Norma Rae

  • Film
  • Comedy
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Ritt's usual simplistic liberalism certainly dampens the labour relations angle to this tale of a Southern millworker finding herself as a union activist protesting against working conditions. Sentimental and facile, the film allows her far too easy a path to success in terms of her almost universal acceptance by fellow-workers, give or take a few token blacklegs. But far more successful is the way the film stresses her development as an independent woman; finding it painful as she undermines her husband's expectations of her simply as a washing, cooking, ironing, maternal sex-machine, she nevertheless ploughs firmly ahead, while never being portrayed as in any way an incomplete, irresponsible mother and wife. Nicely performed by a strong cast, especially Field and Leibman, it's often mawkishly soft, but surprisingly touching.

Release details

Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martin Ritt
Screenwriter: Harriet Frank Jr, Irving Ravetch
Cast: Robert Broyles
Barbara Baxley
Gail Strickland
Pat Hingle
Beau Bridges
Sally Field
John Calvin
Morgan Paull
Ron Leibman
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