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Movie Mom

For Labor Day: Movies About Work

posted by Nell Minow

For Labor Day, some of my favorite movies about the workplace:

The Pajama Game He (John Riatt — Bonnie’s father) is the new boss at the pajama factory.  She (Doris Day) represents the union.  Can this relationship work?  This tuneful treat features classics like “Hey There” and “Steam Heat.”

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Norma Rae Sally Field won an Oscar for her performance in this fact-based story about the fight for the rights of textile workers.

9 to 5 Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton star in this story of three women in an office run by an lazy, corrupt, and sexist boss.

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Office Space This cult classic about disaffected office workers has some sharp Dilbert-style observations about organizational inefficiency and unfairness.

Working Girl Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford star in this story of a secretary with ambition and her arrogant, selfish boss.  Carly Simon won an Oscar for the theme song, “Let the River Run.”

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The Apartment This Best Picture Oscar winner stars Jack Lemmon as an insurance company worker with a chance to advance his career by making his apartment available to executives for their assignations.

Made in Dagenham Sally Hawkins and Miranda Richardson star in this fact-based story of women fighting for equal pay at a Ford plant in England.

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Anyone who has worked in an office will tell you that this raucous musical satire of office life is far less exaggerated than it seems.

The Solid Gold Cadillac This witty 1956 comedy about corporate corruption and overpaid executives starring the brilliant Judy Holliday is still valid — if you add three zeroes to all the numbers.

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The Closet This French comedy is about a nebbishy numbers guy who is laid off from his job.  He lets the bosses think he is gay so that they will be afraid of a discrimination complaint and the attention it brings him teaches him some important lessons.

 

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