The greatest office movies of all time


Tasked with with the challenge of writing this post, I sighed. A movie fan, yes, but a film buff? That I am not. But isn’t the web a wonderful thing? I managed to persuade a lovely bunch of film bloggers to assist me in my quest to find the greatest office movies of all time. The thing is, there were a lot of great office scenes out there too – not necessary related to office movies per se. There were a lot to choose from, but I’ve managed to whittle a list down. I hope you enjoy!

The good folks at Film Intel believe “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) is the most politically incorrect office since, erm, The Office!”

Sexism, exorbitantly-large fragrance supply cabinets, disagreeable moustaches, and enough memorable quotes with which to impress your beer-swilling mates, Anchorman had to make the list. If only every office could have a wise little Buddha covered in hair.

Killer Aphrodite and Pissed Off Geek both suggest Fight Club (1999)

“After Tyler (Brad Pitt) and Jack (Ed Norton) come up with “homework” for the members of the Fight Club they decide must get into a fight with an innocent member of the public – and lose. Jack decides his fight will be with his boss who brings him in for a disciplinary talk about his behaviour as of late. What ensues is Jack actually beating himself up but doing it in such a way as it sounds as if it’s the boss himself doing it. He manages to leave his job – but also with a few extras.”

Bloody good scene, with an emphasis on the word bloody.

 Film Misery suggests Brazil (1985)

“For a hyper-stylized futuristic office from hell, you’d have to go with Brazil.”

Although we’d all love to have fun / idiotic characters like Brick Tamland in our office, or attractive ones like Edward Norton, there is the possibility of a dystopian office filled with grey, contempt and, yes, moving desks? For this particular niche of office, Brazil is the one.

Fancy being hypnotised at work? Some days, perhaps. If not you could just watch Eat Sleep Live Film Blog and Pop Culture Brain’s obvious, but entirely appropriate suggestion of Office Space (1999).

I Love That Film also loves this film, and especially this scene:

Peter Gibbons: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.
Dr. Swanson: What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Dr. Swanson: Wow, that’s messed up.

Post-Its did got pretty good exposure out of this movie poster, didn’t they? But hey, everyone loves office stationary.

Post-It crazy!

Normally when people get the sack or resign from their jobs they take their personal belongings with them like their notepad, maybe their photos, stationary and what have you. When Jerry Maguire (1996) stages a walk out, he takes the office fish. At least they have manners.

Thanks to Movie Emporium for this gem.

Average Film Reviews also went for Jerry Maguire. What is it with this film and acting inappropriately in offices? Show me the money!

Well yee haw! I was hoping someone was going to suggest this office-appropriate title, and thank my giddy aunt (she was notoriously giddy) Cult Film Freak did! Yes, it’s 9 TO 5 (1980).

“Three secretaries, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, struggle against their male chauvinist boss in this eighties classic.”

Dolly Parton

It’s no way to make a living!

Cult Film Freak also kindly pointed us in the direction of Orson Welles’ movie,The Trial (1962), starring Anthony Perkins.

“This is a picture of an office, a very, very, very large office…”

HeyUGuys were all about thinking ‘outside the box’, which I think is office jargon for ‘being original’.

“Obviously Office Space sprang straight to mind but you’ve sort of mentioned that one. I do love a bit of Weekend at Bernie’s (1989) where they decide to ditch the office and work from the rooftop using a paddling pool as a swimming pool and getting tar all over their reports!”

And we have our first animated office movie scene thanks to the kind people at The Bearded Trio. Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles (2004) makes it onto the list.

“I think the director has gone for an incredibly (sorry!) bland office to contrast what the other side of their life can bring.  It’s a great scene that shows what happens to  a lot of us when our everyday jobs get in the way of what we really want to do, or what we are capable of.”

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave suggested Secretary (2002). Now I’ve seen this film, and I don’t think it’s entirely appropriate to include a video scene (far too saucy for a serviced office blog).

Rick’s Flicks Pics suggested The Apartment (1960).

“The Apartment is the best office romance of all time. The love triangle between Shirley MacLaine’s adorable elevator operator, Jack Lemmon’s pushover who lets execs at work borrow his place for flings, and Fred MacMurray as Lemmon’s boss is tense and sweet and allowed to go into darker territory naturally. It’s a perfect example of how good a romcom can get.”

How could we ever not include Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) as suggested by Saturday Night Screening and Film Jabber? “Coffee is for closers”…

Even if you are a closer, and you drink coffee, just be careful how you treat the intern on the tea run – they could end up looking like this. Thanks again to The Bearded Trio for the heads up.

  • wow this is so cool! thanks for asking me and then for allowing my input, i feel great about this. james tate (cultfilmfreak)

    • FlexiOffices

      Thanks for your contribution!

  • Nice one folks! I really must watch Brazil again… great film.

    • FlexiOffices

      Thanks so much for getting involved. Another excuse to watch some great films.