7.4/10
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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:
...
...
Sonny
...
...
...
Leona
...
Bonnie Mae
...
Wayne Billings
Robert Broyles ...
Sam Bolen
John Calvin ...
Ellis Harper
Booth Colman ...
Dr. Watson
Lee de Broux ...
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:

The story of a woman with the courage to risk everything for what she believes is right. 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:

 »

Company Credits

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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

Norma Rae's married name, Webster, means "weaver of cloth." See more »

Goofs

In Reuben's hotel room, after Norma Rae has been hit, she takes an ice pack away from her nose. When the shot changes she takes it away a second time. See more »

Quotes

Norma Rae Webster: Who's this? Dylan Thomas?
Reuben Warshowsky: He was a poet. A genius and a drunk.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Cindy, I Love You
(1977) (uncredited)
Written and Performed by Johnny Cash
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User Reviews

 
More than one actress's tour-de-force, an indelible and moving human story
17 November 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – 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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