Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.
Meet Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman). The biggest "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" boss on the planet. He thrills in taking advantage of his head female office staff; humiliating, downplaying, and condescending against them whenever conveniently possible, particularly his top assistant Violet (Lily Tomlin). Long-exhausted over his gruesome bullishness, Violet, alongside co-workers Doralee (Dolly Parton) and Judy (Jane Fonda) comprise comical methods of "doing him in", when a freak incident occurs. They then manage to kidnap Hart and trap him in his own house, while assuming control of his department, and productivity leaps. But just how long can they keep him tied up?Written by
HBO/Cinemax's version of the film on Closed-Captioning changes one word of dialogue. Violet says to Mr. Hart, angrily, "The boys in the club are threatened, and you're so intimidated by any woman that won't sit in the back of a bus." Closed-Captioning reads, "The boys in the club are threatened, and you're so intimidated by any woman who isn't submissive." See more »
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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