138 user 10 critic

Iron Jawed Angels (2004)

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Defiant young activists take the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote.


Katja von Garnier


Jennifer Friedes (story), Sally Robinson (teleplay) | 3 more credits »
3,919 ( 218)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilary Swank ... Alice Paul
Margo Martindale ... Harriot Blatch
Anjelica Huston ... Carrie Chapman Catt
Frances O'Connor ... Lucy Burns
Lois Smith ... Anna Shaw
Vera Farmiga ... Ruza Wenclawska
Brooke Smith ... Mabel Vernon
Adilah Barnes ... Ida Wells-Barnett
Laura Fraser ... Doris Stevens
Semen Hirzhner Semen Hirzhner ... Russian Mover
Jeremy Nichols Jeremy Nichols ... Russian Mover's Son
Donna York Dunn Donna York Dunn ... Woman on Street
Kristina Vensko Kristina Vensko ... Young Jenny Leighton
Molly Parker ... Emily Leighton
Lois Sanders Lois Sanders ... Nancy Barkin


Alice Paul and the women of the 1917 Women's Suffrage movement fight for future generations right to vote and run for office. Sacrificing their health, marriages and the limited amount of freedom they had, women were imprisoned and force fed after picketing and hunger-striking against war-time president, Woodrow Wilson; but survived to see the results of their efforts. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Votes for women. See more »


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

15 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alice Paul - Der Weg ins Licht See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(cinema release)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hilary Swank and Margo Martindale previously appeared in Million Dollar Baby (2004) in the same year. See more »


When Pres. Wilson is giving the speech in Congress, the US flag is hung backwards. Whether the flag is vertical or horizontal, the stars should always be in the upper left. See more »


Emily Leighton: I really don't follow politics, Ms. Burns. I haven't the head for it.
Lucy Burns: We're citizens or we're chattle: you don't really need a degree from Harvard to figure that out.
See more »


Featured in The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2004) See more »


Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Written by Ada R. Habershon and Charles Gabriel, often attributed to A.P. Carter
Performed by Vera Farmiga, Frances O'Connor, Laura Fraser, Molly Parker, and cast
See more »

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User Reviews

Criminal Misrepresentation of Real Life Events by Amateurish Hack Director
12 October 2007 | by robert_a_ruizSee all my reviews

I've been studying the fight for women's voting rights in U.S. History class and the real story is much more interesting than what's portrayed here. For the sake of creating tension in Alice Paul's story the Angelica Houston character (Carrie Chapman Catt) is vilified and reduced from shades of gray to black and white, and President Woodrow Wilson (who is so responsible for so many good things in our lives today) is portrayed as a one-note cardboard character and anti-women. It's true that the force-feeding of Alice Paul and her friends and their tactics got press and forced Wilson to act at that particular time, but the tide was progressing anyway -- in large part due to the efforts of Carrie Chapman Catt (vilified here) and Susan B. Anthony and their contemporaries, long before Alice Paul came on the scene.

Carrie Chapman Catt and Woodrow Wilson were not the villains at all in reality, and yet here they're portrayed as such. That's absolutely criminal in my mind, and at the very least highly irresponsible.

The film also has a VERY annoying soundtrack -- faux Madonna-like -- and nonsense image manipulation to comtemporize the story (in ten years this will seem absolutely amateurish). If the director trusted her own work and the truth of what was being portrayed she wouldn't have felt she needed to "jazz it up" by resorting to these tactics.

This music is totally out of context, jarring, and fails to capture or support the mood of the era the film is set in. Besides that the director uses WAY too many film class 101 "oh wouldn't this be neat" techniques (like the shots of one tray after another in rapid succession to show Alice Paul isn't eating in jail). This is absolutely amateurish and annoying.

The love story was also glommed on to this without regard for the facts. I asked my much-admired history teacher today what she thought of the film and she wasn't a fan either. This was like watching children play acting with a script very dumbed down for the masses. There was no depth to the characterizations, no shades of gray, no powerful silences, no subtext -- nothing.

The period is fascinating and the cause of women's rights deserves to be told in a vehicle far better than this, but again my point is it is absolutely wrong to vilify good people.

The period is fascinating and the cause of women's rights deserves to be told in a vehicle far better than this -- one that doesn't twist the facts to the degree this piece of garbage does. (If you don't believe me go pick up a history book and read.)

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