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Top Ten Memorable 'Movie Bosses'

Jason Coleman Jason Coleman
July 6th, 2011 12:00pm EDT

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With so many clichéd, typical and tedious ones running rampant, what then makes a really memorable movie boss?  Could it be the stern voice, an authoritative command or maybe even that unbridled rage that goes along with the pressure of a high-ranking position?  Well, in anticipation of the upcoming boss-from-hell dark comedy "Horrible Bosses" (in theaters July 8 from Warner Bros.) we’re going to take a look at some of the best movie bosses the cinema has to offer.  Ranging from goofy to bitter and eccentric to sadomasochistic, we are proud to present our...Top Ten Memorable 'Movie Bosses'!

 

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10. Eric Lassard  – "Police Academy 1-7"

Daft, silly and just a truly good-natured simpleton, Commandant Lassard is not the most idea candidate for a man-in-power position, but a nicer fellow you couldn’t find.  Overlooking his cadets faults and hijinks (a little speech distraction from the podium anyone?!) with a wink, smile and some good old fashioned fish feeding, Lassard is the kind of hands off higher up we all wish we had.  He’s someone who thankfully recognizes hard work – and promotes those who avoid it accordingly.

 

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9. Gravis Mushnick – "The Little Shop of Horrors"

The rolling accent, persistent sarcasm and sudden fits of screaming rage mixed with occasional customer ass kissing – welcome to Mushnick’s skid row flower shop.  The proprietor is one Gravis 'watching the till' Mushnick, who sports a Turkish Jewish accent and knack for being smug with both his employees ("Shut up from the back!") and his customers ("I should give you a cut rate…to my throat I will be giving a cut!") alike.  And like a good boss should, he isn't afraid to protect the bottom line – even if that means feeding a little human robber meat to an eager and hungry monster plant.

 

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8. Bernie Lomax – "Weekend at Bernie’s 1&2"

Bernie Lomax is the only boss on this list that gets cooler and more popular after he dies.  Going from a living thieving Wall Street stiff to a deceased life of the party beach bum (though no less stiff!), Bernie dons sunglasses, a killer smirk and new relaxed guy demeanor to become a new boss that’s truly...pardon the pun...to die for.  (And he’ll even let you bury him!)

 

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7. E. Edward Grey - "Secretary"

A secretary is expected to perform certain basic functions like fetching coffee, answering phones and possibly some dictation.  But if you’re lucky enough to have E. Edward Grey as a boss, there might also be some light S&M, bondage and a hint of sexual discipline.  (Do you get time and a half for that?!)  Grey is a man who can smell the submission of others and uses it in every facet of his work and personal life to become a success.  Twisted for some, loving to others, at least employees are guaranteed one unique Christmas bonus.

 

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6. Douglas Todd – "Beverly Hills Cop 1-3"

In a sea of cinematic heavy-handed cop boss types, it is the fierce and foul mouthed Inspector Todd, the superior to lazy policeman Axel Foley, that floats to the top.  A true man’s man who shoots from the hip ("I didn't just walk into this town from the cotton fields!") and doesn't take sh*t ("If I don't get some results by then I’m gonna grind your ass into dog meat!"), Todd is the epitome of the hard ass police captain who keeps the pleasantries at a low and chew outs at a high.  (aka a REAL boss folks!)

 

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5. Gordon Gekko – "Wall Street"

Want a boss who will help you make money for doing nothing?  Look no further than Gordon 'sell his momma for a profit' Gekko as your personal leader and mentor.  He teaches that greed is good, being decent is bad and what’s worth doing is worth doing for a lot of money.  Passionate, persistent and void of human emotion, Gekko proudly holds up a mirror to a society that made him – and he even charges them for the privilege. 

 

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4. Buddy Ackerman – "Swimming With Sharks"

In a business where punching people below the belt is not only the norm but rewarded, movie mogul Buddy 'Sweet-N-Low' Ackerman is truly a pioneer.  From his uncomplicated ways of dealing with everyday problems ("Shut up, listen and learn!") to his insight into hiring female directors ("Avoid women directors.  They ovulate.  Do you have any idea what that does to a three month shoot?"), Buddy embodies the culture of upper crust Hollywood folks with a strong sense of entitlement.  (No wonder most big movies today suck!)   

 

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3. Blake - "Glengarry Glen Ross"

No time for coffee, folks who don’t close and those without the 'brass balls' to sell real estate, BMW driving Blake is the last person you will see when the "you’re fired" door hits you in the ass on the way out.  Caustic ("The leads are weak?  You’re weak!"), direct ("The good news is...you’re fired!") and ever so condescending ("They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money.  Are you gonna take it?  Are you man enough to take it?"), Blake prides himself on kicking ass, taking names and beating down the weak who take up his expensive air space.  Ahh, living the American dream. 

 

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2. Bill Lumbergh – "Office Space"

"Ummm.  Yeah."  Bill 'Hawaiian Shirt Day' Lumbergh is great not just because of the smarmy attitude, bad suspenders, ever-present coffee mug, perfect hair helmet and over-sized glasses, but more specifically due to the fact that he’s a boss who gleefully never listens.  Taking all Swingline red stapler requests, TPS report cover sheet fixes and not working on weekend chats with a very large grain of salt, Lumbergh is a boss who cleverly pretends to hear but in actual fact only lives to speak.  It’s classic boss behavior from a guy who loves to hear the sound of his own voice.  (And frankly so do we!)   

 

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1. Kenny Rushton – "Private Parts"

Kenny is the master of the bait and switch, meaning he lures you in with his charismatic yet slightly condescending southern swagger and then breaks you down like a wild mustang in need of taming.  Earning the nickname of 'Pig Vomit' because he "looks like a pig and makes you want to vomit," Kenny is the product of producing old school entertainment when things were more wholesome and family friendly and his approach is equally as civilized.  (If calling someone the "anti-Christ" is a good will towards men kind of thing that is!)  Decisions that include proper reading of the call letters, approval of all scripts and duration of bits all fall to this boss who isn't afraid to assert his supposed authority - his first, biggest and last mistake.

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Photo Credits: Photos Courtesy of Warner Bros.