Hart: I'm not such a bad guy!
Judy: You're a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
Hart: So I have a few faults; who doesn't?Nine to Five
is a 1980 comedy directed by Colin Higgins. It starred Lily Tomlin
, Dolly Parton
, Jane Fonda
and Dabney Coleman.
When her husband leaves her for his secretary, Judy (Fonda) starts a new job at Consolidated Companies. She is befriended by Violet (Tomlin), an office manager who advises her on the best way to navigate through daily office life. The office is run by Franklin Hart (Coleman), their vulgar and somewhat incompetent boss. Hart spends a good chunk of his time hitting on his unreceptive secretary Doralee (Parton) and spreading rumors that they are sleeping together. As a result, she is ostracized by her co-workers.
After Violet is denied a deserved promotion, she, Judy and Doralee begin bonding over their hatred of their boss, sharing with one another their personal fantasies of bringing him down. Hilarity Ensues
when Violet accidentally puts rat poison into Hart's coffee; he finds out about it and tries to use the knowledge to blackmail Doralee, prompting the three women to kidnap him and hold him prisoner in his own house until they can figure out a way to fix the situation. In the meantime, they have to conceal Hart's absence and keep the office running as though he were still present...
Upon release, the film was incredibly successful and was the highest grossing comedy of that year. The movie was adapted into a television series that sporadically ran for five seasons. In 2008, it was also turned into a stage musical
This film has examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Margaret, though she goes into rehab later.
- Arc Words: "You're a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!"
- Ate the Spoon: In Violet's Imagine Spot, the poison that she puts in Hart's coffee does this.
- Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Played with. Everyone in the office knows that Roz hangs out in bathroom stalls to hear what the women gossip about in order to report it back to Hart. To make sure she isn't listening to their conversations, they check for her shoes. Later on, Roz has found a way around this by lifting her feet of the floor. She is able to report back to Hart that the main characters accidentally put poison in his coffee.
- Blackmail: Each side against the other.
- Bound and Gagged: See also Chained to a Bed.
- Brains and Bondage/Casual Kink: Judy's ex-husband Dick catches her in Frank Hart's bedroom while she's holding him hostage for blackmail and assumes that she's into BDSM. Judy uses this belief to her advantage in order to get rid of her ex-husband.
- Catchphrase / Running Gag:
Margaret: Atta girl!
- When each of the three main women hear about one of Hart's atrocities, they come out with an incredulous "What!?"
- Chained to a Bed: Frank Hart's three leading lady secretaries (Violet Newstead, Doralee Rhodes, and Judy Bernly) go much further than just chaining him to a bed — they install a restraining system that uses a garage door opener mechanism to keep Frank from harming any of the three secretaries should he try to make his escape. Judy's ex-husband Dick catches her in the bedroom with Frank attached to this security system and thinks that she's Sleeping with the Boss and into BDSM. Mrs. Hart comes home to find her husband attached to the system and later tells the story that it was some sort of exercise machine that he installed.
- At the end of film, prior to the credits, a flashback scene has Frank Hart accidentally triggering the restraining system when he thinks he's using the remote to change the channel on his TV.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Violet's son offers to roll her a joint to get her mind off her problems at work, which she initially refuses and argues against, but when her son asks how long she's been waiting for the promotion, Violet casually says, "Slip it in my purse." Later on, the joint gets shared with Doralee and Judy in an "old fashioned lady's pot party" at Doarlee's house where they end up sharing their revenge fantasies.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive. Hart, big time.
- Deadpan Snarker. Violet.
Violet: We're going to need a locker for the hat.
Violet: Thank you, Roz. I know just where to stick it.
- Disney Creatures of the Farce: Violet's Imagine Spot (complete with Hart getting the Disney Villain Death).
- Fire-Forged Friends: Violet, Judy and Doralee become fast friends after a pot party, realizing they're all suffering the same pink collar ghetto nightmare.
- Foreshadowing: Parts of the trio's imagination sequences come true the following two days after they have them. On the following day (after the sequences) Violet accidentaly puts rat poison in Hart's coffee (like she did in her sequence, but without the imaginary animals). Then on the second day Doralee ties him up with telephone cords and a scarf (like Doralee's fantasy sequence). Then (on the same day) after freeing Hart (from being tied up by Doralee) Judy shoots (at) him with Doralee's gun (you guessed it, like in her sequence).
- Forged Message: The three ladies write corporate messages outlining changes in their policies, passing them off as signed by the boss' own hand (actually Doralee's, who said she can sign his name better than he can).
- Groin Attack: Doralee threatens to turn her boss Frank Hart "from a rooster to a hen with one shot" with her gun if he makes one more indecent proposal.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The basis of Judy's Imagine Spot.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Both Violet and Doralee are this to Hart, but especially Violet.
- Imagine Spot: While smoking Violet's son's pot one night, the ladies imagine how they'd like to get back at Mr. Hart. Each time, we get the Arc Words.
- Judy imagines her and their co-workers hunting him. She says the line.
- Doralee wants to turn the tables on him. Hers ends with her hog-tying him as a rodeo announcer says the line:
Rodeo announcer: Let's see how long it takes her to rope this sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!
- Violet's is a Disneyesque scene and is Snow White-turned-psycho (see above) and poisons his coffee. This time, Mr. Hart says the line.
: But why? Why? Violet
: Why do you
think? Franklin Hart
: 'Cause I'm a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot? Violet
: Bingo! (ejects him out his office window)
- I Need a Freaking Drink: All three leading ladies — Violet Newstead, Doralee Rhodes, and Judy Bernly — decide to leave work and head for Charlie's for a drink when faced with their individual work crises (Violet being passed over for a promotion, Doralee's advertised "affair with the boss", and Judy witnessing one of the co-workers being fired over a private discussion of wage differences). And at each of their departures, Margaret the alcoholic secretary simply says "Atta girl!"
- Laser-Guided Karma: Misogynist Hart captured by Amazons.
- Marshmallow Hell: Doralee holds Frank Hart's face right close to her bosom in her Imagine Spot of how to get even with him.
- Metaphorgotten: Lampshaded.
What are you, a man or a mouse? (beat)
Or a woman or a wouse? (giggles)
- Mondegreen: Dick accuses Judy of being into S&M. She hears it differently when she tries repeating it during her "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
Judy: ...and if I want to play sex games or do M&M's, you can't stop me.
- Nerd Glasses: Judy's eyeglasses are octagonal and huge.
- Noodle Incident: "Hey, Vera. We've got another stiff in the john."
- Oh, Crap: Hart after Doralee's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
Hart: ... shit.
- When each of the girls realizes the corpse in the trunk is not Mr. Hart.
- Later, Hart gets off another good one when being told where he's been reassigned:
Hart: ... Brazil?!
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Evil variety.
- Poison Is Corrosive: Violet's Fantasy Sequence involves poisoning Hart's coffee with something that ends up dissolving a spoon.
- Precision F-Strike: Sweet-as-sugar Doralee's suggestion what to do with Hart:
I say we get us a couple wranglers to go upstairs and beat the shit out of him.
- The final words of the film, spoken by Roz: "Ho-ly merde!"
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Doralee delivers one to Frank Hart when she gets fed up with his sexual harassment, and Judy delivers one to her ex-husband Dick after he catches her in Frank Hart's bedroom and assumes that she's now Sleeping with the Boss (and into BDSM).
- Reassigned to Antarctica: The rare unwanted reassignment that's actually supposed to be a reward. Mr. Hart so impresses his superiors that he's promoted.... to the Brazilian branch of the company in the Amazon jungle.
- Recycled: The Series: The TV show. Done twice with a different cast in each version.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: The forest animals that appear in Violet's fantasy vision of doing in Mr. Hart (where she is dressed like Snow White).
- Rhythm Typewriter: For the title song (although the sound is actually made by Dolly Parton's fingernails on a table).
- Searching the Stalls: During Judy's Imagine Spot.
- Sexy Secretary: Again, we're talking about Dolly Parton here.
- Shout-Out: Violet may be dressed as Snow White, but the animals are from Robin Hood.
- Sleeping with the Boss: Doralee is accused of doing this, and Judy makes it look like that's what she's doing (with the added bonus of BDSM) in order to get rid of her ex-husband Dick.
- Stealing from the Till: The ladies use this as blackmail.
- Stealth Pun: Hart was kidnapped by Amazons.
- Stereo Fibbing: When the ladies are pulled over by the traffic cop, with someone's dead body in the trunk.
- The Stoner: Violet's son. Later, the gals have an "old-fashioned ladies' pot party."
- Thematic Theme Tune: Parton's title song, which became a huge hit, and nominated for an Academy Award.
- Torches and Pitchforks: The mob of office workers who hunt Hart down in Judy's revenge fantasy.
- Unwilling Suspension: When Hart is locked in his room.
- Watch It Stoned: Especially when they have a "good old-fashioned ladies pot party."
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
- White Collar Worker
- Your Cheating Heart: Frank Hart doesn't seem to have a problem with cheating on his wife to have some private time with his secretary Doralee Rhodes (who is also married), as long as Mrs. Hart remains totally oblivious. It's also the reason that Judy is divorced from her ex-husband Dick, and their attempt to reconcile their differences was foiled when Dick catches Judy in Frank Hart's bedroom and assumes that she's now Sleeping with the Boss.