Labor Day Music Break: 80s Workplace Movies

Happy Labor Day my fellow American & Canadian friends!

Hope you are enjoying your day off, but if you somehow have to work today, well hats off to you and I hope you are well-compensated for it! 😀 In honor of labor day, I thought I’d post a couple of soundtracks from two workplace movies from the 80s. I’m sure there are a whole bunch of 80s/90s workplace movie out there, but I just picked these two movies as the soundtrack are quite memorable.

Working Girl (1988)

Just a year after Gordon Gekko professed that ‘greed is good‘ in 1987’s Oliver Stone’s film, comes Mike Nichol’s comedy/drama on what it takes for an ambitious woman to get ahead in a man’s world in Manhattan. If you could get past the 80s fashion of big shoulder pads and big bouffant — not to mention Melanie Griffith’s little girl voice — the movie is really quite enjoyable. It’s a Cinderella story set in Wall Street, with a boss from hell (scenery-chewing Sigourney Weaver) as her wicked stepmother and a handsome radio executive Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford) as her dashing prince.

One of the most memorable part of this movie is the rousing anthem from Carly Simon, Let The River Run. The song, which was also written by Simon, won an Oscar for Best Original Song. I always think of the Staten Island ferry with the Manhattan skyline every time this music is played.

I also like the instrumental version, the beat is just so catchy. Nice touch having Carly humming the theme and the subtle choir in the background.

The Secret of My Success (1987)

I used to LOVE this movie growing up. Even a couple of years ago when I was in a hotel and the movie was playing on TV, I couldn’t help but watch it. It’s a comedy satire about a kid from a small time in Kansas who’ve always dreamed of making it big in The Big Apple. 80s ‘it boy’ Michael J. Fox is just perfect as Brantley Foster, I really can’t imagine anyone else in this role and all his antics pretending to be an executive under the name Carlton Whitfield yields a lot of laughs. But it’s Margaret Whitton as her lustful auntie Vera who steals the show, whilst doe-eyed Helen Slater is relegated to nothing more than eye candy as Brantley’s love interest.

Being a massive David Foster fan throughout high school, of course I LOVE his score, especially his Golden-Globe nominated theme Water Fountain. I used to listen to David Foster’s CDs constantly and I think this is one of my favorites. This music and the movie is just pure 80s nostalgia.


Happy Labor Day everyone! Have you seen either one of these movies?