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Norma Rae is a 1979 American drama film directed by Martin Ritt from a screenplay written by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. Based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton, which was told in the 1975 book Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance by reporter Henry P. Leifermann of The New York Times, it stars Sally Field in the titular role. Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman, Pat Hingle, Barbara Baxley, and Gail Strickland are featured in supporting roles. The film follows Norma Rae Webster, an uneducated factory worker in North Carolina who becomes involved in trade union activities at the textile factory where she works after her and her co-workers' health is compromised due to poor working conditions.

Plot

Norma Rae Webster is a worker in a cotton mill that has taken too much of a toll on the health of her family for her to ignore their poor working conditions. She is also a single mother with two children by different fathers, one dead and the other negligent, and frequently has flings with other men to alleviate her loneliness and boredom. Initially, management tries to divert her frequent protests by promoting her to "spot checker", where she is responsible for making sure other workers are fulfilling work quotas. She reluctantly takes the job for the pay hike, but when fellow employees, including her own father, shun her for effectively being a "fink" to the bosses, she demands to be fired. Instead, she is demoted back to the line.

Awards