The 1980 film 9 to 5 took Dolly Parton from Dollywood to Hollywood before comedies about desk jobs were cool. Better yet, it gifted the world with its Grammy and Oscar-nominated theme song.
Over 40 years later, the inspiration for a short-lived TV series from the '80s and a recent Broadway musical goes under the microscope in the upcoming documentary Still Working 9 to 5, which debuts in March at Austin-based multimedia festival SXSW.
The new film, co-directed by Camille Hardman and twins Gary and Larry Lane, explores more than a comedy film that co-stars Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as office workers pitted against a nightmarish boss played by Dabney Coleman (also known as that "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot"). The documentary addresses deeper issues such as sexual harassment, equal pay and the #metoo movement through new interviews with the film's stars.
"We got interviews with all of the cast in the original film," Gary Lane told Wide Open Country via email in Jan. 2021. "And even Rita Moreno from the 9 to 5 tv series and Allison Janney from the 9 to 5 musical! And (we) just locked in 10 Dolly songs and a new '9 to 5 'duet that fans will love."
Country songwriter Shane McAnally contributed new music and wrote the film's score. He produced the film's biggest get of all: a brand-new duet version of "9 to 5," pairing Parton with Kelly Clarkson.
"With all the inspiration around this movement [for income equality] and how music was a central character in the original 9 to 5, who knows... we might incorporate some of the iconic Dolly songs as well as some new classics," McAnally told Rolling Stone Country. "I'm so excited to get to be a part of what I believe will be the soundtrack of a movement, and help get it to as many ears and hearts as possible for the next generation of women and their allies."
Documentary updates soften the blow of learning that the long-rumored reboot of the original film won't be hitting movie theaters or streaming services any time soon.
"I'm so sad that Disney has decided not to move forward with the #9to5sequel," the original film's screenwriter Patricia Resnick shared in Sept. 2019 on Twitter. "So many things need to be said about the office of today from lack of benefits to no living wage, permanent temps and of course sexual harassment. On the good side #9to5musicalUK is killing it!"
Still Working 9 to 5 Screenings at SXSW
March 13-- SXSW Film Theater-- 3:45 p.m. CST
March 14-- Online Screening-- 9 a.m. CST
March 14-- AFS Cinema Satellite Screening-- 6 p.m. CST
March 18-- Stateside Theatre-- 4:45 p.m. CST
This story previously ran on Jan. 27, 2021. It was updated on Feb. 2, 2022 with details about the documentary's premiere dates.
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