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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
Crystal Lee Sutton, the unionist who Norma Rae was based on, was not happy with this film, and felt that the picture should have been a docu-drama. 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. See more »
Norma Rae Webster:
Forget it! I'm stayin' right where I am. It's gonna take you and the police department and the fire department and the National Guard to get me outta here!
See more »
A good acting vehicle for Sally Field, who did show her chops. She only occasionally overdoes the Southern accent. The plot is about union organizing in a Southern textile mill. Surprisingly they do not go too far in depicting management recalcitrance, not even portraying violence from them. Less surprisingly, they also ignore union violence and intimidation, a standard tactic. Well, the textile industry did unionize in the Seventies and Eighties, and it died in the Nineties. All those jobs are now in Guatemala and Bangladesh. Interestingly, the only real energy left in the union movement is in government workers, as they have no competition to hold back union excesses.
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