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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!
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!!!
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.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a 31 year old man, married to a high-powered corporate secretary. Her favorite film is Nine to Five. I never understood this until the past year. It NAILS what is STILL going on to our women in the workplace. Lily Tomlin is absolutely perfect in her role as Violet, and she is really at the heart of the movie. Her struggle is that of almost any honest, hard-working mid-level manager. This is not feminist propaganda by any stretch -- in fact I am extremely impressed by the humor with which this movie is pulled off. Dolly Parton is so awesome, so hilarious. Dabney Coleman embodies pure sleaze, and although it pains me to say this, many "executives" here in 2005 are almost identical to him. Obviously he is a ridiculous chauvinist bastard, but so are thousands of these guys in corporate America (and elsewhere) -- and they do it with impunity and without a sense of humor. Thank God for Nine to Five!
*** 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.
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.
While watching Nine To Five, I couldn't help but think about the Billy
Wilder classic film, The Apartment. Part of the plot of that film was
Fred MacMurray, a more polished version of Dabney Coleman from this
film who also used his office and position of authority to behave like
a real pig. I thought about poor Shirley MacLaine who tried to commit
suicide and eventually found love with Jack Lemmon, but both faced an
uncertain future albeit with each other.
Shirley and the other of MacMurray's victims should have seen this film and taken a lesson from Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton who start as strangers and end up as allies and who find a way to get even with Dabney Coleman for using and abusing his employees.
All three women are different, different in real life and playing different types of characters in the film and at the beginning not really liking each other because they don't know each other. Tomlin is the efficient office manger who makes Coleman look good because he takes credit for her work. Fonda is a new employee who had to go back to work because her husband left her. And the beautiful and curvaceous Parton is Coleman's secretary who Coleman is trying to jump her form and the folks in the office think he already has.
But eventually these women make common cause and what they do to Coleman is an inspiration to working women everywhere.
As good as these women are the film would go nowhere without Dabney Coleman who makes a specialty of playing men you love to hate whether in comedy or drama. He's as big a sexist pig as MacMurray and a whole lot funnier.
The supporting cast has some real interesting roles as well. Elizabeth Wilson plays the office snitch and anyone who has ever worked in an office you can count yourself lucky if there are only one of those in your place of work. And they don't have to necessarily be women. I also liked Marian Mercer as Coleman's completely clueless wife. And movie veteran Sterling Hayden comes on in the end as the chairman of the board of the company who in his own earnest, but clueless way settles all their problems.
To Dolly, Jane, and Lily who took action for put upon employees everywhere, we did love you in this film.
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