7.4/10
8,081
47 user 34 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the Deep South in the 1930s, a widow and her family try to run their cotton farm with the help of a disparate group of friends.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Sally Field, Lindsay Crouse, Ed Harris
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Emma is a divorced woman with a teen-aged son who moves into a small town and tries to make a go of a horse ranch. Murphy is the widowed town druggist who steers business her way. Things ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Sally Field, James Garner, Brian Kerwin
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda
Edit

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
Edit

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:

If you haven't seen Norma Rae then you're missing... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Norma Rae - Eine Frau steht ihren Mann  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marsha Mason, Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway, and Jill Clayburgh all passed on the title role. 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: I know the first time you're in is bad. It comes with the job. I saw a pregnant women on a picket line get hit in the stomach with a club. I saw a boy of 16 shot in the back. I saw a guy blown to hell and back when he tried to start his car in the morning. You just got your feet wet on this one.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Twice in a Lifetime: Healing Touch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

It Goes Like It Goes
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Sung by Jennifer Warnes
Courtesy Arista Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Film Stereotyped an Industry, But Broke the Stereotype of an Actress
19 May 2005 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Although based on real events and a real person, "Norma Rae's" tale of corporate greed versus oppressed workers has been fictionalized for reasons of privacy. However, fictionalized or not, "Norma Rae's" power and influence continue since the U.S. textile industry has forever been branded in the minds of Americans as an outmoded industrial complex, whose windowless mills are filled with the deafening noise of hand-tended machines that are layered with cotton fibers and whose workers breathe in and permanently damage their lungs with stale air that is filled with cotton dust. Although those conditions certainly did exist, they no longer occur in that industry today. However, despite the modernization of textile manufacturing in the U.S. over the past couple decades, the image of the noisy, dusty mill that is depicted in the film remains as the general perception of a textile operation. Unfortunately, while modern textile mills are free of cotton dust and the noise levels have been reduced to the low hum of computers, textile workers like Norma Rae and the others portrayed in this film have also been replaced with robotics, lasers, and a few highly skilled technicians to monitor the computerized operations. While the unionization depicted in the film successfully raised wages and increased benefits, eventually those higher costs led to efforts to cut expenses through mechanization.

However, despite the demonizing of an industry, the film retains its power, and the story of Norma Rae's personal growth as a woman is probably even more memorable than the efforts to unionize one Southern textile mill. Sally Field inhabits the role of an unwed Southern mill worker with two children, and, as the film progresses, she slowly evolves from an aimless girl, who is used and abused by men, whether they be lovers or employers, into a mature woman who finds a depth and strength that helps her take control of her life and find the confidence to lead. Television viewers who only knew Field as the Flying Nun were surprised at her range and depth, although those who had taken the time to watch the television movie "Sybil" already suspected the breadth of her talent.

While Sally Field finally shed her Gidget and Flying Nun image with this film and certainly is the emotional core of the movie, she is well supported by a cast of pros, especially the two most important men in her life. Unfortunately, because Field is so outstanding, viewers will likely need a second viewing to appreciate just how good both Ron Leibman and Beau Bridges are in "Norma Rae." Ron Leibman as the assertive union organizer from New York is the man who awakens Norma's intellect and propels her into uncharted territory as a woman. Meanwhile, Beau Bridges as Norma Rae's gentle, understanding husband stands by his woman despite his not completely comprehending or appreciating the changes that are underway in his wife's character.

"Norma Rae" is an outstanding film, well directed by Martin Ritt, beautifully written by Frank and Ravetch, and performed with heart by Field, Leibman, and Bridges. Although the movie has probably stained the image of the U.S. textile industry for good, "Norma Rae" also established Sally Field as an actress of the first order and remains an engrossing human story of a woman's growth into maturity and her discovery of previously unrealized potential within herself.


17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?