The Secret of My Success Movie Filming Locations

The Secret of My Success Locations

There's no such thing as an overnight success. Brantley Foster took two weeks.

Locations Notes

Rewind the locations where they filmed the 1987 Romantic Comedy movie starring Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan, Margaret Whitton

John Pankow, Christopher Murney, Gerry Bamman, Fred Gwynne, Carol Ann Susi, Elizabeth Franz, Drew Snyder, Susan Kellerman, Bill Fagerbakke Update Cast

Locations Manager(s): Timothy M. Bourne

The Secret of My Success Filming Locations:

Rewind Archive
Wanna see the real life filming location used for Howard and Vera's country house in the movie?

These scenes were actually shot at Lasdon Park, located in Katonah, New York. Google Map

Jimmy D. kindly wrote in to say that a lifelong friend of his father's (now-retired) worked on NYC-based locations for Film and TV thru the 80's and 90's and worked on The Secret of my Success. Being a big fan of the film he was interested to know some of the locations and spoke with him about a year back when visiting. Finally we can clear up the mysterious Pemrose locations!

Brantley's First Job (only to be fired on the spot): The Exterior was filmed at: 101 Park Ave (this location would later become famous as the exterior of the CLAMP Building in Gremlins 2)

PEMROSE Ground Exterior and Lobby was filmed at: 599 Lexington Avenue (Filming was apparently easy here as the building was Brand New and practically empty)

PEMROSE Roof and Jog Track was filmed at: 919 Third Avenue (Please note the track has been removed as it was never meant to be used as such)

PEMROSE Interiors and Executive Offices were filmed at the [then] headquarters of the International Paper company, on the 43rd and 44th floors of the building just south of the Rockefeller Center: 1166 Avenue of the Americas

Thanks again to Jimmy D. We leave the following user submissions (most of them correct) for posterity:

The "Pemrose" building exteriors that you can see at the beginning of the movie (on the DVD at 4min40) appear to have been shot at 101 Park Avenue. [Thanks to Philippe Annen]

The opening scene where Brantley gets off of the bus and says, "Well Toto, I guess we're not in Kansas anymore," was filmed at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The Google Earth "street view" photo is either 650 8th Ave., or 316 W 42nd Street. Each of these shows the doors he could have walked out of. [Thanks to Randy]

The building where Michael J. Fox initially goes to work with a suit on is 599 lexington ave. (You can actually see the 599 on the screen) [Thanks to Nicholas J. Kauffman]

The actual building for both the execs roof run and also the interior office shots (especially the great views from Howards and Bradley's offices) was filmed at 1166 Avenue of the Americas (Marsh & McLennon's headquarters). If you do a GOOGLE EARTH search, you can see that the actual roof running track. [Thanks to Mike Frassica]

BUT, Butler knidly wrote in waith an amendment to the location of the running scene on top of the office block. This was the building on the corner of 919 Third Avenue and E 55th Street (marked PJ Clarke's / Outback Steakhouse on Google Maps). You can see the running track is still there. If you pause the dvd at 38.59 you'll see the air conditioning units etc and surrounding buildings all match up. [Thnaks to Butler] Brian wrote in to agree, adding that it is also evident from the wide shot which overlooks Roosevelt island.

The interior scenes were shot at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York.

The farm that Brantley and his parents live on in the beginning of the movie is also in Somers, NY. It is called Muscoot Farm.

The name of Vera's Mansion is Lasdon Estate, not Park. It was owned by Mr. Lasdon who owned Reader's Digest. The tennis court and the gazebo were only there for the movie. [Thanks to Abby] Kevin kindly wrote in to add that the pool is no longer there and has not been there for years. It has been replaced by a greenhouse.

Gaston kindly wrote in with the following excellent sluething:

The scene where Cristy and Brantley are eating because Cristy had a "low sugar meltdown" ... is Market Restaurant (previously known as Lox Around the Clock). Address: 676 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY. You can Google-street-view-it, face the VIEW to FULL NORTH VIEW and you'll see the Framed Windows (in the movie the frames are yellow colored). If you look closely the BOLTS were the multi-light display was hooked, are still there... Kinda Neat.

In the movie, when Cristy and Brinkley are crossing the street, you can see a hooker resting her back against a large window. That window now belongs to Bank of America.

Brantley's Apartment may be located at 146 W 56th St, New York, NY! BUT IM NOT SURE... because everything has changed since 1987. If you look closely at the movie, you can see that his apartment is close (but in front) of a "place" called LE "something". I cannot make it out, but it seems IT COULD be "LE PARKER". not sure. I don't have the DVD, just a VIDEO FILE. You can see the PLACE exactly when Brantley walks ups the stair to his new apartment. If you GOOGLE LE PARKER you'll get a "LE PARKER MERIDIAN HOTEL"... MATCH!!!! BUT , i repeat BUT, if you STREET-VIEW-IT you'll see a different story.... The address I gave could be the spot. Its a small light brown building next to two huge Skyscrapers. [Thanks to Gaston]

BUT, Butler kindly wrote in to add: "Gaston was close. The apartment that Brantley walks up the steps to and rings the bell is on West 46th Street just across from the French Restaurant Le Rivage. You can see their blue porch as Brantley walks towards the steps (dvd 3.52). Its all on Google street view, and not much has changed by the looks of it! The blue entrance porch of Le Rivage is still there (albeit a new one). The front door and stonework to the apartment are all the same... Check it out!..It's awesome."

We've been researching the New York arrival montage locations. Can anyone help with the Murals? There is one with the words "The Heat Is On" and another with a blue wall with a yellow stripe and various others. I found the following on WikiPedia: "The largest of the murals was located on a wall along the southwest corner of West Broadway where Grand Street intersects. This location appears in a montage sequence of the 1987 movie The Secret of My Success, in which a young Cindy Crawford makes an un-credited appearance walking past the mural, catching the eye of the lead character played by Michael J. Fox. The mural was featured prominently among other iconic images of 1980's New York City in general, and SoHo in particular." -If that helps? ;-)

Bonus points for anyone who can locate the spot that the woman is sunbathing on the roof!

Can you help? Particularly with "Pemrose" office building name, Brantley's apartment building, The cafe.? Please Update Us

Locations Links

If you know of a good link for The Secret of My Success locations, please let us know.

Next Section: LX Preview

LX Preview

LX is our radical new locations feature that we've been beavering away on.. For years!

Each location will have it's own page with then/now pictures, maps, StreetView, discovery story and the most detailed explanations on how the location was used. Most importantly, the locations will have a status that shows whether they are verified correct and by whom. We are working with the actual locations managers or other crew where possible. The whole thing will be very interactive and you will, of course, be able to update everything.

We are pleased to be able to bring you a sneak peek at what LX locations will be available for The Secret of My Success upon release:

Howard and Vera's country house
"Pemrose" office building [exterior & lobby]
"Pemrose" office building [interior]
Brantley's apartment building
The cafe
The Opera
The Restaurant
Robbery & Shootout Location
Brantley's parents' farm
The sailing ship
Brantley's First Job Failure
Arriving In New York
Arrival Montage

Preview Icon Key:

Verified Correct
Probably Correct
Probably Wrong

Please Note: The status of some entries in this preview may be wrong because they are in-progress or need updating before release.

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1987 Universal Studios
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