7.4/10
8,477
49 user 34 critic

Norma Rae (1979)

PG | | Drama | 2 March 1979 (USA)
A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Wayne Billings
Robert Broyles ...
Sam Bolen
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Ellis Harper
Booth Colman ...
Dr. Watson
...
Lujan (as Lee DeBroux)
James Luisi ...
George Benson
Vernon Weddle ...
Reverend Hubbard
Gilbert Green ...
Al Landon
...
Lucius White
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Storyline

Like a lot of her family before her, Norma Rae works at the local textile mill, where the pay is hardly commensurate with the long hours and lousy working conditions. But after hearing a rousing speech by labor activist Reuben, Norma is inspired to rally her fellow workers behind the cause of unionism. Her decision rankles her family, especially her fiancé, Sonny, and provokes no shortage of contempt from her employers. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Academy Award Winner SALLY FIELD Best Actress 1979 See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Norma Rae - Eine Frau steht ihren Mann  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$22,228,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many extras in the film were students from Auburn University, eight miles from Opelika, Alabama. See more »

Goofs

Reuben comes to inspect the plant to verify that his notices are not being stripped off of the bulletin boards in violation of the court order. Upon finding his notice and demanding it be brought down to "eye level", he insists on reading it because "No union organizer, not even a known union member has been inside the fences and walls of this factory for more than ten years." It is not explained how the notice got posted there in the first place. See more »

Quotes

Reuben Warshowsky: I know the first time you're in is bad. It comes with the job. I saw a pregnant women on a picket line get hit in the stomach with a club. I saw a boy of 16 shot in the back. I saw a guy blown to hell and back when he tried to start his car in the morning. You just got your feet wet on this one.
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Connections

Referenced in Wedding Wars (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
(1978) (uncredited)
Written and Performed by Dolly Parton
Courtesy RCA/Victor Records
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User Reviews

 
More than one actress's tour-de-force, an indelible and moving human story
17 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

In trying to get the textile mill she and her family work for unionized, Sally Field's Norma Rae Webster also tries to earn self-respect at any cost. She's been leading a dead-end existence: a single mother, still living with her family, sleeping with married men who abuse her. But after being inspired by a union-organizer (Ron Liebman, in an Oscar-worthy supporting performance), Norma Rae is awakened to the possibilities of life, and, what's more, everything that is wrong with the mill that seems to suck the energy and hope from those who stand there day after day trying to earn an honest dollar. There are problems with the picture: Beau Bridges' role as new husband Sonny is treated in a trivial manner (he's supposed to be a voice of reason, but he's too smooth, maybe condescending, and it's an unconvincing character); Oscar-winner Field's fiestiness occasionally feels overdrawn and/or one-note, but in many of the scenes outside the factory she does indeed excel, seeming vibrantly natural and exuberant. Martin Ritt's direction is focused and firmly rooted (he never sugarcoats Norma Rae's character, and sometimes she's not that likable) and the script manages to sidestep preachiness to get its points across entertainingly. The art direction is really the second star of the film: vivid, palpably hot and sweaty, with bits of cotton floating about in the air. The mill in question becomes very familiar to us, as do the people who work there. "Norma Rae" is involved and long, yet it is memorably bittersweet, and with a simple, haunting finish. *** from ****


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