Employer Branding

The 10 Worst Bosses of the Silver Screen

Think your boss is bad? Well think yourself lucky one of these aren’t your employer!

I’ve taken a look at some of the worst on screen bosses to date and trust me there are some rotten individuals amongst them. Luckily most of them are just fictional characters (give or take a couple), so hopefully no one has to work for anyone quite this bad, however I fear inspiration must have been sought somewhere!

Bosses take note, this is a guide for how not to behave. After all, they usually get their comeuppance in the end!

10) John Ammer – Click

John Ammer, played by David Hasselhoff is possibly one of the most obnoxious on screen bosses around. He gets his loyal employee, Michael Newman (Adam Sandler), running circles around him like his own personal slave, strings him along for years in hope of a promotion and then gives the job to someone else. It’s ok though, with the help of his magic time stopping remote control, Michael gets to let one rip right in his bosses face without him even knowing.

9) Bobby Pellit – Horrible Bosses

Ok, it kind of goes without saying that all of the bosses in this film are pretty bad, hense the title. But Bobby Pellit, played by Colin Farrell as you’ve never seen him before, is in another league.This cocaine addicted sleaze bag takes over the running of his father’s chemical company after his sudden death and the future of the company is threatened as he reveals his incompetence and utter apathy towards the business. He is in fact, such a bad boss that he soon becomes to target of a murder plot amongst a group of friends.

8) Margaret Tate – The Proposal

Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) is a quiet and hardworking assistant to his boss Margaret Tate (played by Sandra Bullock) and how does she repay him? She threatens to fire him if he doesn’t marry her, that’s how. Talk about taking work home with you!  After discovering that she faces deportation back to Canada after violating the terms of her working visa, so she decides she will resolve the issue in any way possible, even if it means pressuring her employee to commit fraud.

7) Montgomery Burns – The Simpsons

There’s only one thing on the mind of the unscrupulous power plant owner, Montgomery Burns’ mind and that’s money. This usually comes at the expense of other people, particularly his assistant Smithers, who is remarkably loyal and hardworking, considering the fact that Mr. Burns uses him merely as a pawn in his evil scheme. Burns’ is well know for his iconic catchphrase of “excellent’ in his trademark sinister tone, generally used as one of his corrupt plans comes together.

6) Jordan Belfort – The Wolf of Wall Street:

It’s hard to believe this character is based on a real person, as Leonaro Dicaprio portrays Jordan Belfort, the poster boy for Wall Street corruption at its worst. On the surface Jordan appears to be the best boss imaginable. He’s friends with his employees, holds great parties and promises a lifetime of wealth, though beneath that facade he was leading a trail of destruction. Through drug addiction and corruption, he ruined the lives of all of those around him. When it looked like he had got away with all that he was going to, he refused to face the consequences for his actions and had no qualms about turning his employees in to the police in return for his freedom.

Related: What Can Recruiters Learn from the Wolf of Wall Street?

5) Katharine Parker – Working Girl

Katharine Parker, played by Sigourney Weaver, plays the role of the two-faced career dragon on a power trip. Her employee Melanie Griffith who wants nothing more than to be appreciated for her good ideas plays straight into Weaver’s hand, by falling for her friend act and has all of her ideas stolen and taken credit for. Melanie soon gets her comeuppance, when Weaver is unexpectedly tied up with a broken ankle.

4) Gordon Gekko – Wall Street

Gordon Gekko‘s famous line “greed is good” pretty much sums up his character. He plays a self-centred, narcissistic stock broker with the soul concern of making money and no interest in doing anything that will help anyone other than himself. This means that he has no shame in corrupting his young protege Bud Fox and manipulating him to his own advantage. Rumours suggest that Gekko was actually modelled on several real life stockbrokers, I pity anyone who worked under them!

Related: Job Hunting, Wall Street Style.

3) Michael Corleone – The Godfather

As head of the mafia, Michael Corelone, played by Al Pacino, wasn’t exactly going to be the most straight-laced of bosses, however, being a family business you’d expect a bit better from him. Failing to live up to his standards won’t only get you a few insults thrown your way, in fact, you’d be lucky to walk away alive. Michael’s brother wasn’t so lucky, as he ordered to have him killed after becoming fed up with his incompetence.

2) Buddy Ackerman – Swimming with Sharks

Kevin Spacey stars as Buddy Ackerman, an over the top caricature of the boss from hell. His personal assistant has to endure insults screamed at him about his incompetency and mediocrity, leaving him in constant trepidation. Publicly humiliating employees is his favourite hobby and one of Ackerman’s most brutal comments was “You’re nothing! If you were in my toilet, I wouldn’t bother flushing it.”

1) Miranda Priestly – The Devil Wears Prada

Based on the real-life editor of Vogue, Meryl Streep plays the demanding and impossible to please Miranda Priestly, who just so happens to be the Editor-in-Chief of  the world’s front-running fashion magazine, Runway Magazine. She depicts the epitome of a nightmare boss, as she barks orders for her assistants to run personal errands for her and spits insults at employees in a soft but spiteful tone. When Andie, played by Anne Hathaway, starts work at Runway, you could be mistaken for thinking that Miranda’s soul aim in life was to make Andie’s life a living, as she has to endure endless criticism and abuse about her weight. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, as Miranda begins to show her human side at the end of the film and Andie manages to leave Runway with her bosses respect.

Who do you think is the worst boss of the silver screen? Please let us know in the comments below!

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