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Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?(1957)

Remind Me

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Rockwell P. Hunter, a middling Madison Avenue television commercial writer at the La Salle agency, eagerly awaits a raise so that he can marry secretary Jenny Wells. Rock's marriage plans are dashed, however, when his friend, Henry Rufus, the account executive for Stay Put lipstick, informs him that they have lost the account and are therefore "slated for the chute." With one last chance to woo Stay Put, Rock is encouraged by Jenny to think of something creative. Struggling for inspiration, Rock hits upon the idea of asking actress Rita Marlowe, Hollywood's "Goddess of Love," to endorse his product. Meanwhile, Rita is winging her way from Los Angeles to New York because the man of her dreams, actor Bobo Branejansky, the "Jungle Man," has left her for another woman. Rita's fan club, led by Rock's niece April, enthusiastically welcomes her at the airport. Eager to share his inspiration, Rock bursts into the office of Irving La Salle, Jr. and is promptly fired. Rock angrily insults La Salle and then stumbles out of the office and bumps into Mr. Ezzarus, the president of Stay Put. The impact causes Rock to drop his drawings, and after Rock departs, Ezzarus picks them up and scrutinizes them. To drown his sorrows, Rock visits the local tavern, where Jenny later finds him passed out under a table. Jenny bubbles that Ezzarus loved the campaign and will allow La Salle to keep the account on the condition that Rock win Rita's endorsement. After bribing April to divulge Rita's New York address, Rock hurries to her hotel room and finds her chiding Bobo on the telephone. To make Bobo jealous, Rita pretends that she is romantically interested in Rock, whom she dubs "lover doll." To spite Rita, Bobo holds a press conference and announces that Rita has fallen in love with an ad agency executive named Lover Doll, but will come crawling back to him on her hands and knees. The next morning, Rock awakens to find the street in front of his apartment building mobbed with Rita's adoring fans. As Jenny, Rock's upstairs neighbor, aims a plant at his head, Rita squeals in a television interview that she has found love at first sight. Soon after, Rita appears at Rock's doorstep and offers to endorse Stay Put if Rock agrees to continue their romantic charade, thus boosting her publicity rating. Rita stages a number of publicity stunts to remake Rock in the image of "Lover Doll," and soon Bobo phones to apologize to her. Rita, however, has become addicted to Rock's kissing prowess, and decides that she is in love with him. Violet, Rita's companion, derides her employer's infatuation as delusional, insisting that Rita is still in love with Georgie Schmidlap, a small-time actor. Although Rock reassures Jenny that he still loves her, she attempts to mold herself into a semblance of Rita, buying padded bras and exercising herself to exhaustion. Mobbed by fans outside Rita's hotel one day, Rock slips down an open manhole and emerges with a shredded and soaked suit. Determined to snag Rock for herself, Rita redoubles her efforts to reshape him into the figure of a great lover, insisting that he wear elevator shoes for height and Bobo's broad-shouldered suit for breadth. The next day, Rock presents his employer with Rita's signed endorsement, and La Salle apologizes for his previous behavior and asks Rock to call him by his Christian name. La Salle then confides that in his heart he is a horticulturist and not an advertising man, and that he entered the business to please his overbearing father, whose portrait looms over the office. Rock replies that he had always wanted to raise chickens, but deemed it not important enough. Promoted to vice president and awarded the key to the executive washroom, Rock is overcome that he has finally achieved "executive status." When Rock tells Jenny that they can finally afford to get married, she imitates Rita's squeal and states they are "through." Rita and Rock then embark upon a world-wide publicity tour, sending Stay Put sales soaring. Upon returning to New York, Rock is installed in La Salle's vacant office and learns that his boss has retired to raise roses. Blinded by success, visions of glory dance in Rock's head until Jenny appears at his desk to return his engagement ring. Finally realizing that true success lies in being an "average guy," Rock proposes to Jenny again. On the night of Rita's big Stay Put television spectacular, Georgie Schmidlap strolls onstage, reclaiming Rita's heart. All ends happily as Rock and Jenny retire to the country to tend a chicken farm, La Salle's Irving rose wins first prize at the flower show and Rufus is appointed boss with Violet as his solicitous secretary. Rock then concludes that real success is the art of just being happy.