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Norma Rae (1979)


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 19
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 4
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 1


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 6,931



Movie Info

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 … More

Musical & Performing Arts , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Irving Ravetch , Frank Harriet,
In Theaters:
Apr 17, 2001
20th Century Fox Film Corporat


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Critic Reviews for Norma Rae

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (2) | DVD (7)

Photographed in murky yellows and browns by John Alonzo, this 1979 film is sluggish and vague, trivializing its subject in a wash of unearned sentimentality.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Norma Rae is that rare entity, an intelligent film with heart.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Top Critic

Nicely performed by a strong cast, especially Field and Leibman, it's often mawkishly soft, but surprisingly touching.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Norma Rae is a seriously concerned contemporary drama, illuminated by some very good performances and one, Miss Field's, that is spectacular.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

At its heart, Norma Rae isn't a button-wearing union film as much as it is a character study of one woman who is pushed to the point of doing something spectacular.

Full Review… | April 16, 2014
7M Pictures

Inspiring pro-union story is good watch-together fare.

Full Review… | February 1, 2012
Common Sense Media

Sally Field won her first Oscar playing union activist Norma Rae.

Full Review… | February 23, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sally Field won her first Oscar for her performance in the title role, a complex portrayal of an working-class southern woman.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A beautifully made, splendidly acted film that more than achieves its aims.

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The closure is consistent and satisfying, standing in opposition to conventional Hollywood happy endings: Norma Rae and Jewish labor leader part as equals, with a respectful handshake rather than embrace or kiss; both have benefited from the friendship

Full Review… | September 14, 2006

Does it get any better than Sally Field?

March 11, 2006

Harrowing union vs corporation film has Oscar winning Field.

October 30, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

This inspiring movie really connects with our emotions. . . . Sally Field has the meatiest role of her career.

Full Review… | April 26, 2001
Spirituality and Practice

Sally Field made us like her, really like her, as the scrappy, titular star of this unionization drama.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Norma Rae

A fantastic social drama, and still relevant today too! Field is perfect, and she even won an award for this performance, so if you're a fan don't miss this one. It's a really good movie.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

Sally Field makes her outstanding performance (she won her first Best Actress Oscar) as a southern textile work attempting to unionise the mill with the aid of organiser Ron Leibman. Film is based on a true story and has good eyes and ears for authenticity. Entire case is first rate.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Sally Field is such a very good actress and shines in: Norma Rae.

Field plays Norma Rae whom lives in a very small town. Her livelihood depends on her job at the local and very established factory until one day things start to change for the worse. Norma then decides to take a stance and fight for a Union to get better compensation that is rightfully there's. This is an insiring film and Sally Field does a very good job with this role...very believable from start to finish....worth spending your time to see this 80's classic.

Mason Williams

Super Reviewer

Norma Rae is an uplifting story of a woman starting the first union at a factory. I really got into it.

Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

Norma Rae Quotes

Norma Rae:
I'm always fine. I'm a horse.
– Submitted by Wellington O (23 months ago)

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