As both a working girl and a child of the 80s, I have so many fond memories of the classic comedy film 9 to 5.
The movie, which opened on December 19, 1980, starred Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin as a trio of office workers who face off against their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” of a boss.
9 to 5 was a huge hit at the time of its release, in fact, it was the second-highest grossing movie of the year – the top movie that year was a little film called The Empire Strikes Back. The theme song by Dolly was a chart-topper and the film spawned a TV show and a Broadway musical.
Aside from the comedy, the movie was praised for tackling the issues that women faced in the workplace and now, 39 years later, workplace equality, lack of promotions, maternity/paternity leave, sexism, and sexual harassment are still problems faced by working women.
With the ride of the #MeToo movement, the time seemed right for a sequel to the cult movie and, back in July of 2018, Jane, Dolly, and Lily were on board for a return. In fact, I happily reported this news when I wrote for another website.
Unfortunately, the proposed sequel was canceled. The reason, as Dolly told Entertainment Weekly was that “We never could get the script to where it was enough different than the first one, and that one turned out so good.”
But, thanks to the efforts of filmmakers Camille Hardman and Gary and Larry Lane as well as Emmy-nominated documentary editor Elisa Bonora, we will soon be treated to a behind the scenes documentary entitled Still Working 9 to 5, that will showcase the impact the film has had on popular culture, as well as being a touchstone for women in the workplace.
The documentary features interviews with Lily, Dolly (and soon) Jane, as well as the original 9 to 5 Broadway cast.
Filling the trio’s shoes on the Great White Way were Megan Hilty (Smash, RIP), Stephanie J. Block (The Cher Show) and Allison Janney (too many credits to list.)
In addition, the filmmakers speak to the iconic, EGOT winner Rita Moreno, who played Lily’s Violet role in the 9 to 5 TV series as well as representatives from local and national women empowerment organizations.
The movie is on track to be completed by the summer film festival season and will hopefully reboot discussions for a sequel. I’d say this would be a great present for fans of the movie and a great way to celebrate the film in advance of it’s big 4-0!
Check out interviews from Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Rita Moreno from the documentary, below.