9 to 5 Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman Director: Colin Higgins Despite being the product of an era in which the term 'women's lib' was still thrown about with derision, the comedy 9 to 5 passes the Bechdel Test, as the film features scenes with two female characters talking to each other about topics other than men. In this case, there's a lot of talk about work. The story, which is at its core an office revenge fantasy, is witty, madcap and zany. It also addresses sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace in a comic manner, catching flies with honey rather than vinegar. In an early scene, Judy (Jane Fonda) and Violet (Lily Tomlin) enter a drab office filled with rows of desks. Workers clack away at typewriters and answer phones. There is nothing welcoming about it; the boss has ruled that workspaces be free of personal items such as family photos and coffee mugs. It's Judy's first day of work: she's recently divorced - her husband left her for his secretary - and this is her first job. Violet, a widow with four children, has been with the company for 12 years and waiting for a promotion she deserves. 'I've never seen anyone leapfrog so fast to the top in my life - and I have the bad back to prove it,' Violet says of her boss, Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman). 'I remember when he was just a management trainee. In fact, I was the one who trained him.' There's a glass ceiling for women in this office and no one has been able to break through it. Franklin, we soon learn, is 'a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot'. Although he has a doting wife, he spends much of his day chasing his happily married secretary, Doralee Rhodes (country music star Dolly Parton in her first role), who does her best to spurn his advances. He's been allowing the office to believe that they're having an affair, leading the other women to shun the sweet Doralee. Soon, the three women overcome their differences and become co-conspirators, sharing their revenge fantasies over ribs and beers. Franklin ends up in hospital due to an accident, but Violet believes she's accidentally poisoned him, which kicks off a farcical series of events. Much of the charm of the film lies in the easy chemistry between Fonda, Tomlin and Parton, who give one another room to be funny, and all deliver strong performances. The film grossed more than US$100 million in America, and launched Parton to mainstream stardom. She wrote and sang the theme song 9 to 5, which plays during the opening and closing credits. The song earned her an Oscar nomination, a Grammy award, and hit No1 on the Billboard charts. The popularity of both film and song may be connected to the average work environment, rather than work itself. It's a rare person who has never suffered the indignity of workplace injustices and incompetent bosses. Thirty years later, 9 to 5 still resonates, despite less overt sexist policies, perhaps because office politics never change.