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Norma Rae (1979)

 -  Drama  -  2 March 1979 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,308 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 30 critic

A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.

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Title: Norma Rae (1979)

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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
...
...
Barbara Baxley ...
Leona
...
Bonnie Mae
...
Wayne Billings
Robert Broyles ...
Sam Bolen
John Calvin ...
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

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 <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you haven't seen Norma Rae then you're missing... 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:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,617,267 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Norma Rae: Norma Rae
[on walking out of Reuben's residence]
Norma Rae: "K'vetch, k'vetch, k'vetch."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List: Norma Gay (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

It Goes Like It Goes
(1979)
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Recorded by Jennifer Warnes
Courtesy Arista Records
See more »

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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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300+ voted against it. Why?? happy_accidents
My attempt at objectivity concerning unions Just_Opinions
UNION!!! thinkofthealternativ-1
Ending- Sonny vs. Reuben jwllover4080
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