December 19, 2020
40 years ago, cult comedy 9 to 5 was released. We look back on the classic with the co-director of the documentary 9to5, Steven Bognar.
Perhaps things aren’t quite as bad now as they were in the 1980 comedy starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton.
In 9 to 5, the actors play three coworkers suffering under their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss (Dabney Coleman), who bullies and abuses them mercilessly until at last, they kidnap him. In his absence, they pass several new office policies that benefit everyone.
It’s one of my favorite movies. 9 to 5, even in its more zany moments, remains radical and relatable.
Anyone can understand Fonda’s character Judy, who breaks down in tears after being called names and left alone at the Xerox machine to clean up a mess of paperwork. Anyone can feel for Parton’s Doralee, who yearns to be friends with her coworkers but is ostracized because of rumors her boss spreads. And I wish I were like Tomlin’s Violet, who can roll calls and shoot off barbed retorts without breaking a sweat.