Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 5/4/01
9 to 5
1980 (2001) - 20th Century
review by Dan Kelly of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
109 mins, PG, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 47:03, at the start
of chapter 9), Amaray keep case packaging, theatrical trailers (for
9 to 5, For
the Boys, Nine Months
and The Truth About Cats and Dogs),
still gallery, film-themed menu screens, scene access (18 chapters),
languages: English (DD 2.0 and mono) and French (DD mono),
subtitles: English and Spanish, Close Captioned
"If you ever say
another word about me or make another indecent proposal, I'm gonna
get that gun of mine, and I'm gonna change you from a rooster to a
hen with one shot!"
9 to 5 came along at the right
place and time, and struck a chord with moviegoers. I think most of
us have worked for, or known someone, like Franklin Hart (played
devilishly by Dabney Coleman). He's the type of man that will always
refer to grown women as girls, and expects the nearest woman to
refill his coffee cup on demand. In the words of the three lead
women, he's a "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot."
Nearly everyone in the office is tired of his heavy-handed,
misogynistic management style. Doralee (Dolly Parton) is his
personal secretary, and he bends over backwards to play childish
tricks just to sneak a peak at her cleavage. Violet (Jane Fonda)
trained Hart when he first joined Consolidated Companies and watched
him leapfrog his way to the top. And then there's Judy (Jane Fonda
playing dowdy in one mean wig) - the naive, newly divorced newbie
who's not yet clued into Hart's games.
One night, following a pot-induced munchie fest, the three bond
when they share their ideal ways of offing their conniving boss.
Unbeknownst to "the girls," they'll get the chance to
enact their fantasies much sooner than they'd ever imagined, and run
things at work the way they want. It's at this time, about halfway
through the film, that 9 to 5
switches from comic social commentary to revenge fantasy. The
transition isn't as smooth as it should be, but the comic potency of
the first hour of the film, and the considerable charm and talent of
the cast, forgives some of the misstepping of the film's resolution.
Fox Home Video offered up 9 to 5
on DVD in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and has even provided
us with anamorphic enhancement to spiff things up a bit. The print
used for the transfer is clean and mostly devoid of age-related
defects, but the picture looks a little too warm and washed out at
times. There is little in the way of compression artifacting, but
edge enhancement is minimal. Color reproduction is accurate with no
bleed and black levels are nicely done. The English Dolby 2.0
surround track is a decent remix from the film's original monaural
soundtrack. At times, it comes across as somewhat flat and
un-dynamic, but it gets the job done. The surrounds come into play
mostly during the film's score and occasionally add some boost to
the effects track. Dialogue is softer than I would have liked, and I
had to compensate by cranking up the volume. The original mono track
is also there for purists, as is a French language mono track. Both
of them are adequate.
The only extras on board are a trio of trailers for "working
women"-themed Fox releases (Norma
Rae, Working Girl
and 9 to 5) and a few other
female-centered Fox dramas (For the Boys,
Nine Months and
The Truth About Cats and Dogs).
With the exception of 9 to 5,
all of them are widescreen and anamorphic. Given their age
(especially Norma Rae) they
look pretty darn good. But the 9 to 5
trailer is a 1.33:1 cropped promotional spot that shows quite a bit
of wear and tear. If that's not enough, there's also an impressive
still gallery consisting of a whopping (hold on to your panty hose!)
5 pictures from the set of the film.
Watching 9 to 5 now is a
different experience from when it was first released. The core theme
of the movie is still relevant, but watching the film is almost like
opening up a time capsule. Here we have an open area office filled
with hundreds of desks (no cubicle walls), an actual punch time card
machine and no computers. All that's missing are the rotary phones.
With that in mind, this new-fangled DVD is a good way to watch the
film. I would have liked more out of the audio and extras, but the
video presentation is above average and the film is still, after 20
years, a lot of fun.