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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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Martin Ritt first conceptualized this movie when he saw an article in 'The New York Times' by Henry P. Leifermann, author of the book "Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance". The book was about Crystal Lee Sutton's quest to form a union at the J.P. Stevens Company textile mill at North Carolina's Roanoke Rapids. See more »
When Norma's father suffers a heart attack on the job, we see him as the first symptoms start until he collapses onto the textile mills floor. The problem here is that as he enters the first stages of his coronary, he grasps his RIGHT arm rather than his left. Anatomically, the nerve conduction with regards to a cardiac event, target the left arm - except in cases of extremely rare congenital abnormality (i.e. dextrocardia). See more »
Sally Field's first Oscar came way via "Norma Rae."
The factory where she and her dad work does not know or want to know about unions. Workers are routinely abused and there is no way out for these hard-working laborers.
Along comes Jewish Ron Leibman, from the north, with the idea of forming a union. He meets up with much hostility. We see the southern hatred of unions in general and there is an underlining feeling of anti-Jewishness here as Jews have always been in the forefront of labor issues in America.
Pat Hingle's fatal coronary spurs daughter Norma to action. Her stopping work and turning around with the sign union is memorable.
This picture is timely due to the rash attacks on the labor movement from the federal government on down to management. Made at a time when President Reagan destroyed the Air Traffic Controller's Union, the film is most appropriate.
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