Up 658 this week

Norma Rae (1979)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  2 March 1979 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7,052 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 31 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 07 Jun 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 11 Sep 2014
a list of 26 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 23 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Norma Rae" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Norma Rae (1979)

Norma Rae (1979) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Norma Rae.

User Polls

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

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1930's Southern US, 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 6.9/10 X  

Emma is a divorced woman with a teen aged boy who moves into a small town and tries to make a go of a horse ranch. Murphy is the town druggist who steers business her way. Things are going ... 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 | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of an union head, the man's life begins to unravel.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban
Sybil (TV Mini-Series 1976)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed at least 13 different personalities.

Stars: Joanne Woodward, Sally Field, Brad Davis
Coming Home (1978)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern
Silkwood (1983)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage. This summer their ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings
Breaking Away (1979)
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern
Julia (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A black champion boxer and his white female companion struggle to survive while the white boxing establishment looks for ways to knock him down.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: James Earl Jones, Jane Alexander, Lou Gilbert


Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Baxley ...
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Norma Rae - Eine Frau steht ihren Mann  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


SEK 1,617,267 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The screenplay was written in six weeks. See more »


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 »


Reuben Warshowsky: Gentlemen, your average working man is not stupid. He just gets tired.
See more »


Referenced in The West Wing: The Lame Duck Congress (2000) See more »


It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
(1978) (uncredited)
Written and Performed by Dolly Parton
Courtesy RCA/Victor Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Film that Stereotyped an Industry 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.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
300+ voted against it. Why?? happy_accidents
My attempt at objectivity concerning unions Just_Opinions
UNION!!! thinkofthealternativ-1
Ending- Sonny vs. Reuben jwllover4080
Fantasy Remake HippieKid31
Johnny Cash Song brinak9
Discuss Norma Rae (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: