Norma Rae

1979

Norma Rae

Critics Consensus

Spearheaded by a galvanizing Sally Field, Norma Rae is a heartening and politically powerful drama about an ordinary woman taking an extraordinary stand.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,183
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Movie Info

Norma Rae, a young Southern woman working at a cotton mill, encounters a union organizer and decides to join the effort to reform working conditions. This Oscar-winning drama follows Norma's crusade, as she leads a shutdown despite the opposition of her family and employers.

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News & Interviews for Norma Rae

Critic Reviews for Norma Rae

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (3)

  • As a rule, the filmmakers manufacture fake climaxes every 10 or 15 minutes, poop out and lapse into forgetfulness, just as if they were structuring the material for television.

    March 4, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It's a dear and corny story, played with lovable grubbiness by Sally Field and Ron Leibman, but it's not about what you think.

    February 6, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Norma Rae is that rare entity, an intelligent film with heart.

    January 11, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

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

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    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.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Norma Rae

  • Jan 05, 2019
    Field and Leibman are very good here but the movie spends too much time on soap opera-esque character dynamics. If there were more scenes like the iconic one of Field holding up the "union" sign or the workers recounting their difficulties then this might have been a more effective drama.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2014
    Kind of a relic from a bygone era, Norma Rae is a female unionist who goes through much of the trials and tribulations that one goes through in organizing a union in a hostile environment. Sally Field was nonetheless aptly rewarded for giving it her all.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    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 V Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2009
    Entertaing and original drama about the development of a Union in a Alabama textile factory. What makes this film great is the relationship between Sally Field and Ron Leibman.Everyone in the film is good,but these two make the film.He is a New York Union organizer and she is a worker in the factory and the both establish a bond right away.They become very close and have a almost romantic relationship without any romantic liaisons,which was very original. The Union story is also very interesting and the film takes its time to develop characters and story.Great direction by Martin Ritt and beautifully photographed by John Alonzo.
    cody f Super Reviewer

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