Nine To Five

Nine To Five (1980)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman
Extras: Audio Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel

Pardon me, but I have to get something out of the way here. I'm not to sure if I like the trend to name special edition DVDs with such over-the-top monikers like the "Don't Call Me Shirley" edition that Paramount used for its special edition repackaging of "Airplane". For a while there, I thought that Paramount was the only studio to buy into this. Just when you thought these names could not get any sillier, Twentieth Century Fox decided to join in with their special edition of "Nine to Five" by labeling the DVD "Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot" edition! Now if that isn't considered a bit much, I don't know what is. Sure it seems fitting for the silliness that the movie puts forth, but I long for the days of the plain old "special" or "collector's" edition headings, simple and to the point.

"Nine to Five" is a movie that is never meant to be taken with the slightest bit of seriousness, even though the filmmakers put a comedic spin on a few prominent issues that were facing the workforce around the time this film was released. Issues such as sexist bosses who wanted nothing more than a piece of their secretary's ass, sure this exists today, but it's a little more under the table so-to-speak. Then there is the controversy surrounding the unfair treatment experienced by females during that time, when your sex was considered before your experience when up for a promotion. With many women missing out on management positions simply because of their sex, even though they were better suited and more experienced than their male counterparts is nonsense and thankfully became a more unacceptable practice. These are some of the undertones that are present within "Nine to Five", but they are handled in a more humorously revenge plotted way.

Centered around three female secretaries; Judy (Jane Fonda), Violet (Lily Tomlin), Doralee (Dolly Parton) dealing day to day with their domineering boss Mr. Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman). Eventually becoming friends, the three ladies wind up in a shenanigan filled plot of kidnapping, possible attempted murder and extortion, to name only a few, as they attempt to set things right around the office.

It sure has been a long time since I have seen this film and I actually had a great time watching the bumbling antics of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton as they set out to teach their overbearing boss on just how to treat and respect a lady in the workforce.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has prepared a great release for their film "Nine to Five". Color saturation is on par and displays the mostly conservative color palette rather well, while maintaining naturally appearing flesh tones. Black levels are deep and rich in reproduction, with the transfer exhibiting slight aliasing and fine grain in a scene or two. Overall, the print used for the transfer comes devoid of any distracting dust or dirt particles. Good job on an older film that did not receive a full blown restoration.

The soundtrack comes available with a Dolby Digital Mono or Stereo presentation. Vocals are reproduced to appear natural throughout, but I found the mix and balance to be slightly off. Even though the dialogue levels remain consistent throughout, there are a few key scenes where the music and overall sound levels take a dramatic jump in volume, leaving you scrambling for the remote. Looking past the dated sound effects and slightly off key mix, this soundtrack suits the film appropriately.

A nicely presented "Nine @ 25" featurette offers interviews with key cast and crew as they reflect on their personal memories from the production. A full-length audio commentary featuring producer Bruce Gilbert and actors Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton is worth a listen if you enjoyed the feature presentation.

Also in the special features section, you will find over 11 minutes of deleted scenes, a hilarious gag reel and the films original theatrical trailer. A "Singing Nine to Five Karaoke" segment is included for fans that can't get enough of the catchy Dolly Parton theme song. A nice tribute to the late Colin Higgins, who was the co-screenwriter and director of "Nine to Five", completes the special features section.

I just have to point out one of the funnier scenes that involves Judy, Violet and Doralee who have now come to their wits end with management, sitting around smoking a joint and getting liquored as each one discusses how they would "take care" of Mr. Hart. I'm sure we have all fantasized at one point or another about teaching an unruly boss a thing or two. "Nine to Five" is a witty, satirical farce that awaits anyone willing to re-visit this comedic classic from the past.