Made in Dagenham Movie Review

Made in Dagenham Movie Review

Go see “Made in Dagenham”! Movie reviews are saying that this new movie release is going to be a big box office hot. It’s not one of the top action movies, it’s a quiet British movie about a factory strike in the ‘60s that was the inspiration for the Equal Pay Act. It’s a smart new movie with heart and soul.

Sally Hawkins stars in “Made in Dagenham” as Rita O’Grady, one of 187 women who work as machinists at the Ford Factory in a suburb of London called Dagenham. Ford is the big employer in Dagenham. The men that work for Ford work in a wonderful new plant and the women work in a plant built in the ‘20s that is leaky when it rains. It’s so hot in the summer that the women have to take their clothing off and work in their underwear. No matter how talented they are, women are classified as unskilled laborers and make much less than the men who work for Ford.

Bob Hoskins plays the plant’s union rep. He picks Rita and a shop steward, Connie, played by Geraldine James, to meet with management to discuss the women’s complaints. Besides Rita and Connie, the rest of the women are either fat, matronly old ladies or cheap, hot, tarts wearing frosted lipstick. Kenneth Cranham plays, Monty, the local big mouth union head who tells the women to tone it down, giving them no help whatsoever. Rita becomes angry and swears to strike if nothing is done to help them.

In the beginning, the strike doesn’t make many waves. Ford has enough parts put away that it doesn’t much care whether the women are working. The women are mostly ignored. When word about the strike gets out, Rita becomes more confident and the strike becomes front page news, inspiring other women in other unions to join the ladies of Dagenham. Miranda Richardson plays Barbara Castle, the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity. The strike catches her attention as she also has workplace inequalities she must face.

At first everything is almost Disneyish in its cheerfulness. But then Ford is forced to shut down the plant and most of Dagenham is unemployed, including Rita’s husband Eddie, played by Danny Mays. People are bitter and having a hard time making ends meet and the striking women find themselves at the center of a media frenzy.

This is going to be one of the biggest new movie releases of the year. It’s based on a true story that improved the paychecks of women everywhere. The performances are wonderful and the storytelling is superb. Go see “Made in Dagenham.”

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