Head Office (1985) Poster


Judge Reinhold: Jack Issel



  • Max Landsberger : Lesson No.4: the secret to survival here is never make a decision.

    Jack Issel : Never?

    Max Landsberger : Never. The minute you do, you're screwed.

  • Jack Issel : Exactly what is our side of the Allenville story?

    Max Landsberger : Were losing money hand over fist.

    Jack Issel : That's not true.

    Max Landsberger : No, but it's our side of the story. Lesson No.55: there are no truths, only stories.

  • Jack Issel : Don't you think it's strange, Max? They keep promoting me. I don't do anything!

    Max Landsberger : Hey, did you know that the Japanese are working on some kind of micro orgasm. Soon, you'll be able to have group sex on a silicon chip no bigger than my fingernail.

    Jack Issel : Max! You're not taking me seriously! This place is totally bananas! Any normal person would have quit a long time ago.

    Max Landsberger : Relax, what are you worried about? Helmes has his eye on you. You're in line for another big promotion.

    Jack Issel : Yeah, as soon as somebody drops dead, or jumps, or maybe I'm supposed to pull the trigger myself. There're really doing it up there, Max. They're rigging things up. For what?

    Max Landsberger : For money and power Jack. It's the American way. Lesson No.79: when the tough get going, the weak get screwed.

    Jack Issel : I can't play it like that.

    Max Landsberger : It's the only way to play it Jack.

    Jack Issel : What about you? You're not like the rest of them. How do you survive it?

    Max Landsberger : I just go with the flow. I flipped out years ago. I only look sane, but I'm not. The secret is you have to be crazy to maintain your sanity up here. But you're sane, Jack. That's why you're going crazy.

  • [at a bar] 

    Jack Issel : Max, I came as soon as you called. What happened?

    Max Landsberger : [refering to Rabinovich]  They fired him this morning.

    Mark Rabinovich : [drunk]  I'll kill myself! My whole life, my career, my future was at INC. I know, I'll shoot my brains out. Make it easier. No problem for anybody just... bang!

    Max Landsberger : Apparently, a letter with his card enclosed was dropped off yesterday afternoon at the office of a major Saudi oil company that we do a lot of business with. It said that INC wouldn't boycott the Israelis and that the Saudis could go screw themselves.

    Jack Issel : What?

    Max Landsberger : Well, the shiek freaked out and Dantley had to kiss a whole lot of Saudi ass to cool him off and they insisted that Rabinovich be fired.

    Jack Issel : Who the hell would have put Rabinovich's card...

    Max Landsberger : That's no longer an issue, Jack. Don't get involved with something that doesn't concern you if you want to survive here at INC.

  • Reporter #1 : You're related to Senator Issel, is that right? Am I correct?

    Sen. Issel : [watching it on the TV]  No.

    Jack Issel : Yes, I am.

    Sen. Issel : Son of a bitch!

    Jack Issel : I'm his son.

    Sen. Issel : Lying goddamn bastard!

  • Jane Caldwell : Don't fall for it, Jack.

    Jack Issel : Fall for what?

    Jane Caldwell : For the lie we keep telling ourselves. We do the dirty stuff to get the power. It'll give us all the good things we really want. Then we get the power, we can't even remember what goddamn thing what it was we wanted it for in the first place.

  • Whale protestor : [throws a large piece of meat on Jack's desk]  Do you know what this is, Mr. Issel?

    Jack Issel : Is this a trick question?

  • Pete Helmes : Okay now, what do you say Jack?

    Jack Issel : I say that you two guys, are two of the biggest assholes I've ever met.

    Scott Dantley : You're way out of line, Mister Issel!

    Pete Helmes : Jack, this is a very complicated foreign policy issue at stake here!

    Jack Issel : Don't give me this "foreign policy" stuff. I call it contemptible horse shit... sir! You just want to buy yourselves a country as if it was a stolen TV set. Then you launder hot goods and dirty dealings through something you call "foreign policy." My God. America's a democracy. We're not some international fried chicken chain!

  • Bob Nixon : We have a very *nasty* terrorist problem in San Marcos, don't we, Senator?

    Sen. Issel : Mm-hmm.

    Scott Dantley : If the army had the guns, we just might be able to stop the killing.

    Pete Helmes : It's a bitch of a problem, isn't it, Jack?

    Jack Issel : Well, actually, I've been reading that it's the *army* that's doing most of the killing.

    Bob Nixon : Ha.

    Sen. Issel : Jack, the army has been busting its ass to eliminate the murder and the torture and the human rights violations down there.

    Scott Dantley : Left-wing terrorists fire-bombed our 26th Mr. Chicken franchise just yesterday.

    Pete Helmes : The Marxists are denying the people of Latin America their right to eat Mr. Chicken. And, they're denying Mr. Chicken his human right to franchise and make a profit.

    Scott Dantley : Well, I sure as hell don't want some made-in-Moscow Mr. Cabbage Roll shoved down my throat against my will.

    Bob Nixon : Absolutely. Those peasants deserve the dignity and human right to eat Mr. Chicken when and where they please.

    Pete Helmes : And Jack, when that right is threatened in the Western Hemisphere, it becomes a national security issue for the United States of America. We're talking of the very survival of the entire concept of internationally franchised chicken, Jack! You've got work to do.

  • [Jack and Max's limo is surrounded by hundreds of angry protesters] 

    Max Landsberger : This is death! Let's get the hell out of here.

    [Jack opens the limo door and gets out] 

    Max Landsberger : Jack, what are you doing?

    Jack Issel : Max, this is a great opportunity for us! There's TV news cameras out there.

    Max Landsberger : Jack, get back in the car. Get back in the car!

    [Jack walks off into the crowd] 

    Max Landsberger : [to Sal]  Sal, I'm going out there. Keep the motor running.

    Sal : I'm not going to do that, sir. The motor could heat up or...

    Max Landsberger : [interrupting]  Sal, do me a favor.

    Sal : What's that, sir?

    Max Landsberger : Don't call me "sir". These people are gonna think I'm in charge here. Call me Max.

    Sal : Max. Sure, no problem... Max.

  • Jack Issel : [after seeing Steadman commit suicide]  Two in one morning.

    Max Landsberger : Welcome to the world of big business, Jack.

  • Jane Caldwell : Women rise so much in this compay. But I intend on going to the top. As Mr. Gross' replacement as head of public relations, you will work for me now and report all work to me. By the way, I wanted to inform you that you've been promoted to executive vice president of external relations.

    Jack Issel : But this is just my first week.

    Jane Caldwell : Then you must have good friends upstairs. But don't give your hopes up. It's basically the same job you had in the complaints department but with 10% more salary and 90% more responsibility.

    [takes the papers that Jack has] 

    Jane Caldwell : Is this for me?

    Jack Issel : It's just a complaint.

    Jane Caldwell : [reading the complaint]  What is the Allenville 25,000?

    Jack Issel : That's the population of a small town upstate that's fighting to have their textile plant stay open. We're closing the plant at the end of this week and all employees will be layed off.

    Jane Caldwell : So?

    Jack Issel : So I was thinking if we can find a way to keep the plant open and find some securities for the workers.

    Jane Caldwell : Very good. Write up a report.

    Jack Issel : Write up a report?

    Jane Caldwell : Mr. Dantley appreciates all the necessary information before he makes a major decision. Information is power, Jack.

    Jack Issel : I agree. Absolutely.

    [Jane walks back to her desk where she sits down and begins applying makeup and stares seductivly at Jack] 

    Jane Caldwell : Did you want something else?

    Jack Issel : Uh... no ma'am!

    [Jack exits] 

  • [Steadman arrives, running, at his office to find furniture movers moving out all his furniture] 

    Frank Stedman : What the hell are you doing?

    [Frank leaps up onto the couch carried by two movers] 

    Frank Stedman , Mover : We are not the source...

    Frank Stedman : [beating on the couch]  Pit it back! Put it all back! Down! Down, down, down, down, down, down.

    Mover : [indicating his clipboard]  All I know is what's on the work order.

    Frank Stedman : Why are you doin' this? Who told you to do this to me?

    Mover : Someone said the guy who was in here died.

    Frank Stedman : Died? *Died*? Do I look dead, huh? What the hell do you mean, "died"?

    [Frank grabs Jack standing nearby] 

    Frank Stedman : Do I?

    Jack Issel : Uh... not to me, sir.

    Stedman's Secretary : This is Jack Issel, sir.

    Frank Stedman : [pushes between]  Out of my frickin' way!

    Max Landsberger : [smiling]  Good morning, Frank.

    [Frank shoves Max hard on the shoulder knocking him against the wall as he storms past] 

  • Jane Caldwell : What do you think, Jack?

    Jack Issel : It's perfect.

    Jane Caldwell : Perfect. That's perfect... this is perfect.

    [She exhales cigarette smoke] 

    Jane Caldwell : I'm perfect.

  • Scott Dantley : Jack Issel? Scott Dantley, chief executive officer of INC. Welcome aboard.

    Jack Issel : Thank you, sir. It's good to be here.

    Bob Nixon : Bob Nixon, chief financial officer. My pleasure.

    Scott Dantley : [to Jack]  I know your father. Great senator, great American, outstanding human being.

    Jack Issel : Well, he's managed to stay out of jail despite the bribery, corruption, tax evasion, solicitation, and domestic abuse charges that have been brought against him. At least me and my Mom are proud of him for that, sir.

  • Max Landsberger : Do you think you have what it takes up here?

    Jack Issel : You mean can I play hardball?

    Max Landsberger : No, I mean can you kiss ass?

  • [Jack and Max enter Gross' office unaware that he is dead] 

    Max Landsberger : Gross screams a lot. He's a little nuts, but you'll get used to him.

    Jack Issel : Right.

    Max Landsberger : Don't worry. You can live with him as long as you lift your end of the load.

    Jack Issel : Right.

    Max Landsberger : [after a pause]  I said lift.

    [the image pulls back to show Max and Jack lifting Howard Gross' body off his desk] 

    Jack Issel : Uh... right.

    Max Landsberger : Howard Gross here is one of the best PR men we have in the business. Been doing a hell of a job for us for a lot of years. A real pressure player.

    [looks at the dead Gross' face under his jacket] 

    Max Landsberger : Geez... son-of-a-bitch! He looks pretty bad!

    Jack Issel : He's dead, sir!

    Max Landsberger : It's all right. You can call me Max.

    Jack Issel : He's dead, Max!

  • Rachael Helmes : Anyway, I have over 25,000 signatures on that petition. That's the population of Allenville. If your company closes the Allenville plant, those people will lose their jobs and their homes, all because your company can get a little more profit by moving the plant to some poor country where the labor is 10 cents an hour and you guys own the government.

    Jack Issel : Gosh, you're pretty. Would you like to sit down?

    Rachael Helmes : No, thank you. If INC pulls out, this town dies Mr. Issel!

    Jack Issel : Hey, don't yell at me. I just started working here this morning. Would you like a Diet Coke?

    Rachael Helmes : No, thank you. Now if INC would let these workers buy the plant and run it themselves, they could save this town.

    Jack Issel : That sounds very sensible. Hey, listen, I got to tell you something.

    Rachael Helmes : Yes?

    Jack Issel : You are the most intresting and attractive woman that I've ever met on this job so far.

    Rachael Helmes : That's typical. They always dump on us some dumb little guy who just wants to make small talk.

    Jack Issel : Hey, wait a minute. This little guy is going some place, fella.

    Rachael Helmes : And where's that... fella?

    Jack Issel : I go to lunch at 12:30. We can talk about this Allenville thing.

    Rachael Helmes : No, thank you. This photocopy of your petition is for your boss.

    Jack Issel : How about lunch on Thursday? If not, would you like to have dinner with me tonight or tomorrow night?

  • General Sepulveda : I enjoyed your company's little fashion show, senor. Now, business, huh?

    [Sepulveda opens up the briefcase Jack gives him and sees a large amount of cash inside] 

    General Sepulveda : Very nice, huh? Just like a big drug deal, huh?

    [Sepulveda laughs and Jack laughs with him] 

    General Sepulveda : Drug deal?

    [Jack stops laughing] 

    General Sepulveda : I was joking, senor! It was a joke, huh? I never delt dope in my life! That freighter off Miami, it was in my cousin's name. I knew nothing.

    Jack Issel : I didn't say...

    General Sepulveda : You Americans think you just buy us like that? Giving me this money so I can overthrow President Sanchez for the top spot in San Marcos, huh? You and your self-righteous democracy. You have democracy, my little friend, because you are rich. You can afford both the Mercedes and the free press. We in San Marcos are poor. We can afford only one of them. The Mercedes!

  • Jack Issel : Look at your commitment. I went through college and business school with someone else's notes and a Xerox machine. I xeroxed and cheated my way through life, Rabinovich. "Do the minimum, keep your old man off your back, take the glorious path of least resistance." That's me.

    Mark Rabinovich : Sounds all right if you can pull it off.

    Jack Issel : It scares the shit out of me to think that I'm going to be an executive here at 50.

    Mark Rabinovich : It scares the shit out of me to think I won't be an executive here at 50.

  • [an angry Jack, realizing that Hudson had Ravinovich fired by framing him, walks into his office as Hudson is yelling at his secretary] 

    John Hudson : Where's my coffee? Coffee! Now, now, now! Move your goddamned ass!

    Jack Issel : [takes the coffee pitcher away from the secretary]  Allow me.

    [Jack walks up and dumps the coffee all over Hudson's desk and his papers] 

    Jack Issel : Your coffee, sir! Courtesy of Rabinovich. And this is from me!

    [Jack overturns Hudson's desk and walks out of the office] 

    Jack Issel : [to Hudson's secretary]  He'll need some cream and sugar.

  • Scott Dantley : God, I love this company. I love the action. I love how it test you ever minute of every day. Let your guard down for one second, and the entire system will run over your like a Mac truck. It's merciless.

    [as Dantley is talking we cut to Steadman throwing a chair out of his office window] 

    Scott Dantley : But when you're up there in that cab, gripping that wheel, pedal to the metal, foot to the floor, flat out screaming down the highway, wind at your heels, the entire power of a multinational corporation pounding on the hood. Ha! Nothing like it. Nothing in the world.

    [there is a WHOOSH as a body falls past the window and lands in the plaza fountain far below. Jack, Nixon, and Max run forward and look out the window with Dantley who continues to talk in a casual tone] 

    Scott Dantley : Uh... Bob? What was Frank Steadman wearing this morning?

    Bob Nixon : [also talking casual]  An old blue suit, sir.

    Scott Dantley : That's what I thought. Steadman.


    Scott Dantley : Oh, well.

    Jack Issel : My God!

    Scott Dantley : The exhilaration of power, that what we're all here for, Jack. But you got to have what it takes. Am I right, Nixon?

    Bob Nixon : Absolutely, sir. You're always right. Steadman's dead.

    Scott Dantley : Looks like it. Anyway, the company is a world onto itself. Company givith, company taketh away. The strong survive, the weak fall. Jack?

    Jack Issel : [turns back towards Dantley]  Yes?

    Scott Dantley : We won't be easy on you, but I promise you this... be a better man for it.

  • Jack Issel : [drunk]  I can't believe I said that on national TV.

    Sal : [also drunk]  That limo cost seventy-five THOUSAND dollars.

    Max Landsberger : Damn it, Jack! We went out there to tell them OUR side of the story. We didn't go out there to tell them the truth!

    Sal : And the limo company's gonna have my ass for this.

See also

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