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:
...
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Sonny
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...
...
Leona
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Bonnie Mae
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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

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

The film is based on a real-life union organizing campaign at J.P. Stevens Mill in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Norma Rae is based on Crystal Lee Sutton. Reuben Warshowsky, the union organizer, is based on Eli Zivkovich, a 55-year-old former West Virginia coal miner. In 1974, thanks to the efforts of Sutton and Zivkovich, workers at J.P. Stevens Mill voted to join the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union. However, it took 10 years for the union to get a contract. Some real-life events are re-created verbatim in the movie, including Norma Rae holding up the "UNION" sign and the plant workers shutting down their machines, and Norma Rae waking up her children to tell them about her relationships with their fathers. See more »

Goofs

When Beau Bridges and Sally Fields characters are on their first date Beau's hair is parted in the middle. When they leave the bar with the union guy Beau's hair is parted on the far right. It never appears that way again. See more »

Quotes

Reuben Warshowsky: Under the circumstances, best wishes hardly seem enough. Thanks are in order. Thank you for your companionship, for your stamina, your horse sense, and a hundred and one laughs. I also enjoyed looking at your shining hair and your shining face.
Norma Rae Webster: Reuben, I think you like me.
Reuben Warshowsky: I do.
Norma Rae Webster: I was gonna get you a tie clip or some shaving lotion, but I didn't know what you'd like.
Reuben Warshowsky: Norma, what I've had from you has been sumptuous.
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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

 
a documentary?
30 December 1999 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

This film is in no way a documentary, but the filming style and plot line lend to its feeling so. Sally Field's acting in this movie is impeccable. She becomes Norma Rae. We see her fear, her disgust, her anger at the mill's treatment of its employees, and the passion she has for what she believes in. Although the best known scene from the movie is her standing at the mill with the "Union" sign, I believe the most memorable scene is towards the end when she talks to her children, telling them what to expect. The movie tends to turn away from her children, but this scene focuses in on her relationship with them. Beau Bridges is great, and the character of the Union leader (can't remember his name) is terrific. The sexual tension between Norma Rae and he is palpable. I strongly recommend this film to any Sally Field fans, or anyone interested in social issue films.


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