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Sep 05th, 2022
Sep 05th, 2022
At one time or another, most of us have stood in the shadow of a tremble-inducing ‘horrible boss’. We all know the type, right? The snake in a suit who strikes a venomous sense of fear into the hearts of those they employ.
This collective experience has been popularised over the years in the movies, the boss from hell projected in many guises onto the big screen.
Here’s our top 5 movie bosses you wouldn’t want to work for:
Under employment law, Darth Vader’s outrageously evil acts wouldn’t go unchecked by the authorities. This, however, is intergalactic law. So it is that throughout the original Star Wars trilogy Vader is portrayed as an impatiently ruthless boss.
His black-clad cyborg ensemble is Dickensian-like in its near preternatural representation of evil. Most employers dish out warnings in the event of a mistake. Not Vader. This guy uses the Force as a means of cutting off his employees’ air supply.
In the words of Darth Vader: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
Capitalism gone wrong takes centre stage in Glengarry Glenn Ross. Walking the boards are two uber-evil bosses: Kevin Spacey’s Williamson and Alec Baldwin’s Blake. Whilst Blake really only appears in one scene, for us he wins the mantle of horrible boss.
Like an elite crack commando, Blake is parachuted into the office to motivate four real estate salesmen. Think of a steroid-enhanced Anthony Robbins and you’ll get somewhere close to Blake. How does he “motivate” the team? Through one of the most foul-mouthed, insult-laden monologues in the history of cinema.
Did it work? Watch the movie.
In the words of Blake: “We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”
Before 50 Shades of Grey there was Secretary. This is an interesting one as, depending on your personal preferences, Mr Grey – yes, the original – is a movie boss you might or might not want to work for.
Mr Grey, a demanding lawyer, employs a young woman, recently released from a mental hospital. Their relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one which explores the interplay of power and dominance in professional and personal relationships.
In the words of Mr Grey: “It’s your behaviour… it’s very bad.”
The Ice Queen is incarnate in Meryl Streep’s cohabitation of the character, Miranda Priestly.
A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.
Her cold, cruel and clinical put downs coalesce in a frosty aura which surrounds the character. She’s so uncool, we really wouldn’t want to work for Priestly.
In the words of Miranda Priestly: “Do you know why I hired you? I always hire the same girl- stylish, slender, of course… worships the magazine. But so often, they turn out to be- I don’t know- disappointing and, um… stupid. So you, with that impressive résumé and the big speech about your so-called work ethic- I, um- I thought you would be different. I said to myself, go ahead. Take a chance. Hire the smart, fat girl. I had hope. My God. I live on it. Anyway, you ended up disappointing me more than, um- more than any of the other silly girls.”
The Marxist nightmare is embodied in Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko. We find the stockbroker in early 1980s New York where capitalism gone mad was called entrepreneurialism.
Slicked-back hair, pin striped suits and oversized office chair in an equally oversized office tells us that this guy means business. “Greed is good,” bellows the cigar-smoking Gekko to his latest acquisition, the young and impressionable Bud Fox.
Fox, now under the wing of Gekko, finds himself swept into a world of “yuppies”, shady business deals, the “good life”, fast money, and fast women.
Gekko will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
In the words of Gordon Gekko: “Fox, where the hell are you? I am losing MILLIONS! You got me into this airline and you sure as hell better get me out or the only job you’ll ever have on the Street is SWEEPING IT! You hear me, Fox?”
Do you agree with our list? Can you name and shame any others worthy of the horrible boss moniker? Any experiences you want to share?