Film:  Nine to Five
Year:  1980
MPAA Rating:  PG
Film Condition:  Red but good with green filter; scratches in spot throughout
Original Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1
Print’s Aspect Ratio:  Flat (Academy) with really bad cropping in places

Tonight at The Langrick Film Forum we will be watching the 1980 Dabney Coleman flick “Nine to Five”.   Sure, some may say its more of a Dolly Parton or Jane Fonda film, others may even go so far as to call it a Lilly Tomlin vehicle. But I think its safe to say DC is the real star of the picture (I should probably point out that I haven’t yet seen this film, but since DC is the only “star” in the picture that I’ve actually come in contact with [L.A. 1998] I’m going with him until proven otherwise).

I cleaned the film earlier today on Film Cleaning Friday, and I have two things to note.  First, the film was dirty, I mean cheap 70’s porn filthy.  I’m glad I was diligent and cleaned it before subjecting my projector to such grime.  Second item to note: I have to get a set of professional rewinds.  The one’s I cobbled together from an old 8/16mm editor have reached the limit of their use.  At one point I had about 1/8 of the third reel strung out over the kitchen tables after it had jumped the reel during rewind.  So I’m now scowering EBay and other sites to find a good, viable set of rewinds that is within my price range, although after today’s near fiasco that range has risen a bit.

I’ll post pictures and a synopsis of the shape of the film once we’ve screened it.

Post Viewing Thoughts

We’ve just completed the Friday Night Langrick Film Forum showing of “Nine to Five” and my initial gut feeling was correct: it was truly a Dabney Coleman vehicle all the way even though he (mistakenly) did not receive top or even star billing.  Of the FOUR main characters I felt he was the only one really putting his heart into the acting, with Jane Fonda coming in a close second.  Lilly Tomlin appeared to be phoning several scenes in and Dolly Parton appeared to be reading most of her lines from a teleprompter (as she does in most of her films).    As for the overall story I thought the first half was pretty decent and went by fairly quickly, but once the kidnapping segment started it seemed to go on forever.  The one thing about watching films on, well, film is that you can see just how much of it is left on the reel, so as the kidnapping kept lingering and the film left on the third reel started getting less and less I figured the end would wind up being a quicky lets get this over with and role credits, which to a degree is exactly what happened.  And the funniest bit of the entire film was during the credits when DC mistakes the garage-door opener for the TV remote, that was the biggest belly laugh for me in the whole film.

As for the print it was indeed red (I knew this when I bought it and the price reflected such) but with the green filter on the lens the picture was actually very good and crisp.  The bad part was that the picture was typically cropped.

 I got the impression that many scenes were shot to take full advantage of the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and when somewhat lazy crop-job was done on this print what was left was several scenes with a left bit of one actor and a right bit of the other actor and a nice shot of an empty office chair in the middle of the screen.  I really, REALLY hate that a large majority of the films available on 16mm were printed like this, and it makes the few that are either in adapted scope, or the more preferred full scope even more desirable.

Final thoughts: given the red fade, the flat aspect ratio and the fact I’m ambivalent at best about the story I would normally put this on the list of films I might sell or trade; however the main driver for buying this film was that Liz wanted it since she used to watch it with her mother, so with that in mind we’ll keep it (until I find a full scope AGFA or IB print to replace it with!).