From fun-loving offices in the 1960s to the cutthroat corporate skyscrapers of 1980s Manhattan: we celebrate the most famous workspaces in film and the complex characters that inhabit them.
1. Office Space Dir. Mike Judge, 1999
Far from the trendy tech offices of recent times, Initech’s workspace is dull and everyone in it is an expressionless drone. When three employees finally reach the end of their wick, they hatch a plan to get back at their greedy boss.
Oh Milton, we’ve all been there!
2. American Psycho Dir. Mary Harron, 2000
Wealthy investment banker Partick Bateman, played by Christian Bale, lives a double life in New York, hiding his psychopathic alter ago from his coworkers by day and living out his murderous fantasies by night. Watch his veneer begin to crack in this famous scene from the movie…
3. Dr Strangelove Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964
Ken Adams, the mastermind behind some of the most iconic sets in the film industry, sadly passed away last year. One of his earliest deisgns was the war room in Kubrick’s first feature film Dr Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Bomb, a dark political satire about the nuclear conflict between the US and Soviet Union during the Cold War.
4. The Wolf of Wall Street Dir. Martin Scorsese, 2013
Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, The Wolf of Wall Street focuses on the outrageously hedonistic life of a stockbroker in NYC; the themes explored along the way include the American dream, capitalism, greed and addiction.
Listen to Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, motivate his troops on the sales floor.
5. 9 to 5 Dir. Colin Higgins, 1980
Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, the cult comedy classic 9 to 5 watches three female employees play out their fantasies of avenging their ‘sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical’ boss. The release of the film incidentally coincided with sexual harassment being recognised as a crime in the US.
“If you ever say another word about me or make another indecent proposal, I’m gonna get that gun of mine, and I’m gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot! And don’t think I can’t do it.” – Doralee (played by Dolly)
6. Anchorman Dir. Adam McKay, 2004
It’s the 1970s in San Diego and unrelenting buffoon Ron Burgundy is the city’s most famous – or infamous – news anchor. That all changes when an ambitious female reporter enters the newsroom, unsettling the balance and challenging the partiarchy.
Cue lots of in-fighting and silly lines.
7. Glengarry Glen Ross Dir. James Foley, 1992
This Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning adaptation examines life on the floor of a real estate sales company. The employees become desperate when a consultant is brought in to ‘motivate’ them, warning that by the end of the week, only two of them will remain.
Alec Baldwin playing Blake, who delivers a cutting monologue to the team.
8. The Crowd Dir. King Vidor, John V. A. Weaver, 1928
This award-winning silent film was one of the first to explore the trails, tribulations and often impersonal approach of the corporate world.
9. Network Dir. Sidney Lumet, 1976
In this critically-acclaimed satire, veteran anchorman Howard Beale find out that he’s being ‘let go’ by his more youthful superiors. He accidentally ends up boosting the channels rating by launching into an angry televised rant – oops.
10. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Dir. David Swift, 1967
In this musical comedy classic, an ambitious young window cleaner gets his hands on a copy of How to Succeed in Business. Following its (ethically questionable) advice to the T, he starts in the mailroom of a company and quickly rises through the ranks and parties like it’s 1967.