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Norma Rae

94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In an Oscar-winning performance, Sally Field is unforgettable as Norma Rae, the Southern millworker who revolutionizes a small town and discovers a power in herself she never had. Under the guidance of a New York unionizer (Ron Leibman) and with increasing courage and determination, Norma Rae organizes her fellow factory workers to fight for better conditions and wages. Based on a true story, Norma Rae is the mesmerizing tale of a modern day heroine. Beau Bridges co-stars.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Robert Broyles, John Calvin, Booth Colman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2001
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059HAN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,067 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Norma Rae" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. MacNeil on December 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Director Martin Ritt reportedly commented that his film of a mother working in a southern textile mill was flawed but that he hoped it was a realtistic portrayal of life and its flaws. It's tough to find the flaws in this superb film that earned Sally Field the first of her two Oscars ("Places in the Heart" won her the second five years later). As mill worker Norma Rae, Field's character lands the reluctant role of union organizer but in the process uncovers the essence of her own character and courage. The latter is no better conveyed than in what turned out to be one of cinematic history's most memorable images when the near-beaten Norma Rae stands on a table in front of 800 co-workers and, in so doing, becomes her own person. The film expertly conveys life in a southern town, but its devastating impact is Norma Rae's gradual emergence as a truly courageous person who is willing to risk it all to literally stand up for what she knows is right. Field's riveting performance reeled in every major acting award the year the film was released, and justly so. It may well remain her best work ever.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth on June 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
You go to the video store one night and you rent some film that you watch and think, "Yeah. That was OK. . .I shoulda gotten [that other film]." You return the tape. You get that other film and you watch it. The film is over, and you think, "That was OK, too, but I need to get [that other film]." You go to the video store to get that other film, and right next to it you see this film, Norma Rae, and it just happens on accident, but somehow you are attracted at first sight. So, you take that film home and you watch it and you think. . . "WOW! HOLY ----! THAT WAS THE BEST FILM YET!" This film is an attention-grabbing and overall outstanding film that leaves you with something every time you watch it. It stars Sally Field in one of her best performances, and you'll have no doubt in your mind that she is Norma Rae Webster. You return to the video store and find yourself asking, "How much to buy Norma Rae?"
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bartholomew VINE VOICE on February 25, 2010
Format: DVD
Hollywood has a rich tradition of producing topical that subsequently wind up becoming video time capsules, summing up where we were as a society at the time. In 1979 "Norma Rae" was a trenchant look into the pervasive poverty of the American South and unions as a means to shift that paradigm. It was a groundbreaking performance for Sally Field, normally cast as the ingénue, and for Beau Bridges as her put-upon husband. I'd not seen the film in its original release, but seeing it 30 years on certainly does give it a different feel. At the time of its initial release it was as pro-union a film as could be imagined. Thirty years on it now feels more like an elegy for an industry shipped overseas as a result of higher wages and globalization. The unionization of "Norma Rae" ironically proved to be the undoing of the mills and the millworkers. The mill itself plays a prominent role in the movie, and the work seems little changed from even a hundred years prior. The loud roar of the machines pervades the movie, the cotton lint floating in the air coating the machines and workers alike a rough symbolism of how the workers and machines have become one.

"Norma Rae" is also pitch-perfect for the times, capturing the racism and anti-Semitism of the era; something rarely attempted in today's politically correct times. Field is superb as the flawed yet indomitable Norma Rae, and it's easy to see how she won the Oscar for her performance. The end is fittingly unsentimental and atypical for a Hollywood film with Norma Rae seeing Rueben, the union organizer, off to yet another destination. You couldn't create a better ending as sentimentalists would have the two running off together, but realists know Rueben is a man on a mission.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 6, 2003
Format: DVD
Sally Field gives a career turning performance in 1979's Norma Rae. Up to that point, Ms. Field was better known as a TV actress who starred in fluffy comedies like Gidget, The Flying Nun & The Girl With Something Extra. In 1976, she showed a more serious side, taking home an Emmy for her work as a young girl with multiple personalities in Sybil. After Sybil, she proceeded to star in more fluff pieces like Smokey & The Bandit, Hooper & The End with her then boyfriend Burt Reynolds. Norma Rae was a film with much more substance. In fact after reading the script, Mr. Reynolds advised her that she would win an Oscar for the film. He turned out to be quite prophetic. Ms. Field is superb in the title role. Norma is an unassuming factory worker from a small town in the South, who is widowed and has two kids with two separate fathers. That is until she meets Reuben Warshawky (Ron Liebman). Reuben is an Union organizer from New York City and he is trying to get the mill workers to set up a union. Most people ignore as they are fearful for their jobs, but Norma is intrigued and she starts meeting with Reuben to try and start a union. She is met with resistance and is bullied by her bosses, but Norma is not persuaded to quit. She feels that she has stood by her whole life without making a difference and this is her chance to actually matter. There is of course the famous scene where Norma is about to be removed from the mill and she defiantly stands on a table with the Union sign. Her co-workers one by one realize the chances she's taken for them and they shut off their machines in support. The film has some excellent supporting work from Mr. Liebman, Beau Bridges and Pat Hingle, but this is Ms. Field's film all the way. She proved Mr. Reynolds right and took home the 1979 Best Actress Oscar and set forth on a path that would add another Oscar to her collection and feature some of the best films of 1980's & 1990's.
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