Emma is a divorced woman with a teen aged boy who moves into a small town and tries to make a go of a horse ranch. Murphy is the town druggist who steers business her way. Things are going ... See full summary »
Not until three years after the death of her husband Jolly, Kay dares to move back into their former home, persuaded by her new fiancée Rupert. But soon her worst expectations come true, ... See full summary »
The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.
Revolving around Truvy's Beauty Parlor in a small parish in modern-day Louisiana, STEEL MAGNOLIAS is the story of a close-knit circle of friends whose lives come together there. As the ... See full summary »
Norma Rae is a southern textile worker employed in a factory with intolerable working conditions. This concern about the situation gives her the gumption to be the key associate to a visiting labor union organizer. Together, they undertake the difficult, and possibly dangerous, struggle to unionize her factory. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
The movie is based on a true life union organizing campaign at J.P. Stevens Mill in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. The real life Norma Rae is named Crystal Lee Sutton. The union organizer, Reuben Warshowsky, is based on Eli Zivkovich. (In real life, Zivkovich was a 55-year-old former West Virginia coal miner, not a New Yorker, as depicted in the film.) In 1974, thanks to the efforts of Crystal Lee Sutton and Eli Zivkovich, workers at J.P. Stevens Mill voted to join the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union. However, it still took 10 years to get a union contract at J.P. Stevens after the workers won the election. Some real-life events from Crystal Lee Sutton's story are re-created verbatim in the movie, including the famous scene where Norma Rae holds up the "UNION" sign and the plant workers shut down their machines, and the following scene where Norma Rae wakes her children to tell them about her relationships with their fathers. Crystal Lee Sutton did both in real life. See more »
In the scene in Reuben's hotel room after Norma Rae has been hit, you see her take the ice pack away from her nose. The shot changes and she takes it away a second time. See more »
More than one actress's tour-de-force, an indelible and moving human story
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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