A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Though comic throughout, still message-driven. Encourages standing up for one's rights, refusing to be intimidated by sexual harassment, and fighting back against unfairness. Values teamwork, resourcefulness, friendship. Shows how a pleasant, safe, compassionate working environment increases productivity.
Positive Role Models
Movie humorously fights stereotypes, emphasizes equality in workplace, and celebrates resourceful, smart women. Three women gain confidence and strength and exhibit their ability to make a difference. Chief villain is an unredeemable "unapologetic sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot." He sexually harasses workers, blackmails them, and treats them shabbily. Some ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Three heroines create comic chaos for the villain. In either fantasy visions or in actual scenes, he is chased, shot at, lassoed and hog-tied, roasted on a spit over a fire, kidnapped, poisoned, held at gun point, catapulted out of a window, knocked unconscious. A funny sequence includes a mix-up of bodies, a careening gurney, and a car crashing into a dumpster. A shadowy figure briefly stalks a woman through a window at night.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A sleazy, amoral boss sexually intimidates and harasses his secretary in many sequences: ogles her breasts, gropes and grabs her, blackmails her into coming to his house alone. The secretary turns the tables on him, using sexual threats to humiliate him. References to sexual affairs and infidelity.
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Swearing, mild obscenities, insults, and slurs: "bulls--t," "crap," "goddammit," "bitch," "butt," "Christ," "ass," "fart," "s--t," "screwing," "pee," "piss off," "nice package," "banging the boss." Demeaning boss continually calls employees "his girls" and comments on their looks.
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Products & Purchases
Rice Krispies, TWA, Hills Bros. coffee, Xerox.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking. One female employee sips from a flask and is portrayed as a drunk in several scenes. With comic intent, the three heroines obtain a marijuana cigarette from a teen and spend an evening laughing hilariously, eating ravenously, and bonding. Occasional cigarette and cigar smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that NINE TO FIVE (aka 9 TO 5) is a funny revenge story about three female office workers who take on their arrogant, sexist boss. Slapstick cartoon action (car chases, a corpse mix-up, a kidnapping, hog-tying, gunfire) moves the plot from one outrageous situation to another, all obviously make-believe with no injuries or deaths. Fighting sexual harassment in the workplace is the core story line, and with it comes sleazy seduction attempts and threats, breast ogling, references to infidelity, and a man who has no respect for the women who work for him. Language is salty throughout, including "s--t," "bastard," "ass," "screwing," "butt," "pee," "goddamn," "banging the boss," and "bitch." The blowhard male constantly demeans the women, leering and calling them "girls," "pretty face," and "nice package." There is some social drinking, and one female employee is portrayed as habitually drunk. A lengthy scene finds the three leading ladies sharing a marijuana cigarette; they eat, laugh hysterically, and bond. Given the subject matter and the situations, this movie is best for teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie is outrageous and silly -- but oh, how satisfyingly to-the-point. When it was released in 1980, this farcical tale struck a chord with audiences in early stage awareness of office misbehavior of the sexual kind. Making fun of longstanding indignities and sexual blackmail heightened both consciousness and consciences. The actors, including the vanity-free Dabney Coleman, go all out, doubling down on the quirky characters and wacky situations. Decades later, it's still funny, miraculously off the wall, and relevant. Well-paced and directed with gusto, for the most part, it can be forgiven for a little sluggishness as the story winds down to a satisfying ending.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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