With cities starting to reopen after months of pandemic-prescribed lockdown, people are talking about office life. The open-floor plan so beloved of managers is likely to be a thing of the past, replaced by Plexiglas barriers or work-from-home video links. The story is a pip: Three beleaguered secretaries join forces to battle their bullying, sexist boss. Hilarity, implausible high jinks and bondage jokes ensue, but what matters is that the three oppressed workers are played by the glorious trio of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, in her screen debut. Parton also sang the catchy title song , which became a hit. Inspired by the women she met during one of her national tours, Fonda decided to make a movie about the discrimination facing female office workers. The film was a hit and spawned a TV series and a Broadway musical. Ahead of its time or, in the era of MeToo and intersectional feminism, hopelessly dated? Do Tomlin, Fonda and Parton make you laugh?
It stars Jane Fonda , Lily Tomlin , and Dolly Parton as three working women who live out their fantasies of getting even with, and their overthrow of, the company's autocratic, "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" boss, played by Dabney Coleman. A television series of the same name based on the film ran for five seasons, and a musical version of the film also titled 9 to 5 , with new songs written by Parton, opened on Broadway on April 30, Judy Bernly Jane Fonda is forced to find work after her husband, Dick Lawrence Pressman , runs off with his secretary. She finds employment as a secretary at Consolidated Companies. Her opportunistic boss, Franklin Hart Jr. Dabney Coleman , exploits and mistreats his female subordinates with backstabbing and sexist remarks; he takes credit for ideas from his senior office supervisor Violet Newstead Lily Tomlin , cruelly yells at and threatens to fire Judy on her first day after an equipment malfunction, and sexually harasses Doralee Rhodes Dolly Parton , his secretary, spreading rumors about an affair that never happened. Violet discovers that a promotion she was hoping to receive was instead given to a man because of sexist hiring practices and confronts Hart about it. Doralee likewise takes Hart to task over the rumors he has been spreading.
The project was conceived of by Jane Fonda, who was inspired by the work of Karen Nussbaum, an old friend from the anti-war movement and founder of 9to5 , an organization still in the business of advocating for working women. Sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot boss Franklin Hart Jr. The plot of 9 to 5 feels nothing short of radical, even and perhaps especially today.
See the gallery. 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.