9 to 5

“You steal the wrong body from the hospital and all you can say is, ‘I must’ve made a mistake’?”

When Jane Fonda and her producing partner Bruce Gilbert brought Colin Higgins on to rewrite Patricia Resnick’s workplace drama, they knew they were going to shift the story to a comedy instead. They also knew that Higgins would flesh out the three female protagonists at the core of the story. What they also got was an incredibly well-structured script that was full of wild humor while also keeping the characters honest and grounded. Considering these were features that Higgins consistently wrote into his scripts, it really didn’t come as a surprise, but what did surprise everyone is how much audiences connected to this story. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Colin Higgins series with his 1980 comedy classic Nine to Five.

We talk about how smart this script was for its time and how sadly relevant it is today still. We look at Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton and chat about how perfect they are as an on-screen trio. We look at the perfect Dabney Coleman as their nemesis and chat about the awful crimes he commits in the workplace, and how it’s viewed through today’s eyes. We discuss how Parton’s title song became such an iconic anthem for a cultural movement at the time. And we look at elements in the film that we can point to that define Higgins’ style of storytelling (not to mention his love for comedy tropes).

It’s an absolute comedy classic that everyone should see, so stop what you’re doing, watch it, then tune in to this week’s show. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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