Working Girl

December 21st, 1988


Working Girl

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

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 6.6/10 (23,318 voted)

Critic's Score: 73/100

Director: Mike Nichols

Stars: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver

Tess McGill is a frustrated secretary, struggling to forge ahead in the world of big business in New York. She gets her chance when her boss breaks her leg on a skiing holiday. McGill takes advantage of her absence to push ahead with her career. She teams up with investment broker Jack Trainer to work on a big deal. The situation is complicated after the return of her boss.

Harrison Ford - Jack Trainer
Sigourney Weaver - Katharine Parker
Melanie Griffith - Tess McGill
Alec Baldwin - Mick Dugan
Joan Cusack - Cyn
Philip Bosco - Oren Trask
Nora Dunn - Ginny
Oliver Platt - Lutz
James Lally - Turkel
Kevin Spacey - Bob Speck
Robert Easton - Armbrister
Olympia Dukakis - Personnel Director
Amy Aquino - Tess' Secretary
Jeffrey Nordling - Tim Rourke
Elizabeth Whitcraft - Doreen DiMucci

Taglines: For anyone who's ever won. For anyone who's ever lost. And for everyone who's still in there trying.

Release Date: 21 December 1988

Filming Locations: 7 World Trade Center, World Trade Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $28,000,000 (estimated)

Gross: $64,000,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Alec Baldwin went on to play Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, a role that would be taken over by Harrison Ford in the sequels Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

Continuity: When Tess walks into to quit her job with Lutz, she is wearing all black. While storming out on him in the next shot, she is wearing blue.

Personnel Director: Been lookin at your file here. This the third time in six months I had to place you.
Tess McGill: Wasn't my fault.
Personnel Director: Where've I heard THAT before?
Tess McGill: Ruth, lookit - I'm thirty years old. Took me five years of night school, but I got my degree and I got it with honors; I *know* I could do a job. I mean, you ask any of my bosses - even, even Lutz! - if Tess McGill hasn't called a few.
Personnel Director: YOU ask 'em. I don't think they're gonna sing your praises, Tess.

User Review

The best come-uppance story ever!

Rating: 10/10

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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