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?
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User Reviews: It had to happen: for two-thirds of its length, "Nine to Five" is a sharp, satirical, recognizable put-down of work-a-day life "at the office", but in its later stages it becomes a silly revenge comedy, and then a message piece. The messagey last act is the real bummer, with three secretaries taking over their work-place and transforming it into a politically correct nightmare. Jane Fonda is Judy, a just-divorced woman new to office work, and her starchy appearance and nervous manner aren’t really all that funny (she’s immediately cold to secretary Dolly Parton on the basis of office gossip alone); her character’s big flub in the copy room is an example of director Colin Higgins’ use of silliness–and it’s not even to make a point (the Xerox machine goes cartoonishly haywire and Judy just looks like a jinx). Lily Tomlin is much better as Violet, a 12-year team player who keeps getting passed over for promotions–but why she would even want to be promoted into a den of thieves and liars is never really made clear. Dolly Parton is dazed but not frazzled–she’s just pleasantly zonked as Doralee, whom everyone thinks is sleeping with the boss (Dabney Coleman–who only shines in the fantasy sequences; his Mr. Hart is a tiresome tyrant who, of course, is not just a show-off and a cheat but an embezzler as well!). Terrible-looking movie with an excruciating background score manages to get laughs with some canny writing (in the first hour or so) and because of Tomlin’s dead-on impersonation of a working widow with kids who just wants her dignity. But the plot-twists in the second-half take the picture off-track, leading to a storybook ending that is commercially driven–and not even in keeping with the cynical, satirical tone of the early part of the film. **1/2 from ****