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What's it About
Afterhearing union organizer Reuben (Ron Leibman) deliver a speech at the textile mill where she works, Norma Rae (Field) joins the effort to organize workers. Butting heads with management, and alienating husband Sonny (Bridges) with her new activism, Norma Rae perseveres and becomes a confident, courageous fighter.
Why we love it
The diminutive but plucky Field, who got her start playing Gidget on television, achieved breakout movie stardom with her assured, Oscar-winning performance as “Norma Rae,” who evolves from pliant employee to impassioned agitator for workers’ rights. The interplay between Norma Rae and unlikely ally Reuben (Leibman) is interesting to watch, but ultimately it’s the emergence of Norma Rae’s righteous fire that’s most memorable, reminding us that in this country, fighting for the fair treatment of working people is both a right and necessity.