9 to 5 (1980)
In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released guidelines confirming that sexual harassment was illegal in the workplace under Title VII protections. Later that year, the feminist cult-classic comedy 9 to 5 came out. Coincidence? Well, yes and no. And yet here in 2019, the plot still feels nothing short of radical. Mr. Hart (the “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss played to smarmy perfection by Dabney Coleman) spends his days harassing Doralee (the incandescent Dolly Parton in her film debut) by telling her she’s much more to him than “just a dumb secretary.” He lies about sleeping with her, and purposefully knocks pencils on the floor so she’ll lean over and pick them up. He insults Judy (Jane Fonda), and bullies Violet (Lily Tomlin) by demanding she fix his coffee. He gets his, of course. But the real revelation here is the cast — and especially Dolly. As Roger Ebert put it, Dolly Parton is a natural-born movie star, a “center of life on the screen.” She’s clearly having a great time in every scene, and the viewer will too.
Immediately after the screening, retired Tampa Bay Times film critic Steve Persall and his wife, Dianne, will lead a short discussion and audience Q&A. The session is included with film admission.
The Summer Classics Movie Series is presented by Bank of America. Additional support is provided by J.J. Taylor Distributing, Florida, Inc., New Belgium Brewing, and WEDU-PBS.