October 14

9 to 5: A Feminist Movie That Made Us Laugh

9 to 5  is a light comedy movie with a strong voice of feminism. It stars Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda. It was directed by Colin Higgins and was produced by Bruce Gilbert. The story was written by Patricia Resnick.

9 to 5, Dolly Parton, Feminist, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin
Photo lifted from MovieWeb

9 to 5 Plot:

The story unfolds in a busy consolidating office in New York. Where three secretaries: Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda), Violet Newstead ( Lily Tomlin), and Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton) wanted to get even with their domineering boss, Mr. Franklin M. Hart Jr. (Dabney Coleman). Their adventure began when their pot-fuelled wishes of revenge came true in an accident that happened when Mr. Hart hit his head in his office. Hart, upon discovery, blackmails Doralee into sleeping with him. This led the girls to kidnap their boss and take over the company.

9 to 5, Dolly Parton, Feminist, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin
A scene from 9 to 5  taken from beautydart.files

Under his name, they gave life to the office by filling it with shades of yellow, orange, and red. They also gave the disabled an opportunity, offered flexible working hours, a job-sharing program, equal pay, and an onsite daycare center. They also supported their alcoholic colleague Peg to a rehabilitation center.

When Hart returned to the office, he was appalled to see the changes. But it was the timely visit of the company chairman Russell Tinsworthy (Sterling Hayden) that made him take the credit again. The secretaries cheered when Mr. Tinsworthy announced that Mr. Hart will be in charge of a satellite office in Brazil.

9 to 5, Dolly Parton, Feminist, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin
photo from hollywood.com

Dolly Parton did a really good job of a movie debut. One can hardly believe that this is her first movie. Jane Fonda’s role is weak but it does not speak for her performance because she was able to portray her role effectively. So I’d say that she did a good job as well. The most complex character for me would be that of Violet’s since she had to be funny, but firm at the same time. Well, Dabney Coleman portrayed his character well.

9 to 5 is about employee’s rights, women’s rights, and disability rights. We can see how a patriarchal company was improved with the help of women. There are also notable things in the movie that many companies are now practicing. First is sending an employee for rehabilitation to improve his/her overall outlook. Second is sending an employee for training to improve on her work or as a reward for a good service.

Probably a lesson that we can get from the movie is not to believe in everything that people say about others. This is shown in the first part of the movie when everyone believed that Doralee is a mistress of Mr. Hart.

Everyone would agree that women around the world have a stronger voice now in airing their concerns. But penetrating the glass ceiling is still an ordeal for the modern women. Escaping the grim atmosphere of the issue, one would like to retreat to a feel-good movie that leaves the same message less the serious side. Overall, I would give the movie a 4 out of 5  because of its social relevance and humor. It does deserve the awards that it received over the years. I would definitely watch the movie again!

Watch Dolly Parton sing 9 to 5:


Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin

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