enjoyed that way, but you don't have to dig very far below the surface to find a subtly clever satire of the television industry with a very insider feel. Having worked in radio for a while, and having friends and family who do or did work in television, as well as reading a lot of behind the scenes books on television programs, a lot of the jabs at the industry feel spot on.

The humorous premise, probably stemming from a common joke about this, is that a "monkey" (actually a chimpanzee here) could pick a television stations' programming and do just as good or even a better job at it. Screenwriter Joseph McEveety and director Robert Butler get the dynamics between various levels of employees right, including the bigwigs. There are nice, continuing threads of intertwined sycophancy, insular ideas, fears of getting canned or demoted over ratings or general incompetence, and self-righteous assertiveness. Some of those things may be contradictory, but nevertheless they're representative of life within the walls of a broadcast media outlet--and probably many other places of employment as well. To an extent, the personal dynamics aspects of The Barefoot Executive are suggestive of an early version of Office Space (1999). But towards the end of the film, The Barefoot Executive nicely diverges into slightly more absurdist territory.

Raffles, the chimpanzee, is charismatic and impressive. But an unexpected surprise was the scope and chemistry of the cast, which includes veteran character actors and Disney regulars Joe Flynn and Harry Morgan, veteran television actor Wally Cox, the woman who has supplied the voice of Daphne in most of the Scooby-Doo series and animated films since 1970, Heather North, and in one of his first films, John Ritter. Ritter is on fire here. He steals almost every one of his scenes. And that's quite a feat seeing that the star is an engaging Kurt Russell, who had already made a string of very successful films for Disney.


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