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Plot:

Upon graduation from college with a business degree, John Issel is promptly hired by Helmes’s company I.N.C. At INC, the one who gets ahead, does it by kissing ass, or over someone else’s dead body. John keeps getting promotions, but cant figure out why. Actually management doesn’t care about him, they hope that having hired him, his father, Senator Issel, will vote the way they like.

Also Known As: Huvudkontoret, Контора Soviet, Executivos em Apuros, Head Office, Trelles biznes, Johtokunta, Centrala, Dinero y poder, Männer für jeden Job West, Männer für jeden Job, Главният офис, Főhivatal, Palle d'acciaio, Bronca na Certa

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  • tereza-artim
    tereza artim

    Before Dilbert and Office Space, there was this hilarious skewering of corporate insanity. The first 2/3rds of the film is outstandingly clever, but the ending is quite formulaic. Still well worth a rental, and very underrated. Rent it when you have bad day at work- you will feel alot better!

  • claire-mcintosh
    claire mcintosh

    A lot of the previous comments shocked me as to how anyone could like this, but I guess you guys have a point. Possibly if you went through something like this in life, you may find some humor or connection. But if you’re just a movie going Joe, this will rank as one of the all time worsts. The writer-director of “Airplane II” comes up painfully short in this corporate crapola about a rookie executive (Reinhold) who gets his head spun by all the chaotic antics that go on in his office. “Airplane II” was not as good as the first, but Finkleman did manage a good amount of laughs. Here, I swear to you, not one. I rarely disreguard the fast forward button, or for that matter leave a movie on when its awful, but I had to see if this actually had one laugh. So, I slogged through the ninety numbing minutes and can say…nada! Zip! Zilch! I didn’t even chuckle once. A few of Finkleman’s ideas that pass for jokes: DeVito running through hallways for the first 20(!) minutes of the movie before he (and I usually don’t spoil but I’m trying to get you to avoid this anyway) commits suicide!; Rick Moranis, who I’ve always liked, looks more like Rick Moronic as he rambles away into a phone for five minutes before dying of a heart attack; and the endless swearing by the cast that seems so forced, like Finkleman was doing anything to keep the audience awake. A tremendous cast was assembled, which makes you wonder if everyone involved was at the end of a three picture deal and needed to do this lame-o to complete it. Some have said this is a satire, or comedy AND drama, which would explain the lack of laughs. But the way things are carried out, complete with cartoon-like whistling sounds as DeVito dives of the highrise, make me believe this is just a comedy with one of the all time worst scripts. No wonder Finkleman disappeared after this atrocity. I mean, what can you say about a movie where the best performance may be the one by Don King!!

  • donna-smith
    donna smith

    When this film first came on cable in the 80’s, I was still young and it it wasn’t that funny to me.Now, some 18 years later, the first half hour of this film had me in stitches. The rest of the film though..is still pretty much uneven and dull.First of all, if you can’t identify with Big American Corporate and how those companies actually work — this film will do nothing for you from the start. If you can identify, then after the first half hour you’ll loose interest.When I first saw this film, I didn’t have a job and was just getting out of college. Now, I can identify with all the players that are introduced in that first half hour for I can say: I’ve worked at those kinds of companies.The backbiting, the moving an Executive out of an office (“I don’t give a damn how loyal to the company he is, he’s out!”), early stock sales from insider information, the “please don’t tell anyone my problem”, the two-faced over achieving women in the workplace, the jockying for parking spots, the high blood pressure head of PR/Marketing, its all here..including the “prayer breakfast meeting”(let me just say the company I was at that reflected the prayer breakfast meetings has a rodent as a Brand!). I can’t help but laugh about it now, but when you’re going through it it isn’t funny. This film takes a good insider poke at it all in this half hour. Sadly, that’s all there is in this film and it dies a fast death from there.The rest of the film after that wanders into a “slacker Senator’s son tries to make good on the environment and gets the gal” type of thing and that doesn’t work for me. For all out there who are just entering the Corporate workforce from that BA or MBA, the first half hour will give you pearls of wisdom you need to carry as you work “for the next 40 years of your life”.Favorite pearls? Here’s one that always makes me laugh:Executive: “Are you Executive material?” New Guy: “Do you mean I am on the ball? Yes.” Executive: “No, I mean, can you kiss ass?”And:Executive to New Guy: “If you want to survive, never directly make a decision.”Other than that, you might want to skip this film. So for me, the first 1/2 hour of this film is a 6 on a scale of ten, the rest a 2.

  • carina-stoica
    carina stoica

    Very underrated. ‘Airplane’ at the office.Was this really a comedy? One gets the impression many corporate types watched themselves get raked over the coals and either didn’t get it or wondered if it was a how-to flick.Yes, it was a comedy.But the corporations were getting raked too, deservedly.Issel (Reinhold) climbs and climbs the ladder. Mostly it’s because other executives commit suicide due to the stress. Or get hung out to dry as a sacrifice.The 80’s never looked so dirty. Well done!

  • yanggyeonghyi
    yanggyeonghyi

    It’s a satire about big business. Judge Reinhold is a senator’s son, hired by a mega-corporation owned by Eddy Albert. Albert’s daughter natters Reinhold, who is head of the Complaints Department, about saving the plant in Allenstown instead of moving the facility to a third-world country where labor is cheap. Yes, Albert himself may be Master Of The Universe, but his daughter is a populist.It opens with some promise. Albert and a guest are being flown around Chicago in Albert’s personal helicopter and Albert is grinning like a shark as he brags to his guest. “See that building? I own that. And I own those two towers over there. And that building there. Hell, I came here with only forty-two million dollars in my pocket and now I own the whole city.” That’s not bad and we hope for more.But — then we’re taken inside the INC corporate building and it’s a frenetic madhouse. People are being fired, promoted, informed that they only have eight months left to live, committing suicide by hanging and by jumping out of windows. They scream and sweat. They dash around protesting. They bump into people and objects like a ball in a pinball machine. And nobody pays any attention. Danny DeVito makes a brief appearance before leaping through a window and falling fifteen stories into a decorative pool. Jane Seymour has what amounts to a bit part.The remainder of the movie has some enjoyably funny embedded jokes. Reinhold and his boss, Richard Masur, are sent to Allenstown to tell the corporation’s side of the controversial story. They smoke some grass and quietly plan their pitch. Reinhold: “What’s our story?” Masur: “We have to close down the plant because we’re losing money hand over fist.” Reinhold: “But that’s not true.” Masur: “No, it’s our story.” The limousine driver, better known as Father Guido Sarducci, gets high from breathing the smoke and keeps missing the turn off for Allensville. Muted, amusing little exchanges like that crop up from time to time.Too bad they are buried in the frenzy as the director and performers try to rush the tempo and keep the viewers from taking a breath. There is such a thing as trying too hard. Want to see a movie that doesn’t take its comedy so seriously and is a success? Try “Office Space,” also about the greediness of a large corporation. Or — more subtle still — “Bartleby.” The ending involves a slapstick shoot out in a storage area and whatever was left of the movie collapses completely, worn out, exhausted, just plain worked to death.

  • oliver-foley-butcher
    oliver foley butcher

    This movie is chocked full of marxist propaganda. I found all the leaders of I.N.C. to be completely unbelievable as businessmen. Why wouldn’t they sell the factory to the people of Allanville? Hell, if they can front the money, that’s the profit motive-based decision. If this guy is as incompetent and contrary to the interests of his company, AND gets promoted, how the hell did I.N.C. ever get to where it is, rather than being destroyed by companies that hire and promote on talent? Drivel, any way you look at it.

  • bradley-hodge
    bradley hodge

    The idea of a naive young man finding himself in the cutthroat world of big business is far from an original idea for a movie. But I think it could work again as long as enough energy and originality was thrown in. Sadly, this time around it’s pretty much a complete misfire. What went wrong? Well, plenty. While Judge Reinhold has proved to be appealing and amusing in other movies, he seems out of his league here. He gives a very lifeless performance. In fact, all the performances in the movie are sorely lacking energy save for Danny De Vito and Rick Moranis – and those two actors only have cameo roles! The lack of vitality by the cast is probably due to writer/director Ken Finkleman. His direction is dull and lifeless, with a cold heart feeling to every scene. And his screenplay is full of obvious and unfunny attempts at humor, and also has the problem that there’s hardly anything in the way of a plot to be found. It’s no wonder this movie didn’t do well in theaters and has been pretty much forgotten more than 25 years later.

  • mamontova-regina-stepanovna
    mamontova regina stepanovna

    Head Office is the only film I know that truly deserves mention when discussing both the best and the worst of comedies. It contains a first half hour that is classic, a perfect combination of intelligent bite and ridiculous slapstick. The jokes barely leave you time to recover before the next one hits.The amazing comic quality of Jack’s first day at the office can only be topped by the movie’s amazing fall into an unwatchable steaming heap. It may be the most amazing plunge ever taken by a movie.For that reason it is a must see. Rent it. Get something to snack on from the fridge during the gratuitous-sex-joke opening. Make sure you’re back for the graduation sequence and that you have a stable place to set your drink and enjoy the laughs. When Jane Seymour’s character gives her speech, a momentary soul search in her new office, you have a decision to make. You can turn it off, which is my suggestion, or watch a Hollywood story plunge some great comic writing off a cliff.

  • vanessa-berry
    vanessa berry

    This is an unfairly forgotten dark comedy/satire classic that spoofs the yuppie/corporate world perfectly. It holds up just as well for today’s world as it did then and if anything it was ahead of its time when it came out and sank into obscurity. You can see the genesis of Ken Finklemen’s future projects here and it’s all wrapped up in a nice 80’s package. Maybe the ending is a little too over the top, but it’s not enough to ruin a great movie with lots of great scenes.

  • anna-torres
    anna torres

    Before “Office Space”, there was “Head Office”Judge Reinhold is a weak leading man in this wicked attack on corporations. That leaves an ensemble of crooked corporate cronies to fill in the gaps. Many familiar stars from the 80s will pop on the screen, like Rick Moranis and Danny Devito. With SNL alums Brian Doyle-Murray, Michael O’Donoghue, and Don Novello. Filling out the cast is Eddie Albert, an angry CEO that could have been Leslie Nielson. Then there is Jane Seymour, who is always seen in her lingerie as she meticulously sleeps her way to the top. Perhaps Seymour saw a chance to show her comedic side, but her character is a one joke cliche that has no other dimension to it. Too bad, her presence on the screen is a welcome sight. The female lead is an unknown Lori-Nan Englar who had no career to speak of other than this. Reinhold is complacent son of a rich senator that waltzes his way into a large corporation, with all players well aware of the political favouritism going on. Englar heads a group protesting the corporation closing down a factory that will put thousands out of work. This movie, which came out in 1985, was adroitly following the news of the times as car and steel factories, amongst other manufacturing jobs, were going overseas for cheaper labour (and higher profits). Eddie Albert as a CEO is a hoot (“Can you believe I came into this town with only 43 million dollars?”) that lambasts a company like General Electric, that makes both nuclear weapons and your microwave oven. The CEO is petty enough to individually review each delinquent phone account. “Disconnect!” he declares when hearing that the payment is 3 months overdue. The reason I enjoyed this film when it first came out, was a scene where another easygoing co-employee (TV favourite Richard Masur) shares a spleef with Reinhold right before he is supposed to make a statement to the public about the factory shutdown. Stoned, Reinhold blurts out the truth about making profits and shocks everyone. But the film really succeeds by adding funny tidbits that happen with the other corporate shills that keep you grinning. A few unsurprising twists happen to keep the ending lively, but you really walk away with the image of Don King (and his hair) sitting in a boardroom surrounded by mild-mannered looking businessmen. Watching it again decades later, the film reeks of 80s music (featuring General Public) and fashion. But the humour carries well, as it timelessly portrays the inevitable corruption of large corporations.

  • filippov-emmanuil-valerianovich
    filippov emmanuil valerianovich

    This movie takes about the same cynically detached view of corporate America as Blake Edward’s “S.0.B.” took toward the movie industry. The thing about this movie that bears attention is that, even if it is “just” an 80s farce starring a lot of actors who haven’t done much lately, the issues it raises, primarily the off-shoring of American jobs, are even more relevant today than they were then.The cast, as a whole, is first rate. Judge Reinhold is the recent business school graduate courted by the massive INC Corporation for his Senator father’s favors. As a result, he manages to get promoted repeatedly no matter how badly he screws up. He winds up doing the right thing just to stay alive. This is one of those movies that offers me moments when I can’t catch my breath from laughing. I have seen it a number of times and the Rick Moranas conversation with his Mercedes dealer almost kills me every time. It has a number of very subtle corporate digs that will make you laugh till you cry if you catch them as they whiz by.Overall rating: 7 out of 10.

  • lucas-noel-gomez
    lucas noel gomez

    In all honesty, I don’t really know how to take Head Office. It’s an intriguing and offbeat comedy. Ambitious too. It raises a few laughs, a lot which are clever, the moments with a much over stressed company exec, Rick Moranis are the funniest, where sadly his role is cut short in this, not the only one the Lord takes on this day, at the crazy and highly corrupt company. Graduating from college, and going straight to work here, as a financier, and quickly making his way up the ladder, by virtually not doing anything, where underhand motives are at play here, prize possession, newbie, Reinhold, learns from various employees, what this business is really about, where he finally goes up against the big guns, as falling heavily, for this female beauty/activist, who too is demonstrating what this business is really about. Featuring a lot of comedy stars in surprisingly good performances, another stressed sort Devito, the second fatality, is another one, who’s time is cut short in this. Reinhold who was slowly making a name for himself, at this time, in a string of movies, has a great likable and winning charisma, here, though many performances are better here, and Head Office, is a film to see once, out of curiosity It is quite smart, but if it’s aiming to be a successful comedy, that’s it’s failing, as there’s more movie instead. Don Dovello is a hoot as a chauffeur driver for the company. His scenes are gold. Him and Moranis, are the only real funny ones in it, but a few other stars have their moments. And what is Jane Seymour’s role in this, really. To sex it up? That she does, in pink lingerie. Eddie Albert as the top corrupt gun here, sadly too is around a little at the start, then at the end. Head Office is sadly (I know I use that word a lot) another comedy attempt, that didn’t come off like it hoped to. But it’s well worth watching, for it’s stars. Good soundtrack.

  • essaa-hegdde
    essaa hegdde

    THIS MOVIE IS HILARIOUS!!! Eddie Albert puts in a genius performance as a corporate tycoon- head of INC. the company that he built with these “balls of steel.” From his ordering the sale of High-Tech fighters to primitive warring tribes (so they can be rolled downhill at one another LOL) to reviewing individual overdue phone bills (D-I-S-C-O-N- N-E-C-T) Albert’s portrayal is awesome. The cameos in this film are numerous and hilarious- from Don King, to BrianDoyle Murray, to Danny DeVito- all are great. Ron Frazier as Bob Nixon is incredible, and Wallace Shawn is unforgettable as well. This is, IMHO, Richard Masur’s best work as well. There are a lot of great gags and this remains one of my favorite comedies.I’ve read the other reviews here- and I don’t get it. Maybe others just didn’t go for this brand of comedy, but I think it’s terrific fun. Also, I think the original title of this film was “INC.”

  • anyeeun
    anyeeun

    The first half hour of this movie is filled with great comic moments and some exceptional cameos (a la Rick Moranis, Danny DeVito). Head Office is a great comment on American industry’s glut and self-absorption as well as the bureaucracy inherent in all levels of business. Office Space did for the ’90s what Head Office did for the ’80s.Rick Moranis’ cameo is his funniest work ever. Jane Seymour was born to play this role. The boardroom commentary and situations are so funny, yet also leave you with that awkward feeling which so often accompanies gatherings of that type. Without putting spoilers in I can’t prove the case, so just rent it. Better yet, buy it and pass it around.

  • lorenzo-zeemans
    lorenzo zeemans

    I was sitting around the other day looking for a movie and found this one. Having nothing better to do, I watched it without any hopes of great comedy entertainment. I was wrong. I laughed all the way through. Why? Because it so much resembled the Fortune 500 Company I used to work for! Kids if you’re smart you’ll avoid big business. Its wasteful, evil and the way practiced, brings out the worst in human nature. Watch this movie, for in its satirical way it shows everything wrong with American business practices in big corporate America. When the executives were lunching and actually gave some credence to the flippant remark that Issel made “why not just kill him”, it struck home with me, because I believe that at least some corporate executives would not stop at murder to accomplish an end–usually a personal one and not even one to further their companies. To me this satire works oh too well!

  • hannah-larsen-williamson
    hannah larsen williamson

    This movie is not very well known, but it’s a gem. If you have worked in a large corporate environment, you are sure to see something here you recognize. This is sort of a pre-technology age Dilbert (because of the whole office world thing). It is the story of a young man ,Jack, just out of Business School. His father is a senator and the Corporation (INC is their name) is trying to get government backing for work they are doing in South America. They hire Jack as a way to control the senator. Jack goes up the corporate ladder quickly and he watches others fall, yet he does nothing to deserve his advancement. A lot of funny stuff about corporate politics. Great people in this little movie.

  • eirene-drosou
    eirene drosou

    John Issel (Judge Reinhold) gets handballed a cushy job straight out of business school, and gets all up on his moral high ground in a frankly preposterous company. There is a love interest and a bunch of characters (EVEN DON KING) and some banging 80s music. Also there is a bizarre interest in ball bearings, a curious theme that spreads through a number of money films I’ve noticed.Rick Moranis and Danny DeVito are DEAD funny in Head Office. The neighbours heard me laughing.Man Rick Moranis is funny as hell in this, Space Balls funny. And considering there is no more Rick Moranis going around now you might want to get on this one.***Spoiler Alert***However both Moranis and Devito die in the first 15 minutes of the film, literally killed off, and it’s mostly awful after this (mostly). I mean you can keep watching, but instead just watch walking dead or a MASH rerun or something. Did HBO just offer them some lovely contract, you know; be stars, act like crazy, get paid, we can just fumble through finishing the rest of this film while you go back to making real films?

  • pan-adrian-wiszowata
    pan adrian wiszowata

    Why hasn’t anyone given this a 10 ? Well, agreed that the beginning is the best, but I don’t think the movie falls off that much. I agree that this movie predates the office space mentality that has made it so popular. This is a closet classic. The scene w/ Rick Moranis is probably the funnier than any one scene in spaceballs. Doesn’t that count for anything ? The boardroom meeting is great, the promoting of a politician’s son in order to get his favor is something that does happen all the time. This movie does make a mockery of some of corporate America, but its funny – so what’s wrong with that? Unlike the previous gentleman’s comments, there is nothing communist about this movie. So Watch it. “Black shoes only in this company, Mister”

  • rene-madera-resendez
    rene madera resendez

    I have read the other comments here and I do understand everyone has their point of view. I agree that if you have never worked for a huge corporation (where employees are numbers not faces)then this movie will probably seem like nothing more than a stooges flick with big name cameos. I as a rental when I was working for Raytheon as a secretary and I can officially say that this movie is hysterical. It starts out fast in the opening with DeVito and then later on with poor Reinhold in the complaints department… if you have ever worked for PR or Customer support this will hit home in extremes! I love it and have looked for the video for years when it seemed to disappear off the face of the Video world (unless you bought it from a used video store’s antique collection). I still hope it will eventually be released to DVD but until then I will be content with my video and hope to not wear it out. 🙂

  • april-johnson
    april johnson

    A very odd movie, this.By no means a great, or more than mildly entertaining, movie In other words a Judd H. trademark flick. HOWEVER, many of the scenes have haunted me since first seeing it upon its debut, never to see it again since.Certain scenes and lines are incredible funny, or perverse: especially Eddie Albert’s president. The board meetings are all incredible funny. Albert’s reaction at a board meeting to a anti-government bombing of “Mr. Chicken” franchises results in a speech that is completely absurd, and yet it differs very little from the speeches given by real business leaders and politicians who link what is now called “globalization” with the exercise of human rights.Devito IS also good, but in a side story. And Don King spouts wonderful nonsense, ignored by everyone, in a cameo made during the brief period he, and his hairstyle, were seen as charmingly wacky. It is worth seeing, should you run across it and do not expect too much.

  • dr-i-szabo-erzsebet
    dr i szabo erzsebet

    This movie, like many in the 1980’s suffers from studio slandering. The movie is brilliantly funny for the first half. An original satire on the wall street world. The second half and climax suffers from weak plotting and a silly shoot-out. Like most eighties movies. I still don’t understand why they thought every comedy ought to have had one. Definitely watch this movie though. You will laugh alot.

  • marko-leis
    marko leis

    I agree with most of the previous reviews, but I’d like to emphasize that not only is the first half of this movie great, its as funny and ahead of its time as it gets. An absolute classic and contains some of its actors’ best work. Rick Moranis is one of the comic geniuses of his generation and his brief scenes are worth the entire experience alone. I’ve quoted his big line in appropriate situations (unfortunately to no appreciation / recognition) more than any other movie joke. This is the only feature film where he’s as funny as in his best moments from SCTV and SNL. Eddie Albert’s very first scene and punch line is one of the greatest satirical jokes ever written of this genre. Michael O’Donoghue’s deadpan performance is chillingly convincing, etc, etc. Yes, there is the obligatory Judge Rhienhold “voice of sanity” character who’s storyline gradually sinks the movie into formulaic banality (and I subtract just one point for that), but the first half of this thing is an absolute must-see for any satirical comedy fan. I’ll go further – this movie, at its best, is the most underrated American comedy ever. Period.

  • marko-klemencic
    marko klemencic

    Always liked this movie for some of the hilarious stuff it contained with the sharp, biting satire about corporate life and the treachery and ultra selfishness that world embraces and encourages by its very nature. Fun to see Rick Moranis in this after his SCTV years and I enjoy the typically deadpan Judge Reinhold comedy style in this movie. LMAO at some scenes in this movie when it first came out but I think the humor today is harder to enjoy by the current batch of folks who never experienced the ’80s as teens or adults. Thus, the comedy might be somewhat dated by today’s standards, but I still enjoy this movie even now. Overall, I still think this movie is better than most reviews that give it a paltry 3-4 stars out of 10. IMHO it deserves an 8…

  • taylor-mullen
    taylor mullen

    As the other reviewer says, this is definitely a gem of a movie! If you work in a 15000+ employee corporation, you will see what we mean.Danny De Vito is excellent as a manager who has been forced to jump to his early fall from an office window; Don Novello as the car driver with a taste for Julio Iglessias; Judge Rheinhold playing Jack Issel is great as the son of a congressman; Rick Moranis as a PR head is also great especially with the delivery of the line “I love this business” as he is checking his blood pressure; as is Jane Seymour, offering the line, after making love to a colleague: ‘I wouldn’t be much if a screwed my way to the bottom.”Great movie all round. I specially liked the line “we make everything from toilet paper to nuclear power plants.”You will certainly enjoy this one!

  • prof-britta-rasmussen
    prof britta rasmussen

    About 20 years ago I ran into Eddie Albert at “Disneyworld”, and asked him about one of the greatest “black comedies” of all time, “Head Office”. What I wanted to know was, with a great cast, and a terrific script, how come the film sank into obscurity? His answer was that the studio thought it hit a little too close to home, lampooning big business. What makes “Head Office” so special is that the lack of communication between top executives and the people who are actually on the firing line, is all true. “Never make a decision, just approve other peoples decisions” I love this movie, and if you enjoy “dark comedy” this is one of the best. – MERK