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norma rae Norma Rae
Directed by:
Martin Ritt
Cast: Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman, Pat Hingle, Barbara Baxley

Written by:
Matt Booth

August 1, 2007

Norma Rae. Say it to yourself.
Now add a southern twang accent.    "Norma Rae!"


Norma Rae, the movie stars Sally Field, as a young Factory worker at a Southern Cotton Mill located in a town where the Mill is basically the only place to work. Norma Rae's entire family works at the Mill.  Her Daddy, played by Pat Hingle has been working at the textile Mill his entire lifetime.

The story starts when a Union Organizer from New York comes to town and tries to start a union. Ron Liebman co-stars as Reuben Warshowsky, a Jewish fellow who goes from town to town establishing ties for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers and Cloth, Hat, and Cap Makers Union of America. He takes his work seriously, as his family was also laborers. It is a joy to watch Ron Liebman work. He is Reuben.

Reuben finds the towns people to be about as cold shouldered to this idea, as he has ever seen, including especially Norma Rae's Daddy. However, as a once divorced mother, Norma Rae sees the advantages a Labor Union could mean to the town and her family, so she teams up with Warshowsky as a supporter of establishing a union for the Mill. Along the way Norma Rae runs into many obstacles, some violent, in her pursuit of starting the union. Many of the textile workers are bull headed against fighting the Mills management and Norma Rae must rise above the sentiment and skeptic attitudes and fight for what she learns is right and fair treatment for her fellow workers. The Reuben and Norma Rae characters click pretty well and Beau Bridges also has a key supporting role as Sonny, Norma's eventual second husband and a Mill worker.

This movie is a straight Drama, so you must follow the story line closely, but it becomes inspiring, and Sally Field does such great job with the character. If you have been or are familiar with the Southern way, this movie may be more appealing to you than some.  Field and the supporting cast shine. The musical score is also first rate. I give this film starstarstar.  Well worth watching more than once.

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