For this week's episode of Hit Me With Your Best Shot: the classic comedy Nine to Five (1980). We chose it to coincide with the forthcoming premiere of Grace & Frankie which will reunite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin at last. Pity that Dolly Parton doesn't figure in!
Nine To Five was a smash hit when it premiered in December 1980, finishing that year as the top grossing movie without light sabers. Awards bodies weren't as kind as the public. Though the title song won two Grammys for Dolly Parton, she didn't win her Oscar category (the film's only nomination) and even more bizarrely, the movie wasn't nominated for Best Comedy at the Golden Globes. The film has endured quite well in pop culture so it doesn't need resuscitation but we thought it would be interesting to think about the way it's shot. Comedies are rarely considered in that regard. The film was directed by Colin Higgins who only made three films (all of them comedy hits) due to an early death at only 47. It was shot by cinematographer Reynaldo Villabolos who is, more happily, still with us and still working in film and television.
Best Shots from Nine To Five (1980)
10 shots from 12 participating blogs
Click on the images for their corresponding articles
A movie makeover waiting to happen, right?"
The film, for being as sunny as it seems, has a lasting dark undercurrent to it.
It's surprising that the three leads are kept apart from each other for the first full half hour of the film...
And then this fantasy sequence happened...
The fantasy element allows the filmmakers to literalize some of the more abstract ideas of feminist theory and connect them to pop culture.
-Coco Hits NY
Violet's fantasy is the best encapsulation of the film's sense of humor..
- The Entertainment Junkie
Based on an idea by co-star Jane Fonda who finally plays it mousy -- at first. And then we get the old persona back, a pastel version of it that allows her to mock and affirm her reputation at the same time....
-The Spy in the Sandwich
Grim humor married to utter silliness..."
- The Film Experience
People tend to remember these three characters as best friends, but scenes like this one remind us that their friendship is actually young and not invulnerable..."
I do love all of the shots with all three of them in the frame...
-Sorta That Guy
Finding the guts to get through these days is one thing, but actually getting through them with dignity intact is something else..."
I found myself gravitating towards the film's other inversion of traditional gender roles..."
-Antagony & Ecstasy
Was it fun for you to revisit Nine to Five?
What's YOUR Best Shot and Favorite Scene... Hell, what's your favorite line reading? I already shared mine.
NEXT WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Jane Campion's period romance Bright Star (2009) which is impossibly beautiful to look at and will make for a very challenging episode. Here's the Best Shot Schedule.