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The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.
Tess McGill is a frustrated secretary, struggling to forge ahead in the world of big business in New York. She gets her chance when her boss breaks her leg on a skiing holiday. McGill takes advantage of her absence to push ahead with her career. She teams up with investment broker Jack Trainer to work on a big deal. The situation is complicated after the return of her boss. Written by
Sami Al-Taher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The tequila scene where Jack and Tess first meet was filmed at the restaurant bar of Caroline's Comedy Club when it was located at the South Street Seaport in New York City. As Jack descends the stairs to put Tess in a cab, you can see a billboard advertising the club. See more »
When Tess first arrives at Catherine's office and unpacks her box, she takes the books out of the box and places them on the desk, but in the next shot (overhead), the books are back in the box. See more »
Although the 60s and 70s are thought of as the age of feminism, it wasn't really until the 80s that women really achieved a bit of equality in movie land. But this being a less radical time, the dramas about powerful women tended to be a synthesis of Women's Lib and Reagan era entrepreneurial optimism. This is after all what success meant in that decade. But of-its-time as it is, Working Girl is still an entertaining and uplifting picture.
Written by Kevin Wade, Working Girl is a nice, neatly-constructed story. On a broad level it could be seen a black-and-white tale of good guys and bad guys. But what saves the characters from appearing one-dimensional is that they are written with a great deal of knowing realism. Who hasn't worked for a boss like Sigourney Weaver's character, or been cheated on by a jerk like Alec Baldwin's? One thing that keeps Working Girl engaging is that, while not an out-and-out comedy it is often tentatively funny in the way that real life is funny, such as Alec Baldwin's futile claim that "This isn't what it looks like".
The effectiveness of Working Girl often hinges on the way its characters are projected. On paper, Tess McGill isn't necessarily sympathetic, and neither is Katherine Parker necessarily unpleasant, at least not in the first half of the movie. However, Melanie Griffith portrays the lead with enough drive to appear credible as a go-getter, but all wrapped in a kind of sensitive charm that makes her likable. It's lucky she didn't inherit her mother's steeliness. And Sigourney Weaver manages to convey a smug and patronising manner that is only hinted at in the script, but never quite overdoing it so it is still believable that Griffith initially warms to her. Harrison Ford is at his best too, moulding the role round his limited range by giving a business-world version of his usual level-headed action hero type.
If you're a fan of the look of this era, Working Girl will be a real treat for the eyes everything from glorious cityscapes to pouffy dresses. I'm glad director Mike Nichols puts such an emphasis on places and props, without loosing sight of the people of course. The changing fashions of the decade are even woven into the movie's themes, as Griffith swaps her hairsprayed bouffant and dangly bangles for an elegant, simple look. Working Girl is an incredibly 80s movie, but it's also the death of 80s extravagance we're witnessing there on screen. Of course, she still wears a pair of pink glasses with rims the size of beermats, but there you go. 80s extravagance died hard.
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