7.4/10
8,958
49 user 32 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:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

Irving Ravetch (screenplay), Harriet Frank Jr. (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Field ... Norma Rae
Beau Bridges ... Sonny Webster
Ron Leibman ... Reuben Warshowsky
Pat Hingle ... Vernon Wichard
Barbara Baxley ... Leona Wichard
Gail Strickland ... Bonnie Mae
Morgan Paull ... Wayne Billings
Robert Broyles Robert Broyles ... Sam Bolen
John Calvin ... Ellis Harper
Booth Colman Booth Colman ... Dr. Watson
Lee de Broux ... Lujan (as Lee DeBroux)
James Luisi ... George Benson
Vernon Weddle Vernon Weddle ... Reverend Hubbard
Gilbert Green Gilbert Green ... Al Landon
Bob Minor ... Lucius White
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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:

Academy Award Winner SALLY FIELD Best Actress 1979 See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Norma Rae - Eine Frau steht ihren Mann See more »

Filming Locations:

Auburn, Alabama, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$22,228,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to not be nominated for Best Director. See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

Norma Rae Webster: Reuben, you need yourself a woman.
Reuben Warshowsky: Funny you should mention it - tonight's the night.
Norma Rae Webster: My, my, what would Dorothy say?
Reuben Warshowsky: Wear a rubber.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parks and Recreation: Bowling for Votes (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

It Goes Like It Goes
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Sung by Jennifer Warnes
Courtesy Arista Records
[Played during the opening and end credits]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More than one actress's tour-de-force, an indelible and moving human story
17 November 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

In trying to get the textile mill she and her family work for unionized, Sally Field's Norma Rae Webster also tries to earn self-respect at any cost. She's been leading a dead-end existence: a single mother, still living with her family, sleeping with married men who abuse her. But after being inspired by a union-organizer (Ron Liebman, in an Oscar-worthy supporting performance), Norma Rae is awakened to the possibilities of life, and, what's more, everything that is wrong with the mill that seems to suck the energy and hope from those who stand there day after day trying to earn an honest dollar. There are problems with the picture: Beau Bridges' role as new husband Sonny is treated in a trivial manner (he's supposed to be a voice of reason, but he's too smooth, maybe condescending, and it's an unconvincing character); Oscar-winner Field's fiestiness occasionally feels overdrawn and/or one-note, but in many of the scenes outside the factory she does indeed excel, seeming vibrantly natural and exuberant. Martin Ritt's direction is focused and firmly rooted (he never sugarcoats Norma Rae's character, and sometimes she's not that likable) and the script manages to sidestep preachiness to get its points across entertainingly. The art direction is really the second star of the film: vivid, palpably hot and sweaty, with bits of cotton floating about in the air. The mill in question becomes very familiar to us, as do the people who work there. "Norma Rae" is involved and long, yet it is memorably bittersweet, and with a simple, haunting finish. *** from ****


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