Work. It is such an integral part of our lives it is no surprise that it is a dominant theme across the arts and entertainment world and has been, arguably, for centuries. Today, Staffing 360 offers our readers movies about work, the workplace, co-workers, and so on. We’ve listed comedies, dramas, and since it’s that time of year, included a few holiday films as well. Some are Oscar winners, some cult favorites and others just beloved classics. To a certain degree almost any movie can be said to be about work in a way, so any list is arbitrary. Some you may already know or have seen but hopefully others will be new to you. These are simply representative of the broad spectrum and tremendous choices available for our viewing pleasure!
All art reflects our human condition and offers the chance for us to learn about ourselves, our world and perhaps how to make it better for everyone. These films, each in their own way, give us insight into the best and the worst that the working world offers. They may be inspiring, infuriating, humorous, thought provoking, or ridiculous, but they all give us a different viewpoint on this thing we call work. Enjoy these and let us know what your favorites are!
Quirky, independent, day-in-the-life film that won numerous awards despite a budget of $27,000.
2. Office Space
We all appreciate our staplers a little bit more after this one.
3. Horrible Bosses
Three friends plot to kill their horrible bosses, and one of them is Jennifer Aniston. Really?
4. Empire Records
An independent record store fights being bought up by a chain; record stores – remember them? No? Watch the movie.
5. Up in the Air
A timely movie from 2009 about corporate downsizing, and it has George Clooney!
Comedy (Before 1990)
1. 9 to 5
“…what a way to make a living.”
2. Trading Places
Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd in their prime. A classic work related comedy.
3. Working Girl
Han Solo goes corporate.
4. Broadcast News
This “behind-the-curtain” look at how news is made garnered 7 Academy Award nominations.
5. The Front Page
Also a hit Broadway production, this comedy stars Jack Lemon, Walter Matthau, and a budding Carol Burnett.
1. Norma Rae
Based on a true story, Sally Field won her first Oscar portraying a determined mill worker.
2. Chicken Run
Chickens organize and rebel against evil farm owners – a serious theme explored in an animated children’s movie.
3. Bread and Roses
Follows the unionization efforts of cleaners in a downtown office building but the relationship between the two Latino sisters is what makes the film special.
4. Made in Dagenham
Based on the real 1969 strike at a Ford plant in England, workers walk in protest of sexual discrimination in pay and promotions.
5. The Help
Good book, good movie. There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a pretentious snob get what’s coming to her.
Meryl Streep and Cher, both Oscar nominated, in the true story of whistleblower Karen Silkwood, possibly murdered for her efforts on worker’s safety. It has a shower scene that you won’t soon forget.
2. Wall Street
Gordon Gekko charms his way into the hearts and minds of every corrupt power broker on Wall Street. “Greed is good.”
3. Glengarry Glen Ross
The powerhouse cast includes Al Pacino, Jack Lemon, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, and of course, Alec Baldwin. “Coffee’s for closers only.”
4. Boiler Room
A dream job at an investment firm may not be as legitimate as it seems as Giovanni Ribisi finds out.
5. Roger and Me
The film that made Michael Moore; whatever you think about that, this one’s worth watching.
1. Modern Times
Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp struggles to adjust to life in an industrial society, a timeless theme that resonates as strongly today.
2. How Green was My Valley
Director John Ford gives us a poignant tale of the Morgan family living in a Welsh mining town at the turn of the 20th century. Watch for the scene on the bridge – a classic within a classic.
3. The Apartment
Genius Billy Wilder hilariously skewers corporate behavior in this tale of a young executive who loans his apartment to senior management for their illicit trysts.
4. The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit
Corporate jobs as soul crushing isn’t a recent idea as this 1956 Gregory Peck vehicle shows us.
5. His Girl Friday
A Howard Hawks romantic comedy about a newspaper editor and his reporter ex-wife, Cary Grant alone is reason enough to watch.
(watch for part 2 coming out 12/20)