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
The same 20th Century Fox studio would years later make another heavyweight union film, Hoffa (1992), this time the film was about a male union figure, James "Jimmy" Hoffa. See more »
Reuben comes to inspect the plant to verify that his notices are not being stripped off of the bulletin boards in violation of the court order. Upon finding his notice and demanding it be brought down to "eye level", he insists on reading it because "No union organizer, not even a known union member has been inside the fences and walls of this factory for more than ten years." It is not explained how the notice got posted there in the first place. However, since Reuben calls it "my notice" it is clear that he was the one who requested it be put up. See more »
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.
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Typical under-dog story that is so well-made that its success makes for a very memorable cinematic experience. The titled character (Sally Field in a super Oscar-winning part) tries to get her fellow textile workers to unionize in her small town, but there are consequences abound. A good supporting cast which includes Ron Leibman, Pat Hingle and Beau Bridges all add to Field's show-stopping performance. Field proved that she could handle delicate material and carry a film to cinematic history. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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