Synopsis: An emotionally fragile woman recently released from a mental hospital for self mutilation goes to school to gain secretarial skills to gain employment. She has an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother who are clueless as to who she really is which a tormented soul who really wants to find something with which she can find success. She is a great secretary and finds a job with a unique, old fashioned, but off center in charge boss with a somewhat sadistic sexual proclivity. She grows and evolves and so does he.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Steven Shainberg
Production: Lions Gate
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 25 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

I got out of the institution on

the day of my sister's wedding.

I'd started to get used

to the place...

breakfast at 8:
00, classes at 2:00,

therapy at 4:
00 and asleep by 10:00.

You can call me anytime, Lee.

I will always try

and be of heIp to you.

Inside, life was simple.

Thank you, Dr. Twardon.

For that reason,

I was reluctant to go.

Bon voyage.

Come on kiss her, kiss her.

Give her a big wet kiss...

Save some for the honeymoon.

Hi, Peter.

Peter, yeah, who you

almost successfully forgot.

No, I did not.

Are you happy to be home?

I mean, are you happy

to be home?

How did you know?

I know what you mean.

Here's a little something

for the lovebirds.

You Iook so beautiful.

Thanks, Dad.

I thought you stopped.

Do you know how much

we missed you, pumpkin?

I missed you too.

You know what?

I don't feel so good.

Let's go sit down.

You want to talk to me

like a chiId.

I'm not a child!

Think I don't know what I'm doing?

You act like a child!

You don't act like a man.

You've been fired!

Well, I'm glad I'm fired.

I'm glad I'm fired.

Boy, I hated that job.

I don't care that you hated it.

You're drunk!

I'm not drunk. Why do you...

why do you... I'm not drunk!

Why do you always say that?

Get off my f***ing back!

Watch this.

Watch this, huh?

Avoid the temptation

of placing your fingers

on the home keys by sight.

Strike each key so that your

fingers bounce with each stroke.

Do not strike without thinking.

Do not even attempt to steaI

a gIance at your paper.

'My flowers had just about

given up in despair,

so with the exception of a few

potted pIants from the florist,

we're flowerIess

for the first spring in years.'

And... time.

I'm so proud of you, honey...

being out in the world like this.

When my accident happened

we were in the kitchen

and my back was to her.

Upstairs, my dad was just leaving

for work at Havis Department Store.

Because there was

a limited amount of time

that my mom's

back was turned...


- I slipped and cut too deep.

I'm not sure how

I could have misjudged.

I've been doing it

since 7th grade.

Just a precaution.

'Be a leader.'

I have never

had a job before.

But I can assure you

that I am very excited

about this opportunity.

Thank you.

Oh... well...

I don't have any references yet.

But I think that

the Municipal Tax Office

would be a wonderful place...

to begin...

my career.


Hello, I...

Wait. I...



In here.



Are you the lawyer?


I'm sorry, I'll come back later.

- No.

No, stay.

It said, 'secretary.'

That's right.

Are you pregnant?


Do you plan on getting pregnant?


Are you living in an apartment?

- A house.


- With my parents.


My sister is going

to live in the backyard,

with her husband,

in the pool house.

Are you married?


Have you ever won an award?


- What did you win the award in?


Are those your scores?




Could you get me

a cup of coffee with sugar?

Do you really

want to be a secretary, Lee?

Yes, I do.

You scored higher than anyone

I've ever interviewed.

You're really

overqualified for the job.

You'd be bored to death.

- I want to be bored.

I have a part-time paralegal.

All I need is a typist,

who can get to work on time...

and answer the phone.

- I can do that.

We only use typewriters here,

not computers.

That's fine.

- It's very dull work.

I like dull work.

There's something about you.


you're... closed tight.


I know.

Do you ever loosen up?

I don't know.

I'm not here.

Less sugar in the coffee.

How did it go?

I got it.

I knew you could do it!


'Hello. You have reached the office

of Mr. E. Edward Grey.

Please leave your message

and the time you called

along with your phone number

and the best time to reach you...

and we...

will get back to you

as soon as possibIe.'



Type up this letter and send

four copies to O'Malley & Barrett.

Right away, sir.

That's good.

That's good.

So you're the new secretary?


Excuse me?

What exactly is a paralegal?

See ya.



and... wide.

I brought you these.

I think I accidentally threw out

my notes on the Feldman case.

Maybe you could...

- Go through the garbage?

Yes, Lee, thank you.

Why are you here?

I'm just waiting for you, honey.

But I'm here for five more hours.

I know.

Excuse me, sir?

It's okay.

I found another set.

This needs more sugar.

- Sugar?

And six copies of these.

Freshen up that trap, Lee,

and put out one more.

Mice like to go behind

the chairs too, Lee.

Just because

it's hard to reach...

does not mean we don't

take care of every possibility.

Here, give me that.

Thank you.

E. Edward Grey's office,

may I heIp you?

We're very happy with AT&T.

Thanks, though.

Is he in?

- Could you just wait one moment?

You're right,

that is a very good offer.

I'm going back now.

- Could you wait one minute, please?

Yes, I do understand that.


Excuse me?


Listen... I have no idea

if we make...

over $40 worth of long distance

calls to Chattanooga each month.

Tell him it's Tricia O'Connor.

Mr. Grey?


Mr. Grey?

Ms. Holloway.

Mr. Grey?

I'm not here.


I'm afraid he's gone.

Is that right?

E. Edward Grey's office.

Is that you honey? It's me.

- Daddy?

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Erin Cressida Wilson

Erin Cressida Wilson is an American playwright, screenwriter, professor, and author. Wilson is known for the 2002 film Secretary, which she adapted from a Mary Gaitskill short story. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Secretary" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <>.

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