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9 To 5

Must-See Cinema! Showing the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot boss who’s boss!

Nearly 40 years ago, Vincent Canby of The New York Times stated that box office hit 9 To 5 “concludes by waving the flag of feminism as earnestly as Russian farmers used to wave the hammer-and-sickle at the end of movies about collective farming”. Sure, it’s heartfelt and feminist as all get out, but now, in some ways, 9 To 5 feels more relevant and necessary than ever.

Original poster for the pre-#MeToo feminist comedy 9 to 59 To 5 is the story of three women working for a giant corporation: Violet (Lily Tomlin), the supremely talented, but underappreciated office manager, Judy (Jane Fonda), a recent divorcée new to the workforce, and Doralee (Dolly Parton), the long-suffering personal secretary to the lecherous boss Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman). Hart takes credit for Violet’s work and refuses to promote her, berates Judy constantly, and sexually harrasses Doralee daily, even starting a rumour about their having an office affair.

After yet another frustrating day at work, the three women come up with elaborate revenge fantasies (Violet’s vindictive animated Snow White scenario is especially glorious and disturbing) to take down their boss. Soon after, they nearly kill him by accident, then kidnap him, then take advantage of his captivity to revolutionize their office, with daycare, equal pay, and flexible hours.

Sounds like a dream, eh? And yet, somehow, this fantasy seems even more far-fetched for many workplaces, so now’s the perfect time to revisit this feminist comedy classic. And even better? The three stars, who reunited at last year’s Emmy Awards (making comparisons between Franklin Hart and Donald Trump in the process), have confirmed that a sequel is the works, updated for the #MeToo era.

– Megan McLeod, ByTowne Cinema

 

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