Friday, June 7, 2013

Nine to Five (1980)

Frank Hart is a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!  And the three women who work directly under him are tired of it!  They're tired of his ignorance and definitely disgusted of his taking advantage of people!  There must be a change in the work place!  But what can they possibly do?  Trap him in his own house, tie him up and gag him, and assume control of his department?  Hmm... not such a bad idea!
"Nine to Five" made its premiere on December 19, 1980 and ended up being one of the most highest grossed films to have ever hit the box office, bringing in $103 million, which was huge back then.  It was only nominated for one Oscar at the Academy Awards (Best Original Song, "Nine to Five" sung by Dolly Parton) for which it wouldn't win.  Dolly Parton was also nominated for three Golden Globes for her involvement in this film: Best Motion Picture Actress for a Musical/Comedy, Best New Star of the Year for a Motion Picture, and Best Original Song.  Alas, again she wouldn't win any.  In fact the only award "Nine to Five" won was the People's Choice Award for the Favorite Theme Song, "Nine to Five."
So what was it that made this film such a huge hit?  I believe it was a matter of relativity.  People could relate to the story.  Those situations that the characters Judy, Violet and Doralee went through, the way they were treated by their boss, Franklin M. Hart, Jr., and the fantasies they conjured up of what they'd love to do to him if they had the chance... millions of people felt the same way! 
Based on a story by Patricia Resnick, she wrote the screenplay to "Nine to Five" along with Colin Higgins who also directed it, his second of only three films he ever directed before he died in 1988 in Beverly Hills.
Starring Jane Fonda (Judy), Lily Tomlin (Violet), Dolly Parton (Doralee) in her first feature film, and Dabney Coleman, here's some other behind-the-scenes info you might like to know...
1.  According to "Variety," Jane Fonda was the initiator of this project. The picture was the third of six movies made by her production company IPC Films.
2.  Her film debut, Dolly Parton, in preparation for her role as Doralee Rhodes, not only committed to memory her own part, but the parts of every other actor in the film. Apparently, the 2 other and more experienced co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda burst out laughing when Dolly Parton let on that she believed that pictures were filmed in the chronological order of a film's script.
3.  Reportedly, Dolly Parton was cast in this movie because Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin felt that she would "bring them the West."  Parton was both a lead actress and singer in this film and sang the title '9 to 5' song which got Oscar nominated.  In an interview with Isaac Mizrahi, Parton states that when she wrote and performed the theme song to Tomlin and Fonda, she used her long acrylic nails to create the beat to the song.   
4.  To prepare for her role as Judy Bernly, a middle-aged divorcée entering the workforce, actress Jane Fonda interviewed a number of women who had entered the labor market late in life due to being widowed or divorced. Fonda took from this an element for her character, that of being over-dressed on her first day. Fonda wore an over-frilly over-prim very dowdy conservative wardrobe with over-sized glasses, elaborate hats and an over-done hair-style.
5.  First of two consecutive back-to-back movies for actors Dabney Coleman and Jane Fonda who together played spouses in 1981's "On Golden Pond."
6.  The three main characters' first names were based closely on their real first names. Jane Fonda's role was Judy Bernly, Dolly Parton's role was Doralee Rhodes and Lily Tomlin's role was Violet Newstead.   
7.  The office building exteriors were filmed at the Pacific Financial Center on West 6th street, Los Angeles.
8.  The name of the company was "Consolidated Industries". Most of the picture is interiors of its workplace and this was filmed on Sound Stage 6 at 20th Century-Fox studios in Hollywood. A two-level set that cost around $1 million was constructed to feature interiors of two floors of a then modern office complex.   
9.  Violet's fantasy features Disney-like characters from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (including Violet herself as Snow White), "Bambi" and "Robin Hood." The animated characters resembled the Disney characters but were obviously drawn differently for legal reasons.   
10.  In the middle of the film, Dolly Parton and her colleagues send a nosy secretary to the Aspen Language Center in Colorado to learn French. The particular TWA 747 shown in the film later was used in reality on the ill-fated flight of TWA 800, which exploded off of Long Island, NY.   
11.  Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston both turned down the role of Russell Tinsworthy which went to Sterling Hayden.
12.  A release on VHS for the same day as the film's theatrical release was originally planned. The video release was postponed three months, due to complaints from movie theater owners.
13.  Plans for a sequel were considered throughout the 1980s, but no storyline was ever settled upon.
14.  The movie spurred a reasonably successful sitcom television series "Nine to Five" which went for eighty-five episodes and aired between 1982 and 1988. The first three seasons were broadcast on ABC between spring 1982 and fall 1983, whilst the second and final season aired in syndication between 1986 and 1988. Dolly Parton's younger sister Rachel Dennison played Parton's role Doralee Rhodes in the series.   

15.  A $150 ticket charity retro premiere of this movie was held in 2003 to benefit the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (GCAPP) which was founded by the film's top-billed star Jane Fonda. When asked which was their favorite scene from the movie, the film's three female stars agreed that it was tying horrible boss Dabney Coleman up in the SM-like rig.
16.  In 2009 a musical version of "9 to 5" opened on Broadway on Friday, April 30th 2009. The opening cast included Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, Megan Hilty, and Marc Kudisch. "9 to 5: The Musical" closed on Sunday, September 6th, 2009, after 148 performances and 24 previews.
And now you know.
It could be speculated that since "Nine to Five" catered to what women were thinking or fantasizing in the workplace, it might have been some sort of inspiration to "Office Space" which came out 19 years later.  Hey, men have employee/boss issues, too!
Here are some picture stills from "Nine to Five" for your enjoyment...

Doralee:  So, you've been tellin' everybody I've been sleepin' with ya, huh? Well that explains it! That's why these people treat me like some dime-store floozy. They think I'm screwin' the boss! Oooh, and you just love it, don't you? It gives you some sort of cheap thrill like knockin' over pencils and pickin' up papers! Get your scummy hands offa me! Look I've been straight with you since the first day I got here, and I've put up with all of your pinchin' and starin' and chasin' me around the desk because I need this job. But this is the last straw! Look, I've got a gun out there in my purse. Up until now I've been forgivin' and forgettin' because of the way I was brought up, but I'll tell you one thing. If you ever say another word about me or make another indecent proposal, I'm gonna get that gun of mine, and I'm gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot! And don't think I can't do it!

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