To celebrate International Day of Friendship, we’ll be watching
9 to 5 (1980)
Co-written by Patricia Resnick & Colin Higgins.
Frank Hart is a pig. He takes advantage in the grossest manner of the women who work with him. When his three assistants manage to trap him in his own house they assume control of his department and productivity leaps, but just how long can they keep Hart tied up?
9 to 5 (listed in the opening credits as Nine to Five) is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Colin Higgins, who wrote the screenplay with Patricia Resnick. It stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton as three working women who live out their fantasies of getting even with and overthrowing the company’s autocratic, “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss, played by Dabney Coleman.
The film grossed over $103.9 million and is the 20th-highest-grossing comedy film. As a star vehicle for Parton—already established as a successful singer, musician and songwriter—it launched her permanently into mainstream popular culture. A television series of the same name based on the film ran for five seasons, and a musical version of the film (also titled 9 to 5), with new songs written by Parton, opened on Broadway on April 30, 2009.
The film was based on an idea by Jane Fonda, who had recently formed her own production company, IPC. Fonda:
“My ideas for films always come from things that I hear and perceive in my daily life… A very old friend of mine had started an organization in Boston called “Nine To Five”, which was an association of women office workers. I heard them talking about their work and they had some great stories. And I’ve always been attracted to those 1940s films with three female stars.”
Fonda says the film was at first going to be a drama, but “any way we did it, it seemed too preachy, too much of a feminist line. I’d wanted to work with Lily [Tomlin] for some time, and it suddenly occurred to [her producing partner] Bruce and me that we should make it a comedy.” Patricia Resnick wrote the first draft drama, and Fonda cast herself, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton in the leads, the last in her first film role. Then Colin Higgins came on board to direct and rewrite the script. Part of his job was to make room for all three in the script. Higgins says Jane Fonda was a very encouraging producer, who allowed him to push back production while the script was being rewritten.
“He’s a very nice, quiet, low-key guy”, said Parton of Higgins. “I don’t know what I would have done if I’d had one of those mean directors on my first film.”
Higgins admitted “he expected some tension”, from working with three stars, “but they were totally professional, great fun and a joy to work with. I just wish everything would be as easy.”
“It remains a ‘labour film’, but I hope of a new kind, different from the Grapes of Wrath or Salt of the Earth“, says Fonda. “We took out a lot of stuff that was filmed, even stuff the director, Colin Higgins, thought worked but which I asked to have taken out. I’m just super-sensitive to anything that smacks of the soapbox or lecturing the audience”.
Fonda says she did a lot of research, focusing on women who had begun work late in life due to divorce or being widowed.
What I found was that secretaries know the work they do is important, is skilled, but they also know they’re not treated with respect. They call themselves “office wives”. They have to put gas in the boss’s car, get his coffee, buy the presents for his wife and mistress. So when we came to do the film, we said to Colin [Higgins], OK, what you have to do is write a screenplay which shows you can run an office without a boss, but you can’t run an office without the secretaries!
Click HERE for where to watch
“Friends are the family we choose ourselves” – Anonymous
The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.
The resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.
To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.
The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO defining the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems. It was then adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997.