An impassioned New York union man comes to a small southern baptist town entirely dependent on the local textile mill for economic support, and convinces working girl Norma Rae to take up the fight for organized labour, much to the chagrin of the belligerent management. Sally Field is excellent as Norma Rae, finding just the right note of cultural authenticity without being exploitive or traipsing into melodrama. One could fault the screenplay for its one-sided depiction of complicated labour politics, presenting the workers as stalwart victims and the bosses as inhuman demons, when, in fact, there are complexities in the issues that go unexplored. But to have been so objective would have diminished the dramatic pull of the picture, turning it into a head-scratching mess. As it is, the film works quite well. Director Martin Ritt does a good job at evoking the noisy, sweaty, hostile environment of the factory floor with smart photography and sound design.