|An article from page eight of the pressbook for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"|
When the unfortunate film finally materialized, Grant was decidedly not on screen - and the scribes that had written about the event apparently forgot all about it. But United Artists didn't. In what amounts to a massive (and typical) Hollywood screw-up, whoever put together the pressbook for the film - the pressbook in those days being an important marketing tool - included a reference to Grant, inviting newspapers to use the information.
You can read it for yourself above - and learn Grant's rationale for agreeing to do a turn in the movie. It was on page 8 of the pressbook.
One can assume that Grand did indeed film his non-speaking cameo. But, naturally, it was never explained why it isn't in the complete film. As the sequence in question - the "I Believe in You" number - was film, it end with star Robert Morse looking at himself in a mirror when his image turns into Cary Grant's. As release, the sequence ends with Morse seeing his own image in the mirror, not Grant's.
And one can only speculate what happened to the Grant footage. Knowing U.A.'s bad track record for retaining elements from its films, it's probably long gone. Otherwise, some resourceful home-entertainment peon would have included it on VHS, LaserDisc, DVD or whatever.
Also filmed, discarded and still missing is the legendary "Coffee Break" number (see the still below) that, according to someone at IMDb, was "deemed unusable." You could say the same about the entire film.
For some reason, Turner canceled last night's screening of "How to Succeed," replacing it with Roy Enright's "Gold Diggers in Paris" (1938). It was an evening of Rudy Vallee films. -J.B. 6/16/2013
Note in Passing: Billy Wilder who had a track record with the Mirisch Brothers, the producers of the film, had expressed interest in directing "How to Succeed" and with Jack Lemmon as his star (just as Wilder had wanted to direct Lemmon in "The Odd Couple"). The project, however, went to Swift, who had directed Lemmon back-to-back in "Under the Yum-Yum Tree" and "Good Neighbor Sam" - but who opted instead for Morse, the play's original star. Morse was great on stage, but on screen, and in extreme close-up, his mugging and facial tics are difficult to take.