7.3/10
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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)
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
Ron Leibman ... Reuben
Pat Hingle ... Vernon
Barbara Baxley ... Leona
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 ... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you haven't seen Norma Rae then you're missing... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Norma Rae's married name, Webster, means "weaver of cloth." See more »

Goofs

When Norma Rae and Sonny are on their first date Sonny's hair is parted in the middle. When they leave the bar together with Reuben Sonny's hair is parted on the far right. It never appears that way again. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Twice in a Lifetime: Healing Touch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
(uncredited)
Written by Dolly Parton
Performed by Dolly Parton
Courtesy RCA/Victor Records
[Norma Rae (Sally Field) and Sonny (Beau Bridges) sing along to the song playing at the bar on their first date]
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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Norma Rae See more »

Filming Locations:

Auburn, Alabama, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$262,778, 4 March 1979

Gross USA:

$22,228,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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