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Norma Rae
     

Norma Rae

4.0 7
Director: Martin Ritt

Cast: Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman

 

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Norma Rae finds Sally Field cast in the title role, a minimum-wage worker in a cotton mill. The factory has taken too much of a toll on the health of Norma Rae's family for her to ignore her Dickensian working conditions. After hearing a speech by New York union organizer Reuben (Ron Leibman), Norma Rae decides to join the effort to unionize her shop. This

Overview

Norma Rae finds Sally Field cast in the title role, a minimum-wage worker in a cotton mill. The factory has taken too much of a toll on the health of Norma Rae's family for her to ignore her Dickensian working conditions. After hearing a speech by New York union organizer Reuben (Ron Leibman), Norma Rae decides to join the effort to unionize her shop. This causes dissension at home when Norma Rae's husband, Sonny (Beau Bridges), assumes that her activism is a result of a romance between herself and Reuben. Despite the pressure brought to bear by management, Norma Rae successfully orchestrates a shutdown of the mill, resulting in victory for the union and capitulation to its demands. Based on a true story, Norma Rae is the film for which Sally Field won her first Oscar; an additional Oscar went to David Shire and Norman Gimbel for the film's theme song, "It Goes Like It Goes."

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Sally Field's heartfelt portrayal of a dirt-poor southern textile worker who defies her bosses and fights to unionize her plant won a well-deserved Oscar ("You like me! You really like me!"). A lifetime of work in those textile mills, according to this fictionalized account of real-life events, usually results in deafness, caused by the din of machinery, or in the consumptive disease known as "brown lung," caused by long-term exposure to chemical contaminants. Into one such plant comes New York-based union organizer Ron Leibman, who's doubly distrusted for being a union man and being Jewish. He gradually convinces the feisty Field to stand up for better working conditions by embracing the union -- a decision that could put her job, and even her life, in jeopardy. The punishing conditions faced by mill workers are dutifully replicated by director Martin Ritt (The Front), who elicits powerful performances from supporting players Beau Bridges, Pat Hingle, and Barbara Baxley as well as from Field and Leibman. Norma Rae is primarily a spellbinding dramatization of one woman's story, but it's also a moving tale of courage and empowerment that becomes more inspirational with each viewing. The DVD includes a documentary on the film's origins, detailing both the textile mill conditions and the fight to secure union representation.
All Movie Guide
Before her Oscar-winning, breakthrough role as a union organizer in Norma Rae, Sally Field was famous for being television's The Flying Nun and for her subsequent lightweight comic work, particularly with Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit. Casting Field in the lead role of a poor, uneducated worker who organizes a Southern mill proved to be a stroke of genius. She wasn't known for portraying assertive, powerful characters, and so her transformation in the film from mousy and helpless to an icon of resistance symbolized for many audiences similar psychic and social journeys. Norma Rae became an authentic portrait of empowerment because its heroine (and the actress portraying her) seemed so ordinary to begin with.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2014
UPC:
0024543893776
Original Release:
1979
Rating:
PG
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:54:00
Sales rank:
31,262

Special Features

20-minute Hollywood Backstory: Norma Rae

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sally Field Norma Rae
Beau Bridges Sonny
Ron Leibman Reuben
Pat Hingle Vernon
Barbara Baxley Leona
Gail Strickland Bonnie Mae
Lonny Chapman Gardner
Morgan Paull Wayne Billings
Frank McRae James Brown
Bob Minor Lucius White
James Luisi George Benson
Mary Munday Mrs. Johnson
Noble Willingham Leroy Mason
Gregory Walcott Lamar Miller
Vernon Weddle Rev. Hubbard
George R. Robertson Farmer
Henry Slate Policeman
Roy Tatum Woodrow Bowser
Jack Stryker J.J. Davis
Grace Zabriskie Linette Odum
Booth Colman Dr. Watson
Fred Covington Alston
Lee de Broux Lujan
Charlie Briggs Warren Lotting
John Calvin Ellis Harper
Robert Broyles Sam Bolen
Clayton Landey Teddy Bob Keeler
Bob Hannah Jed Buffum
Edith Ivey Louise Pickens
Joe Dorsey Woodrow Thompson
J. Don Ferguson Peter Galiot
Gilbert Green Al London
Bert Freed Sam Dakin

Technical Credits
Martin Ritt Director
John A. Alonzo Cinematographer
Tamara Asseyev Producer
Bruce Bisenz Sound/Sound Designer
Tracy Bousman Art Director
Tom Ellingwood Makeup
Harriet Frank Screenwriter
Gregory Garrison Set Decoration/Design
Norman Gimbel Songwriter
Walter Scott Herndon Production Designer
Sid Levin Editor
Irving Ravetch Screenwriter
Alex Rose Producer
David Shire Score Composer
William Turner Makeup

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Norma Rae 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
GeorgiaC-TX More than 1 year ago
PRIMO Martin Ritt. Thank God for this film. Along with "To Kill a Mockingbird" (the book and the film, both), it gives me hope that the essential spirit of democracy and justice in America cannot die, despite what's subsequently become of the labor unions in this country. Colossal performances by Field, Leibman, and the incomparable Pat Hingle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THE MOST AUTHENTIC ORGANIZING MOVIE EVER MADE. WORKERS DESERVE RESPECT
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really had no desire to see this movie for a very long time. As I have been getting older though, I have been renting and watching older movies more and more. I decided I would finally watch "Norma Rae" and see for myself why people have been raving about Sally Field's performance for all these years. For once the hype was right. Her portrayal as the title character is nothing short of amazing. In the climactic scene when she holds up the "Union" sign, the viewer can't help but feel the pains and agony of her struggle against enormous odds. Seeing this movie reminded me of my new love for older films.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to watch this movie for school. Usually when ever we watch a movie there, I get nervous because most of the movies the teachers make us watch are hopelessly boring. I can't say this movie was that, but I'm still wondering why it won so many Oscars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Wonderful true story of a poor woman with courage and determination. You don't have to be famous or rich to make a differents in the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago