Norma Rae

“Miss Field gives a performance that is as firm and funny as the set of her glass jaw.” – Vincent Canby

In an Oscar-winning turn, Sally Field’s titular Norma Rae is a resilient, down-to-earth mother, daughter, and factory worker. Alongside her parents, and most of her small North Carolina town’s population, she reports to work at the town mill each day, bearing – with minimal complaint – the burden of its cotton wisp-laden air and deafening machinery sounds. Insert a charming, fast-talking Jewish union organizer from New York (Ron Leibman), and the town is in chaos – don’t forget, at this point, in the rural south “the idea of collective bargaining was considered roughly on par with membership in a Communist cell” (Canby). Martin Ritt (Hud, Paris Blues) took the true story of textile Crystal Lee Sutton’s life as the basis for his film, and despite all the implicit, folksy sentimentality, Field rocks it.

Dir. Martin Ritt, 1979, DCP, 114 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!