Whoever comes up with these DVD titles at Fox makes you either laugh or shake your head. I have to admit laughing when I saw that it wasn't "9 to 5: Special Edition," but "9 to 5: Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot Edition." Come on, how can you not want to see what's on a disc with that name?
So when three women have a boss that is evil incarnate (played by Dabney Coleman), what do you do when you think that one of you has accidentally killed him? Well, if you're Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda, you try to steal his body from the hospital ... and fail. Then you find out he's still alive. And knows about what you did. So you kidnap him and try to teach him a lesson by blackmailing him. I don't think I need to tell you that hilarity ensues and things don't go quite to plan.
A classic comedy of women coming into power over chauvinistic bosses, "9 to 5" has long been stuck with a movie-only version DVD which was very underwhelming. However, with this new edition, I'm quite pleasantly surprised by the amount of features provided.
Considering that the film is 26 years old, quite a plethora of material has been assembled. There are 10 fully produced deleted scenes. A couple are alternate takes of scenes in the film, but all of them are great just to see the chemistry between the cast. The gag reel quite honestly cracked me up just to see different sides of people. I'd never expect to hear dirty Miss Piggy jokes coming from Dolly Parton -- and that makes it twice as funny somehow. There is also a brief "Remembering Colin Higgins" featurette. It takes a look at the work and life of the departed writer/director of "9 to 5" and the cult film "Harold and Maude." One of the more ... disturbing ... features is "9 to 5 Karaoke" in which you can sing along with the Dolly Parton song. Seriously. Just don't. You know you can't sing. Ask your friends.
The featurette "Nine at 25" takes a look at different social and filming aspects of the film. From the genesis of the story in a newspaper article, to the difficulty of bringing together the cast, to the coming together of a societal change in progress and a film which spoke to that change. What's wonderful about this featurette is that there are interviews with most of the cast members as well as producer Bruce Gilbert. Lastly, there is a full feature commentary with Gilbert, Fonda, Tomlin and Parton. The commentary is more fun than most because -- as they state in the first five minutes -- this is the first commentary track for all of them. As such it's more memories and fun stories than it is about technical style and such, and it's fun to hear all of them back together. It's almost as if they hadn't even been apart.
One thing that did stand out to me as soon as I played the film was the sound. This has to be one of the very rare films of late which has not had the sound remastered into Dolby Digital 5.1- it is presented solely in 2 track stereo or mono sound. Being a film purist, I don't have a problem with this as it allows for the hard work of the original sound designers to be presented as it was originally done. However, with all of the work and restoration done on all of the other elements, this seemed a bit out of place.
"9 to 5" reigns as one of those comic moments where everything came together at the right time. It has withstood the test of time to have its place as a classic film that is only improved by this edition. That or the release of this disc has something to do with the upcoming Broadway version of the story. Surely nothing so diabolical would ever happen though, right? Nah, I'm sure it's just because it's a great, fun comedy.
STUDIO: Fox Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: April 4, 2006
TIME: 110 mins.
DVD EXTRAS: Deleted scenes, gag reel, "9 at 25" featurette, "Remembering Colin Higgins" featurette, 9 to 5 Karaoke, commentary by Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton.
INTERNET SITE: For more info go to www.foxhome.com.