The Associate (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  25 October 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 5,831 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 32 critic

A comedy about making it on Wall Street. Prejudices are hard to break and Laurel Ayres quickly learns that in order for people to take her seriously she has to work for an older white man or be one.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aesop Franklin
Cindy Mason
George Martin ...
Walter Manchester
Kenny Kerr ...
Helen Hanft ...
Mrs. Cupchick
George Morfogen ...
Plaza Manager
SEC Agent Thompkins
Miles Chapin ...
Jean De Baer ...
Loan Officer


Laurel Ayres is a businesswoman trying to make it but unfortunately she works at a investment firm where she does all the work but all the senior investors like Frank Peterson grab all the credit. She then leaves and starts her own firm. While trying to find clients Laurel pretends that she has a male partner named Robert Cutty. And when she starts to do well all of her clients wants to meet Cutty which is difficult since he doesn't exist. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Behind Every Great Man Is A Woman... Wishing He'd Get The Hell Out Of Her Way. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sensuality and an exotic dance club scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'associé  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,261,304 (USA) (25 October 1996)


ITL 449,532,000 (Italy) (30 May 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Actors Tim Daly, Bebe Neuwirth and Zeljko Ivanek all appear together in Madam Secretary 18 years after co-starring in this movie. See more »


In the coffee shop scene Sally asks about Cutty and later they leave when Aesop Franklin arrives. The camera positions change throughout their discussion. The spoon in Laurel's cup changes places. Behind her the spoon is in the cup and in front of her the spoon is laying on the table. See more »


Frank: You better be premenstral.
Laurel Ayres: Baby, if I was premenstral, you'd be dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are presented like a stock ticker. See more »


Remake of L'associé (1979) See more »


Yes We Can Can
Written by Allen Toussaint
Performed by Chantay Savage, Taral Hicks, LaShanda Reese and The Pointer Sisters
Produced by Vassal Benford and Steven L. Russell (as Steve Russell)
See more »

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User Reviews

Working executive girl
5 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Never having seen this film, we decided to take a chance with it. We were quite surprised to learn this Hollywood film is based on a French one, "L'associe", written for the screen by Jean Claude Carriere and based on Jenaro Prieto's novel "El Socio". Daniel Petrie, its director is working with Nick Thiel's adaptation, which appears to have been a vehicle for its star, Whoopi Goldberg.

Some comments have compared this movie with "Working Girl", a film that also dealt with a smart woman working in the financial world, one of the themes in "The Associate". We are introduced to an intelligent woman, Laurel Ayers, who happens to have three things going against her, she is black, a woman, and is intelligent enough to merit a promotion in the Wall Street firm she works for. Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that Laurel is passed and her co-worker, Frank, gets the good job and becomes her boss.

The film is mildly funny, as Laurel goes to make a name for herself by creating a "silent" partner, Mr. Cutty, who is never seen. The financial world is all in a frenzy to meet him, and the hilarious appearance at the Plaza Hotel, instead of making things clear, contributes to his myth.

Ms. Goldberg is delightful to watch. Dianne Wiest makes an impressive appearance as the loyal Sally, who is an under appreciated woman. Timothy Daly is perfect as the egotistical Frank. The supporting cast is good. Bebe Neuwirth, Eli Wallach, Austin Pendelton, and a funny Lanie Kazan as a financial gossip writer.

While the film is predictable, it offers some funny moments.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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who else loved.... lizswann12
I used to watch this a lot when I was younger.. BlueRuins16
Mr. Cutty is really John McCain jnorton-9
Jane Krakoswski ? PeterKurten911
Name of the Club where Laurel goes to Psalm1
Soundtrack Listing fourdogknight-2
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