AFI Movie Club: WORKING GIRL – American Film Institute
Working Girl Film Still - Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith



WORKING GIRL appears on three of AFI’s lists, including being named one of the most inspiring films and one of the greatest love stories. AFI Life Achievement Award recipients Harrison Ford (2001) and Mike Nichols (2010) worked together to bring WORKING GIRL to the silver screen.

Watch Jon Hamm announce the film:

Movie Trivia about TODAY’S FILM

-DID YOU KNOW the studio prevented Melanie Griffith from screen testing for THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, even though it had been developed with her in mind? Griffth focused on the role of Tess McGill for director Mike Nichols – and, ironically, later presented the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress to Geena Davis for THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST.

-DID YOU KNOW the film’s song “Let the River Run” with music and lyrics by Carly Simon won the Academy Award® for Best Original Song?

-DID YOU KNOW Mike Nichols fought for Melanie Griffith to be cast as Tess McGill and claimed he would not work on the film without her?

-DID YOU KNOW Alec Baldwin was cast to play Jack Trainer in the movie, but the studio was willing to pay extra to get Harrison Ford on board? Baldwin was asked to play the part of Mick Duggan instead.

-DID YOU KNOW it took four different buildings to portray Tess’ place of work?

-DID YOU KNOW that, according to Melanie Griffith, the first shot of the film on the Staten Island Ferry was captured without proper permits? Those were actual commuters with her, and none of them knew they were being filmed!

-DID YOU KNOW Mike Nichols used the film PYGMALION as inspiration? He had the entire cast watch and discuss the film at the beginning of their two-week rehearsal!

-DID YOU KNOW a short-lived sitcom based on WORKING GIRL aired in 1990 and starred Sandra Bullock as Tess McGill?

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-Why does WORKING GIRL still resonate with audiences today?

-Do you think working conditions have changed significantly since the film was made? What aspects of the film are still true today?

-What is your favorite ‘80s style from the movie?

-Why doesn’t Tess report Bob Speck and Lutz instead of quitting her job at the beginning of the film?

-How does Katherine deal with harassment compared to Tess?

-Has the #MeToo movement changed your perspective of the movie?

-What inspiration do you believe director Mike Nichols took from PYGMALION?

-How would you rate WORKING GIRL?


Watch an exclusive clip from the AFI Archive of Sigourney Weaver talking about making WORKING GIRL and working with Mike Nichols:

New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.


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