Working Girl (1988)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance

Working Girl (1988) Poster

When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss' job.

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  • Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (1988)
  • Joan Cusack and Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (1988)
  • Joan Cusack in Working Girl (1988)
  • Harrison Ford at an event for Working Girl (1988)
  • Harrison Ford at an event for Working Girl (1988)
  • Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl (1988)

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User Reviews

14 April 2001 | budmassey
| The best come-uppance story ever!
You know you've had a boss like this. Someone who stole your ideas, used you to advance their career, and did everything to keep you from getting the credit you deserve. I think of him every time I watch this movie, and although he got his come-uppance, as such people usually do, this one is still more satisfying.

Griffith is a little annoying as the giggly secretary with ambition, but it works. Weaver is the greatest comedic villain since Cruella DeVil. You know she's going to fall, and she does in more ways than one. While she's mending broken bones from a ski trip, her secretary finds a memo capitalizing on her idea the boss had pooh-poohed as a "secretary's notion."

In her boss's absence, Tess (Griffith) uses her boss's name, her office, her home, even her clothes, to break into the rarefied New York mergers and acquisitions world. She even falls for the boss's boyfriend.

Alas, the boss is a fast healer and comes home early. She finds an entry in her secretary's day planner, and it hits the fan.

It's hard to believe this gem was written by the same writer who inflicted Meet Joe Black on us, but we can forgive him. Harrison Ford is at the top of his game as the boyfriend, but Joan Cusack almost walks away with this one, as usual. Joan is the best comedic supporting actress around.

Weaver has one of the the greatest one-liners of all time. When asked if she's sure her boyfriend will propose, she says "We're in the same city now. I've indicated I'm receptive to an offer. I've cleared the month of June. And I am, after all, me."

The go-go 80's may be long gone, along with the power suits, the BIG hair, the Perrier, and the bull market, but this hilarious and heartwarming comedy still works without relying on nostalgia or sentiment!

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Did You Know?


Though Tess is unquestionably the sole lead character, actress Melanie Griffith is billed third in the credits, after Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver who have supporting roles in the movie. Griffith had received critical acclaim for earlier performances in Body Double (1984) and Something Wild (1986), but those films barely made a dent at the box office and she was still largely unknown when Working Girl (1988) was made in 1988. 20th Century Fox wanted a big name actress to play Tess, but Mike Nichols pushed for Griffith until the studio ultimately gave in.


Alice Baxter: Maybe now would be a good time to go over what you expect of me.
Tess McGill: I expect you to call me Tess. I don't expect you to fetch me coffee unless you're getting some for yourself. And the rest we'll just make up as we go along.


It was made clear that Katherine and Jack had a long-term relationship before Tess came on the scene, and yet Jack failed to recognize Katherine's office when he went to visit Tess when she was putting on her act as a broker. Katherine has only just moved to New York from Boston. This is evidenced by what the recruiter says to Tess: 'transferring down from Boston, name of Parker', as well as the fact that Katherine does not yet have a place to live (she tells Tess on the phone from the hospital that she's staying at her parents' house and her voice on the Dictaphone makes reference to her looking for a place of her own), and says to Tess of her and Jack: 'We're living in the same city now' which implies this is a new development. It is therefore perfectly possible that, while Jack knows where Katherine works and knows that it is at the same place as Tess (and assumes that Katherine is Tess's colleague), he has never seen her office.


The Man That Got Away
Music by
Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama | Romance

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