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Nine to Five
Alternate Title: 9 to 5
Director: Colin Higgins (Dir)
Release Date:   19 Dec 1980
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles and New York opening: 19 Dec 1980
Production Date:   14 Jan--25 Apr 1980 in Los Angeles, CA
Duration (in mins):   110
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Cast:   Jane Fonda (Judy Bernly)  
    Lily Tomlin (Violet Newstead)  
    Dolly Parton (Doralee Rhodes)  
    Dabney Coleman (Franklin Hart, Jr.)  
    Elizabeth Wilson (Roz [Keith])  
  Co-Starring: Henry Jones (Hinkle)  
    Lawrence Pressman (Dick)  
    Marian Mercer (Missy Hart)  
    Ren Woods (Barbara)  
    Norma Donaldson (Betty)  
    Roxanna Bonilla-Giannini (Maria)  
    Peggy Pope (Margaret)  
    Richard Stahl (Meade)  
    Ray Vitte (Eddie)  
  And Sterling Hayden ([Russell] Tinsworthy) as The Chairman of the Board
  Featuring: Edward Marshall (Bob Enright)  
    Alan Haufrect (Chuck Strell)  
    Earl Boen (Perkins)  
    Jeffrey Douglas Thomas (Dwayne Rhodes)  
    Tom Tarpey (Norman Lane)  
    Michael DeLano (Motorcycle cop)  
    Barbara Chase (Buffy)  
    David Price (Josh Newstead)  
    Gavin Mooney (Detective)  
    Peter Hobbs (Doctor)  
    Terrence McNally (Policeman)  
    Esther Sutherland (Janitress)  
    Helene Heigh (Charlotte)  
    Vickie Belmonte (Phoebe Hotz)  
    Jerrold Ziman (Tom Wood)  
    Jessica Badovinac (Lee Chang)  
    Erica Mansker (Mailroom clerk)  
    Shirley Anthony (Maxine)  
    Michael Hehr (Intern)  
  Medics: Gary Bisig    
    Brad David Stockton    
  [and] Terry Jackson House    
    Raymond O`Keefe (Man in hospital)  
    Vanna Salviati (Woman in hospital)  

Summary: Newly divorced housewife Judy Bernly reports for her first day of work, and senior supervisor Violet Newstead shows her around the office. Suddenly, Roz Keith, administrative assistant to the boss, Franklin M. Hart, Jr., reprimands Violet for the sloppiness of the workers she supervises. In Hart's office, Hart gives Judy a pep talk on teamwork, then asks Violet to buy a scarf for his wife, then accuses her of not being a team player when she refuses. Once Judy is assigned a desk, she nervously types, clumsily works the phone, and fumbles with the Rolodex. While shopping for a scarf for Hart’s wife, Violet explains there is a rumor circulating that secretary Doralee Rhodes is Hart’s mistress. The news resonates with Judy, whose husband has left her for his secretary, while Violet asserts that Hart will never leave his adoring wife. However, Hart confesses to Doralee that he is madly in love with her, gropes her against her will, and they fall to the floor right when his wife, Missy Hart, enters to chat about cruises for their next vacation. Suddenly, Violet sees Doralee wearing the scarf intended for Hart’s wife, and assumes the rumors are true that Doralee and Hart are indeed lovers. The next day, Violet reluctantly fixes a cup of coffee for Hart, who ignores her report on improving office efficiency. Later, when the company president, Mr. Hinkle, announces that he is going to implement all of Hart’s efficiency suggestions, Violet realizes Hart has taken credit for her work. At home, Violet complains to her son, Josh, who encourages her to confront Hart, but she explains that she prefers to avoid controversy while she is in line for a promotion. Soon, Violet learns that the promotion has been given to Bob Enright, a colleague whom she trained and who has five years less experience than her. Hart insists customers prefer to work with a man when it comes to finances. Enraged, Violet demands that Hart stop referring to her as a “girl,” confronts him about his affair with Doralee, then heads to a nearby bar. When Doralee hears the false accusation, she tells Hart she is tired of his sexual advances and threatens to shoot him with the gun in her purse. Violet, Doralee, and Judy commiserate over drinks about the unjust firing of another secretary. When Violet finds her son’s marijuana cigarette in her purse, they take the party to Doralee’s house, where the women fantasize about giving Hart a taste of his own sexism. Judy dreams of hunting Hart like an animal and mounting his head on the wall. Doralee would hog tie Hart after she rejects her sexual advances and Violet, as Snow White, would spike Hart’s coffee with poison and eject him out the window. Later, Violet fixes coffee for Hart, and confesses to another secretary, Betty, that she is close to the breaking point. Hart never has a chance to drink the coffee because the broken mechanism on his chair causes him to hit his head and become unconscious. While Doralee rides with Hart in an ambulance to the hospital, Violet believes that she accidentally put rat poison in Hart’s coffee, mistaking the poison box for sugar substitute. She and Judy race to the hospital, where they overhear the doctor say a patient has died from poison. The women assume it is Hart, causing Violet to panic. She kidnaps the dead body, stuffs it in the trunk of her car, and speeds off while Judy and Doralee try to calm her. When Violet crashes the car, Doralee searches for a tire iron in the trunk, and realizes that the dead man is not Hart. The women return the corpse to the hospital, still unaware of what has happened to their boss. The next day, Hart returns to work as if nothing has happened. The three women think they have avoided trouble, but Roz overhears their bathroom conversation and reports back to Hart, who threatens to go to the police unless Doralee sleeps with him. When she refuses, the three women kidnap Hart and keep him tied up at his mansion while his wife is on vacation. Violet then discovers evidence that Hart has embezzled from the company, so they keep him hostage, covering up his absence at the office. When the invoices that will prove Hart’s guilt are delayed for several weeks, they send Roz away to take an immersive course in foreign language study when she becomes suspicious. As Violet, Judy and Doralee count the days, they make welcomed policy changes at the office. Meanwhile, Hart’s wife, Missy, returns early from her cruise to find her husband held captive, but he convinces her that he is trying out a new fitness program and sends her to a hotel. When Doralee finds out Missy is back, the women scramble to save their plan, but Hart grabs Doralee’s gun and orders Judy and Doralee back to the office. In an effort to save himself, Hart restocks a warehouse and alters the invoices Violet planned to use as evidence. However, Hart panics when he receives an unexpected visit from Russell Tinsworthy, the chairman of the board. Tinsworthy hands Hart a bottle of champagne and congratulates him on achieving a twenty percent increase in productivity in six weeks. As Violet points out program changes like flexible hours and in-house day care, Tinswothy gives Hart a bonus as an incentive to head up company operations in Brazil. Judy, Violet, and Doralee drink the champagne and toast their good fortune.  

Production Company: IPC Films  
  Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Production Text: An IPC Films Production
A Colin Higgins Picture
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Colin Higgins (Dir)
  Richard Hashimoto (Unit prod mgr)
  Gary Daigler (Asst dir)
  Chris Soldo (2d asst dir)
Producer: Bruce Gilbert (Prod)
Writer: Colin Higgins (Scr)
  Patricia Resnick (Scr)
  Patricia Resnick (Story)
Photography: Reynaldo Villalobos (Dir of photog)
  Ralph Nelson, Jr. (Still photog)
  Doug Pentek (Gaffer)
  Gary Dodd (Key grip)
  Chuck Minsky (Cam op)
  Panavision® (Photographic equip by)
Art Direction: Dean Mitzner (Prod des)
  Jack Gammon Taylor, Jr. (Art dir)
  George F. Jenson (Illustrator)
Film Editor: Pembroke J. Herring (Ed)
  Tim Board (Asst ed)
  Maria Stinnett (Apprentice ed)
Set Decoration: Anne McCulley (Set dec)
  Margaret Cooper (Lead person)
  Gregory Pickrell (Set des)
  George Eckert (Set des)
  Bob Wray (Set des)
  Richard M. Rubin (Props)
  Gary Martin (Const coord)
Costumes: Ann Roth (Cost)
  Shirlee Strahm (Cost supv)
  Seth Banks (Men`s cost)
Music: Charles Fox (Mus)
  John Harris (Mus ed)
Sound: Jeff Wexler (Prod mixer)
  Theodore Soderberg (Re-rec mixer)
  Paul Wells (Re-rec mixer)
  Douglas Williams (Re-rec mixer)
  Nicholas Eliopoulos (Supv sd ed)
  Andrew Chulack (Sd ed)
  Paul Bruce Richardson (Sd ed)
  Richard Taylor (Sd ed)
  Linda Dove (Sd ed)
  Godfrey Marks (Dial ed)
Special Effects: Chuck Gaspar (Spec eff)
  Matt Sweeney (Spec eff)
  R/Greenberg Associates, Inc., New York (Dream seqs/Spec vis eff des and prod)
  Wayne Fitzgerald (Titles)
  David Oliver (Titles)
  Pacific Title (Opticals by)
Make Up: Bernadine Anderson (Makeup for Ms. Fonda)
  Ve Neill (Makeup for Ms. Tomlin)
  Mark Reedall (Makeup for Ms. Parton)
  Kaye Pownall (Hairstylist for Ms. Fonda)
  Evelyn Trimmer (Hairstylist for Ms. Tomlin)
  Susan Germaine (Hairstylist for Ms. Parton)
Production Misc: Terry H. Liebling (Casting)
  Marshall Schlom (Scr supv)
  Eileen Peterson (Asst to prod)
  Denise Kurtzman (Asst to prod)
  Janet M. Daube (Asst to Colin Higgins)
  Gary Kalkin (Unit pub)
  Pickwick/Maslansky/Koenigsberg (Pub by)
  Aram Betkijian (Transportation coord)
  Kay Molyneaux (Loc mgr)
Stand In: Jim Arnett (Stunt coord)
Animation: Mishkin, Hellmich, Virgien & Friends (Anim)
  Nicholas Eliopoulos (Anim supv)
  The Optical House (Anim opticals by)
  Fred Lucky (Anim char by)
Color Personnel: DeLuxe® (Col by)
MPAA Rating: PG
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Nine To Five," written and performed by Dolly Parton, produced by Gregg Perry.
Composer: Dolly Parton
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation 12/1/1981 dd/mm/yyyy PA92493

PCA NO: 25951
Physical Properties: Sd:
  col:

 
Genre: Comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Business ethics
  Embezzlement
  Kidnapping
  Promotions
  Secretaries
  Sexual equality
 
Subjects (Minor): Ambulances
  Bars
  Bathrooms
  Coffee
  Corpses
  Desks
  Divorce
  Eavesdropping
  Elevators
  Hospitals
  Mansions
  Marijuana
  Mistresses
  Panic
  Physicians
  Poisoning
  Police
  Rumors
  Scarves
  Typewriters
  Vacations

Note: The following statements appear at the end of the film: “Violet Newstead was promoted to Vice President in recognition of her ability to remain calm in a crisis,” “Judy Bernly fell in love and married the Xerox representative,” “Doralee Rhodes quit Consolidated and became a country and western singer,” and “Franklin Hart was abducted by a tribe of Amazons in the Brazilian jungle and was never heard from again.”
       The following acknowledgement appears in the end credits: “The Producer gratefully acknowledges the help and encouragement of Working Women, the National Association of Office Workers in the making of this film.”
       In a Dec 1980 Playboy movie essay, actress Jane Fonda stated that Karen Nussbaum, the founder of the Boston organization “9 to 5,” gave her the idea to develop a film about secretaries. Nussbaum eventually went on to become the director of Working Women, National Association of Office Workers. When the original concept of the story told in straight drama seemed dreary, the script was adapted into a comedy. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Fonda and producer Bruce Gilbert’s work process first involved selecting a topic that was of interest to both and then developing a story around it. After Gilbert compiled research and background information, he and Fonda would exchange ideas until they arrived at the skeleton of a story. At that point, they chose Patricia Resnick to write the first draft of the screenplay. Resnick researched the theme by posing as a secretary at a huge insurance brokerage company. Later, writer-director Colin Higgins created another draft of the script with the help of material from a number of focus groups he and Gilbert held at the Cleveland, OH, headquarters of the National Association of Office Workers. They learned about the great psychological difficulties facing women entering the workforce late in life or returning to work after a number of years, and also gained added perspective when they asked women to fantasize about what it would be like to get revenge on their bosses.
       The film marked the theatrical film debut of actor-singer Dolly Parton.
       According to a 25 Oct 1979 Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. press release, principal photography was set to begin 14 Jan 1980 in Los Angeles, CA. Playboy reported that a $1 million set on Stage Six at Twentieth Century-Fox studios recreated a modern office in exacting detail. Production notes stated that the soundstage was converted into a modern, two-floor suite of offices. Nine Sony remote dictation machines were stationed along one wall, while the set also contained dummy elevators, fake bathrooms, water fountains, conference rooms, executive suites, and make-believe notes posted on bulletin boards. The office’s front entryway had the company logo painted on sliding glass doors. Other locations included the Southern California cities of Glendale, Montrose and Bel Air, as well as downtown Los Angeles.
       A 25 Apr 1980 Twentieth Century-Fox Pictures press release announced the completion of principal photography in Los Angeles.
       Dolly Parton received an Academy Award nomination in the category of Music (Original Song) for “Nine To Five.”
       A 5 Apr 1983 LAHExam article reported that husband and wife songwriters, Neil and Jan Goldberg, who had once worked for California State Assemblyman Tom Hayden’s election campaign, filed a lawsuit alleging Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and her husband, Hayden, plagiarized the chorus of their song “Money World” to compose “9 To 5.” The suit, filed 1 Apr 1983 in L.A. Superior Court, asked for $1 million in punitive damages, and additional unspecified damages for “alleged copyright infringement” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” A 4 Dec 1985 DV news brief stated that the plaintiffs sought a portion of the profits from the film, film soundtrack and spin-off television series. Articles in the 6 Dec 1985 DV and the 11 Dec 1985 Var reported that Hayden denied opening a package sent by the Goldbergs containing a record album with the track “Money World.” Parton maintained that her song sounded nothing like the Goldbergs, and played a few bars in court to illustrate her point. A 14 Dec 1985 LAT article stated that the Goldbergs rejected a “very, very small” settlement offered by Parton to end the lawsuit out of court. According to a 16 Dec 1985 HR article, Parton admitted that both songs shared a sequence of five notes also seen in popular songs such as The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Ease On Down The Road,” from the Broadway musical The Wiz. A 19 Dec LAT article reported that after thirty-five minutes of deliberation at the conclusion of the two-week trial, the jury voted in favor of Parton, ruling out plagiarism charges against the singer. News items in the 14 Jan 1986 DV and LAT reported that although the Goldbergs’ sought a new plagiarism trial, U. S. District Court Judge Terry J. Hatter denied their motion.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   4 Dec 1985.   
Daily Variety   14 Jan 1986.   
Hollywood Reporter   15 Dec 1980   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Dec 1985.   
LAHExam   5 Apr 1983.   
Los Angeles Times   19 Dec 1980   p. 20.
Los Angeles Times   14 Dec 1985.   p. 22, 23.
Los Angeles Times   14 Jan 1986.   
New York Times   19 Dec 1980   p. 20.
Playboy   Dec 1980   p. 35, 36.
Variety   11 Dec 1985.   
Variety   17 Dec 1980   p. 17.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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