MARTIN RITT | USA | 1979 | 114 MIN | PG
Single mom Norma Rae (Sally Field) is accustomed to being overworked and underpaid, just like nearly everyone else in her small North Carolina town where the local cotton mill is king. She’s living with her parents and barely scraping by, but her outlook begins to change when a smart-aleck union organizer (Ron Leibman) comes to town and convinces a reluctant Norma Rae to put her job and reputation on the line by gathering support for a textile workers’ union. Though threatened by her bosses and angrily opposed by many of her coworkers, Norma Rae gradually comes into her own as a leader and taps into a strength she didn’t know she had. Previously known mostly for her lighthearted television roles, Field thoroughly established her dramatic chops and took home an Oscar for her gutsy, nuanced performance. Her Norma Rae is a movie hero for the ages: uncertain and far from perfect, but fierce and triumphant all the same.
Cast: Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman, Pat Hingle
“That rare entity, an intelligent film with heart.” –Variety
American cinema has always held a mirror to the country’s ever-changing cultural and political landscape, giving the American people a chance to experience their deepest fears and loftiest ambitions magnified by the power of the silver screen. With State of the Union, PFS invites audiences to explore the country’s past and imagine its future through films that rigorously examine American leaders, institutions, and values while still being great works of entertainment.