The Barefoot Executive Movie Poster Image

The Barefoot Executive



Classic chimp shenanigans are fun for Disney fans.
  • Review Date: December 28, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1971
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Steve is getting ahead using Raffles' ability to pick winning TV shows. He lies to Jen and when she finds out, proposes to her. This persuades Jen to fall for Steve's logic. In the end, Steve apologizes and makes amends.

Violence & scariness

Pratfalls and wacky stunts on the ledge of a building. Raffles the chimp is put in a sack and tossed around, but seems unfazed by it.

Sexy stuff

A chaste kiss or two between Steve and Jen.


The executives call one another names like "pea-brained" and so forth.


When Steve wins an award he receives a beautiful sports car. His apartment is decked out in plush trappings.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

TV execs stir drinks in meetings that could be alcoholic. Jen serves a glass of wine with dinner

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a story about a young mailroom clerk who wants to get ahead in business so badly that he lies about his methods of advancement, taking credit for somebody else's accomplishments. He makes amends in the end. Pratfalls and stunts on the ledge of a building may make some viewers nervous.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Steve Post (Kurt Russell) is aching to get ahead in life. He's convinced that his good ideas and charisma can help the TV network where he works get out of its slump. His girlfriend Jen (Heather North) also works at the studio as the secretary to the man in charge, Mr. Wilbanks (Joe Flynn). But Steve's ideas are often more annoying to the struggling execs than helpful. Until he discovers that the neighbors' chimp, Raffles, can predict the outcome of TV ratings. Steve uses Raffles' ability to choose TV winners to get ahead in his job. The president of the network (Henry Morgan) soon puts Steve in the position that he has dreamed of -- the youngest studio executive in history. Steve wins accolades, awards, and notoriety in his position, all the while harboring his little secret. His girlfriend suspects something, and eventually the studio execs get wise to the situation. Comedic mayhem ensues.

Is it any good?


This movie harks back to an optimistic time, when teens going to night school sought to advance their careers based on their luck and timing. Kurt Russell plays this sympathetic character very well, epitomizing the easygoing, bright California kid of the 1970s. A young John Ritter makes an appearance as Roger, the boss' nephew, highlighting his budding comedic talents. In fact, the entire cast plays their comedic roles to the hilt in this goofy romp.

If you like to see primates dressed in cute pajamas or tiny plumbers' outfits and enjoy the throwback style of The Brady Bunch TV show, this one is for you.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cheating to get ahead. Are there different degrees of cheating? Is it ever acceptable? How would you feel if you were Jen? Would you let Steve get away with his secret? Did he do the right thing in the end? Families can also talk about monkeys in the movies. Who's your favorite primate star?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 17, 1971
DVD release date:April 12, 2004
Cast:Joe Flynn, John Ritter, Kurt Russell
Director:Robert Butler
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Topics:Wild animals
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old November 11, 2013

Favorite Movie

This is one of my favorite movies! I would watch it over and over again....


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