8.0/10
598
16 user 14 critic

American Dream (1990)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 6 October 1990 (USA)
Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour ... See full summary »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike.

Director: Barbara Kopple
Stars: Norman Yarborough, Houston Elmore, Phil Sparks
Medium Cool (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A TV news reporter finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence that erupts around the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Director: Haskell Wexler
Stars: Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz
Best Boy (1979)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.

Director: Ira Wohl
Stars: Ira Wohl, Philip Wohl, Zero Mostel
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Filmmakers Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond document Philadelphia teachers facing challenges at an inner-city school.

Director: Susan Raymond
Stars: Susan Raymond, Deanna Burney
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary about militant student political activity in the University of California-Berkely in the 1960's.

Director: Mark Kitchell
Stars: Jentri Anders, Joan Baez, Frank Bardacke
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

Director: Penelope Spheeris
Stars: Alice Bag Band, Alice Bag, Claude Bessey
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

'Running from Crazy' is a documentary examining the personal journey of model and actress Mariel Hemingway, the great granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, as she strives for a greater ... See full summary »

Director: Barbara Kopple
Stars: Jack Hemingway, Joan Hemingway, Langley Hemingway
Woodstock (1970)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The film chronicle of the legendary 1969 music festival.

Director: Michael Wadleigh
Stars: Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple directs this documentary portrait of Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Woody Allen, seen traveling with friends and fellow musicians during their New... See full summary »

Director: Barbara Kopple
Stars: Woody Allen, Letty Aronson, Soon-Yi Previn
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this film is a hilarious and affectionate look at the path to stardom inside the competitive world of opera.

Directors: Allie Light, Irving Saraf
Stars: William S. Jones
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary on the Dixie Chicks in the wake of singer Natalie Maines' anti-George W. Bush statement at a 2003 concert.

Directors: Barbara Kopple, Cecilia Peck
Stars: Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Martie Maguire
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
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Juan Munoz
Ray Rogers ...
Himself
...
Bath Girl
Edit

Storyline

Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour wage cut. They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. Despite support from P-9's rank and file, FCWU's international disagrees with the strategy. In addition to union-company tension, there's union-union in-fighting. Hormel holds firm; scabs, replacement workers, brothers on opposite sides, a union coup d'état, and a new contract materialize. The film asks, was it worth it, or was the strike a long-term disaster for organized labor? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary strong language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikaniko oneiro  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$269,823 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features CBS Evening News with Dan Rather (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

First-class documentary on a labor strike by blue-collar workers in 80's America
3 March 2002 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

"American Dream" is a sobering and fascinating documentary depicting the social, economic and emotional ramifications of a labor strike initiated by employees at a Hormel meatpacking plant in Austin, Minnesota. Although the film depicts events that take place in 1986, the content is every bit as relevant today on the subject of the perennial gap that exists between rank-and-file workers and top executives at major U.S. corporations, and the general greed and mercenary attitude that drives said corporations at the expense of hard-working employees. Like "Roger & Me," the acclaimed documentary by Michael Moore that savaged General Motors and the 80's corporate ethos of "profits above everything else," "American Dream" is a priceless portrait of blue-collar work and life in small-town America, the kind of place that people who live in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles or any other major metro area will probably never see.

Austin is a town where one company is the largest employer (in this case, the Hormel meat company), on whom generations of workers depend for their livelihood. The film puts a human face on the repercussions that result when Hormel, despite record profits, cuts the salaries of its workers. If the balding, grey-suited, humorless Hormel executives depicted here (wearing huge eyeglasses in the style of Lee Iaccoca) are not the epitome of 80's greed, I don't know what is. They are Gordon Gekko come to life, caring only about their bottom line and how to maximize profit, completely indifferent to the plight of their workers. The Enron debacle shows that, for all their economic might and wealth creation, there is a dark side to corporate America. "American Dream," its ironic title aside, is a journey to that dark side that should be seen by every worker, blue-collar or white-collar. Try to catch it on the Sundance or Independent Film Channel.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Last scene.... dhunsber
where can I find this stuffdebenji
Discuss American Dream (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?