Favorite business/office comedies.

Model: Working Girl.

The Apartment has been ruled out for not being enough about business.
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29 Responses to “Contest!”
  1. greyaenigma says:

    Does His Girl Friday count? In a similar vein, The Hudsucker Proxy?

    I’ve been thinking about the former since I’ve been reading Terry Pratchett’s The Truth, a parody/homage of newspaper stories.

  2. craigjclark says:

    Schizopolis. It’s borderline, I know, but it’s my favorite.

    If that proves unacceptable, Being John Malkovich.

    • Todd says:

      Working Girl and Hudsucker are closer to what I need. A story about the new guy/gal joining the big firm and somehow working his/her way up the ladder, against all odds, to gain his/her place at the table. What movie am I thinking of?*

      *Please note, I am not thinking of any specific movie.

      • greyaenigma says:

        That summary makes me think of The Secret of My Success.

        I’m also reminded of Head Office, although I’m annoyed that IMDB doesn’t seem to have my favorite (half-remembered) quote from that movie: “When I first came to this town to make my name in business, all I had to my name was $100 million dollars.” Something along that line, at least.

      • popebuck1 says:

        If that’s the specific plotline you’re looking for, there’s a great old Barbara Stanwyck movie called “Baby Face,” where she’s a streetwise dame who sleeps her way to the top of a major corporation, tearing through a whole bunch of spineless men along the way (including a pre-fame John Wayne!). It was made just before the Production Code kicked in, and they re-edited it to neuter some of the “blatant immorality,” but it’s still awfully fun!

        • Todd says:

          Wow! Is it on DVD?

          • popebuck1 says:

            Apparently not, but you can get it on VHS.

            TCM shows it once in a while, too. That’s where I saw it.

            Oh, and how about the quintessential business musical, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”? That one has your exact plotline, as Robert Morse makes his way up from the mailroom to the executive suite! (There’s also “The Pajama Game” if you want to focus more on labor vs. management issues…)

      • Frank Tashlin’s Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? has a lot of that, though it has a lot of non-office related stuff as well.

        Still, plenty of advertising world backstabbing and jokes about keys-to-the-executive-washroom and ulcers. Really quite funny.

        Unfortunately out-of-print on video right now I think, and really unwatchable panned-and-scanned (it’s sometimes shown boxed on cable, often with Tashlin’s other great widescreen comedy The Girl Can’t Help It, which has nothing to do with office work, but has great rock and roll).

  3. popebuck1 says:

    Absolutely no contest: 9 to 5!

    I used to watch it over and over again, back when HBO seemed to run it every other afternoon, and can still recite major chunks of the dialogue.

  4. popebuck1 says:

    Oh, and Office Space (before anyone else jumps on it!).

  5. gazblow says:

    Big actually has an element of guy works his way up the ladder if you leave out the fact that he’s 12. Clockwatchers has interesting office-as-Sartre’s-nightmare type stuff. Swimming With Sharks and The Player if you can look past all the insider-y film biz stuff. Baby Boom with Diane Keaton. Le Placard (The Closet): French film where Daniel Auteuil pretends to be gay to move up at his job. Gung Ho. The beginning of Lost in America. Trading Places. That’s all I got right now.

  6. greyaenigma says:

    Head Office was a little comedy I caught on cable at one point. I don’t even remember the plot, or how much I liked it, just that line stuck in my head. (While it deteriorated, apparently.) It’s got a fairly nice cast.

  7. Anonymous says:


    The British Office and then the US Office.

    • Anonymous says:

      And Shattered Glass was pretty good, too.

      • Anonymous says:

        And the first couple of minutes of After Hours!

        • Todd says:

          I’d love to pitch that to a studio executive, “Let’s do a remake of the first couple of minutes of After Hours!

          Actually, The First Couple of Minutes of After Hours is a good title.

      • Anonymous says:

        shattered glass

        Although, I just realised, Shattered Glass isn’t a comedy!

        • Todd says:

          Re: shattered glass

          It is if you consider journalistic integrity a joke. Which just about everyone seems to these days.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Office

      How is that US Office? I give them props for even attempting it, since the original is such a monument. That it would even stand up, much less be decent, would seem to be something of a miracle.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Office

        The US Office is good. It stands on its own without tarnishing the memory of its predecessor at all. It was probably a good move on the part of NBC to get Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant involved from the outset.

        Irrelevantly, they apparently made more money from the 1st season of the US Office alone than all their BBC work (Office 1, 2, Christmas Specials, Extras) combined.

        • Todd says:

          Re: Office

          Well, as Eric Idle said about working in Hollywood, “We have the culture, the history, the talent, the class. You have the money.”

      • gazblow says:

        Re: Office

        I hadn’t wanted to watch the US Office because I loved the British version so much and was certain that they’d mess it up. This 2nd season has been hilarious, however. The cast is amazing and the writing sharp and insightful. I highly recommend it. *AMBIVALENT SPOILER ALERT* I suggest you watch the 2nd season but save the season finale until last if you can. The one with Casino Night where the Pam/Jim storyline picks up steam. That’s all I’ll say.