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"Nine To Five" is one of those classic 80s comedies which was what made the
decade so fun as far as movies go. Jane Fonda plays Judy, a recently
divorced housewife who lands a secretarial job at a corporate office. Lily
Tomlin is Violet, the beleagured supervisor at the office who shows Judy the
ropes on her disasterous first day. Dolly Parton is Doralee, a secretary
whom everyone at the office thinks is using her - ahem - "assets" to get
ahead by sleeping with the boss.
Soon these three become best friends and team up after they've gotten fed up with their chauvinistic and smarmy boss Mr. Hart, played to the hilt by Dabney Coleman. Sure, it does delve into zany corniness, such as the scene where they all get high on pot and share their fantasies about how each of them would like to knock off the boss (the funniest is Violet's "Snow White" coffee one, which uses cartoon animation and live action) or the scene where Violet thinks she accidentally poisoned Mr. Hart's coffee with rat poison and tries to steal his supposed dead corpse out of the hospital! This is the kind of movie where you check your brain at the door and take it for what it is.
There are some great one-liners like the one where Fonda tells her ex-husband, who thinks she's having a kinky S&M affair with Mr. Hart, something along the lines of, "If I want to do M&M's, that's fine with me!" The office they work in is reminiscent of the one in "The Apartment". Three very clever characters, great comedic acting from Parton as Doralee and Tomlin as Violet. Jane Fonda, who I never cared much for, was good as the naive Judy. Sterling Hayden has a great cameo at the end as the "Chairman of the Board". A funny revenge comedy about Every Office, U.S.A.. You gotta love the theme song, too. Most recommended!
From the sparkling acting debut of Dolly Parton to the comic genius of Dabney Coleman 9 to 5 is one of the best acted comedies of the 1980s. Jane Fonda and the brilliant Lilly Tomlin round out the lead cast with hilarious performances in this screwball revenge comedies that was one of the first films to champion "girl power". Even the smaller characters like Marien Mercer (as Missy Hart)and Elizabeth Wilson (as office snitch/bitch Roz)get in good one liners and laughs. Rent this movie. No wait - BUY this movie. You can watch it again and again.
I never saw 9 TO 5 when it played at the theaters but saw it soon after on video. I was like 14 years old back then and I remember enjoying the film very much, even if I didn't get all the misogynistic humor and women's lib stuff. Fast forward to 2006 and I decided to buy 9 TO 5 on DVD and see the fun again. After all, I haven't seen this one on TV in a LONG time and my local BLOCKBUSTER is sorely lacking a "classics" catalog. I knew in my mind that some of the movies you hold so dearly when you're a kid simply don't "cut it" when you see them all grown up. I am very pleased to say that 9 TO 5 has stood the test of time quite well and its "it's a corporate world" underpinnings couldn't be more appropriate now a days. The movie was cleverly written and directed and the humor develops naturally without looking forced or too acted out. It's the story of recently divorced Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda). Her ex husband ran away with his secretary and now Judy, ironically, finds a job being one. The company is called Consolidated Companies, which by the way, we never really know what they do or what they sell. We only know that it is a big company and that each floor of the high building is a "division". Frank Hart (played wonderfully by Dabney Coleman) is the villainous boss and head of the division. He is, as his right hand aide might put it, an "egotistical bigot". Hart's overwhelming tyranny makes his aide, Violet, to snap and with her go Judy and Dorlee (Dolly Parton), his voluptuous personal secretary. The trio spend the afternoon together drinking and smoking pot and jokingly thinking how each of them would "kill" their boss if they had the chance. The movie visualizes each of the secretary's outlandish fantasies and this part of the movie is one of the most entertaining and hilarious. Next day it's back to the real world and back to the daily grind. From here on each of the secretaries' fantasies take real form in some way or another making the movie even more fun. You'll have to see the rest to know what I mean. Despite being a 25 year old movie, 9 TO 5 stands the test of time perfectly, with only some of the cars and some of the clothing fashion looking a bit dated. It is a very well made, fast paced comedy that never bores. My wife loved it and she had never seen it before (she was barely a year when this came out!). 9* out of 10!!!
The movie starts with Dolly Parton's anthem to office workers
everywhere and immediately sets the movie's tone throughout. "9 to 5",
to me, is a comedy classic. The three leads put in fine performances
(especially love Lily Tomlin's frustration as Violet Newstead) as does
Dabney Coleman as the boss you just love to hate. It's basic
"Screenwriting 101". Likable leads, easy to hate protagonist, fun and
fast-moving story, solvable conflicts, the "all is lost" moment and
viable resolution. It doesn't hurt that your title is a hit song, too.
This movie was pretty big back in 1980. It was the 2nd highest grossing movie of the year. Number one went to "The Empire Strikes Back". It's not hard to see why this movie did so well. How many of us has had dreams of getting even with their boss? The movie still plays well today. Sure, a lot of those office hijinx don't happen anymore and we've become so sensitive as a nation that the mere mention of sex (what?? people do that?? how disgusting!! ) would likely get you sued or fired. Overall, this movie is just one fun ride! See more reviews at www.soveryterry.com
I first saw this movie on HBO around 1981. Now, as I re-watch it again
the 20th time, it still has me laughing at all the hysterical lines,
"....change you from a rooster to a hen....", "....gruesome but cute....",
"It looks just like Skinny & Sweet....I might as well save them the
and give them the rat poison....", and all the rest of this wildly funny
This movie is timeless. Including all the actors who are the perfect choice for this movie.
This comedy is a definite 10 out of 10!!!!
This has to be a true classic movie for anybody. Parton, Fonda, Tomlin
play the three main characters set in a big business office block,
"Consolidated". Dolly Parton is excellent, portraying the country girl,
Jane Fonda as the divorced housewife's first job role, and Lily Tomlin
as the bosses stepping stone. The film is full of one line crack jokes
which can be missed on the first time you watch it. Do watch the movie
a few times, and soon you'll pick up on how funny the lines are
"Violet, did you get my Memo?", "I did Roz, I tore right through it".
Later in the film the plot is well underway and animation is combined successfully with Tomlin's scene of a Snow White type character!
I loved this film, and my laserdisc copy is always on the top of the pile. A good all rounder to be watched over and over, and I sometimes find myself using those punch lines.
Dolly Parton provides the "9 to 5" opening music, which sets the movie off to a good pace.
I first saw this film as a kid when it was in the cinema. I must have
watched it more than a few dozen times since then. As a kid I simply loved
the comedy, and the way our three heroes triumph over the Boss from Hell.
an adult I've found it's a great way to cope after a terrible day at work:
beer, pizza and 9 to 5. When you've got the Boss from Hell, then this
is your fantasy. I feel like I'm getting revenge on my boss from the
of my own home!
Parton, Fonda and Tomlin make a fantastic team. There is obviously an incredible chemistry at work between them. Along with Dabney Coleman they play their fantastic characters to the hilt, right up to the edge of "over the top" without actually jumping off. At the same time the dramatic moments in the film fire up their (and our) sense of outrage at the conditions they must work under, giving the story a kick along at exactly the right moments.
Apart from being horrendously funny, it is a stark reminder of what sort of conditions prevail in a workplace without a union to represent staff. I've been working for 14 years now and spent many years as a trade union delegate in my workplace. So much has been gained in the last 20 years that it is now not uncommon to encounter young, naive employees with no idea of history, asking "So, why should I join the union? What's the union ever done?". Look at this movie, look beneath the comedy, and see exactly what a workplace can be like without a union.
Three miserable women (Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda) take it upon themselves to get back at their evil boss (Dabney Coleman) in this hilarious little film. Rat poison, crazy dream sequences and S&M-styled equipment are the main calling cards in this amazingly creative little comedy. Parton's title song is also strong and it received an Oscar nod in 1980. Impressive comedic fare. 4 stars out of 5.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an excellent movie. Funny as hell, a bit twisted and psychedelic at times, and close to the reality of cubicle working. It shows the different personalities of people who come together working in an office environment. It is based in reality and how disenfranchising a job like this can feel, quite hopeless. The fantasies of the workers against their sexist, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss are played out in playful talk. These dreams/fantasies are not to be missed and are quite surreal, that's one of the best parts of the movie. But then they actually do concoct a scheme to expose their boss' mishandling of company funds. It's a struggle to the end to out him until the ending where they don't have to do anything at all. The problem of their boss of taken care of for them in an unexpected and very fitting way.
Comedies are not terribly esoteric to evaluate: did it make me laugh? Yes! The movie, with all its flaws, is worth owning for the scene that will have you losing your popcorn: when poor Violet thinks she poisoned Hart and is stealing a cadaver, the wrong one, from the morgue. This scene contains the best line in the movie when a candy striper stops Violet and says,"Oh, I didn't notice you are a doctor, I am sorry," Violet realizing she is wearing a doctor's lab coat says,"Oh, I'm a doctor, then why the hell am I talking to you, P off." Yes, it is dated and Higgins the director occasionally goes over the top as he did in Foul Play. Yet, Tomlin carries the movie on her shoulders and shows you the great comedian that she always was. Nobody can play a jerk like Dabney Coleman who plays Franklin Hart: the most loathsome boss you will ever see delineated in a motion picture. I know many of you are not Fonda fans, I am not a big one, but she is pretty much under control here with only one or two 'China Syndrome' moments. Parton will surprise you; this was her best performance on film. The movie slows down after the ladies lock Hart up in his house and wait for the invoices to arrive that show he has been ripping off the company, selling their inventory and pocketing the money.
It makes its feminist point quite well without beating you about the head and shoulders with its thematic core. The surprise of the movie is that the three play off of each other quite well with Tomlin outshining the other two. The script shows the typical composition of a white collar office: the brown nosing underling spying for the boss, the contrast between the stated goals of the company and its real practice. When Hart is 'praised' by Tinsworthy for all the more humane innovations, the ladies did while he was tied up, watch what his reward is: a transfer to South America. He does take Hart aside and tell him that,"that equal pay for equal work, I like your ideas but let's not get carried away." The movie works because the dialog is realistic, the in fighting and backstabbing we are all used to is here. Yes, critics, Hart is a caricature, idealized as a loathsome swine without one redeeming feature. Yet, this is necessary for the comedy to work, believe me, you will really enjoy this,"lying, egotistical, sexist, hypocritical bigot" getting what he deserves. It shows Hart stealing Violet's ideas and presenting them as his own, promoting people ahead of her, and chasing Doralee around his desk.
The dialog is quite witty and sharp; the movie moves very well with only the aforementioned slow part waiting for the invoices but even here Hart is constantly trying to escape. The chemistry between the ensemble of the three ladies and Coleman with the funny writing makes this a keeper. It makes its feminist points cerebrally without kung fu, stabbings or shootings which is an example of how to achieve goals within the film NOT overcoming the narrative for ideological target practice. My header refers to my favorite fantasy, Doralee's, where she treats Hart like he treats her ending up hog tying him. Like the more modern Office Space, it depicts the horrors of the white collar working environment with the same great comedy and trenchant writing. If you are avoiding it because you are wary of Parton and Fonda, don't, you will never see them this funny in any other film. Lots of these old comedies have not aged well this is a glaring exception. My advice: make sure you are not eating when Violet goes to the morgue! Yes, Violet, they do fire you for killing the boss.
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