Norma Rae (1979)

MARTIN RITT

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA, 1979.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1979.  Cannes Film Festival 1979.  Golden Globe Awards 1979.  

Stultifying drama that is still just as powerful today as it was upon its original release in 1979.  Sally Field tears up the screen as a naive young woman from the south who grows a social conscience when a labor organizer from New York () announces plans to unionize the textile plant that employs her and just about everyone else in her town.  Tired of the deplorable working conditions that she and the townspeople around her suffer, Field becomes the keynote associate for the visitor and braves all manner of dangers in order to achieve social justice, despite the toll it takes on personal relationships and her life with her children. Movies like Silkwood would come along in its wake, but this one remains number one, with a career-peaking performance by Field that she never repeated (despite winning a second Oscar for Places In The Heart).

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