"Compelling, But Socialist"
MADE IN DAGENHAM is a British movie about how Britain came to pass legislation in 1970 forcing businesses to establish “equal pay for equal work” for women.
The setting is 1968 when Harold Wilson is prime minister and Barbara Castle is Wilson’s Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity. At the time, England was wracked by frequent labor strikes, which have reduced the nation’s productivity.
In Dagenham, at the local Ford factory, Rita O’Grady is a young married mother, one of 187 women who work in the division sewing together car seat upholstery. Rita and her fellow workers decide to bring their grievances to management about getting lower pay than the men and being classified as “unskilled” workers.
Their sympathetic union rep, Albert, who remembers his mother slaving away for little pay, encourages Rita to join her best friend and shop steward, Connie, at the meeting. Outraged by the lack of respect for the women by Ford’s local management at the meeting, Rita surprises everyone, including herself, by speaking very forcibly.
Led by Rita and Connie, the women go out on strike for a day. The management refuses to listen, however, so the women decide to go on strike permanently until their demands are met.
At first, the men at the factory, including Rita’s husband Eddie, are sympathetic. Then, however, when the factory runs out of upholstery, all the men are laid off.
The question then becomes, will the women stick to their guns, even when the lack of money starts to hurt their families and their husbands get fed up?
MADE IN DAGENHAM clearly sympathizes with Rita and the women’s struggles to get equal pay. Even the rich wife of one of the Ford manager’s expresses sympathy for their struggle and urges Rita to keep fighting. [SPOILER ALERTS] Eventually, the government decides in favor of the women and decides to force Ford to give women all over Britain in similar positions 92% of the same pay as the male skilled workers, with the promise of equal pay legislation later. An epilogue tells viewers that an Equal Pay Act became law in 1970.
MADE IN DAGENHAM is a very well produced, but overlong, movie that seems fairly accurate. The acting is excellent. Sally Hawkins as Rita is especially good in the role that has to carry the film. In fact, the whole movie is very entertaining and often funny and heartfelt, without being ponderous or boring.
Viewers can, and perhaps should, sympathize with these women’s efforts to be labeled as “skilled” workers, that is what they were, and to get a fairer wage. However, the movie not only supports lengthy strikes, it also supports government action to force employers to pay people what government bureaucrats decide by fiat they should get. Workers may get temporary benefits from these kinds of policies, but these policies have almost destroyed the automobile industry and other industries in Great Britain as well as the United States. And, who gets hurt the most then? The average worker and his or her average family, that’s who!
Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® judges MADE IN DAGENHAM as excessive. There’s even a couple positive quotes by two male union leaders from demented Communist fanatic Karl Marx in the movie! No wonder MADE IN DAGENHAM was funded partly by the British government.
Note: MADE IN DAGENHAM also contains plenty of strong foul language and a brief scene of depicted fornication. See our CONTENT section above for more details. Thank you!
(RoRoRo, FeFeFe, SoSo, Co, B, C, LLL, V, SS, A, D, M) Very strong Romantic worldview with very strong feminist content favoring socialist government action to force employers to pay women an “equal” wage, with a couple positive quotes from Communist fanatic Karl Marx by male union leaders disagreeing with one another on what Marx meant, and some moral elements, including pro-family content, but placed in the movie’s Romantic, feminist, egalitarian liberal worldview, plus Christian funeral of a suicide victim with an overt reference to the Holy Trinity, but otherwise, faith plays no part; at least 22 obscenities (including many “f” words), eight strong profanities and six light profanities; implied hanging suicide and veteran has war nightmare; briefly depicted fornication in a car; upper male nudity and some women strip down to bras in sweltering factory room; alcohol use; smoking; and, lying, deceit, some sexism, and some bullying.
MADE IN DAGENHAM is a British historical drama about a woman who led a strike at one of Ford Motor Company’s factories in 1968. The strike led to the British government enacting the Equal Pay Act in 1970. Sally Hawkins plays Rita O’Grady, the young mother who startles her fellow workers and her husband by emerging from her shell to lead the women’s crusade. The question becomes, Will the women stick to their guns, even when the lack of money starts to hurt their families and their husbands get fed up?
MADE IN DAGENHAM is very well produced, though overlong. It also seems fairly accurate. The acting is spot on. Sally Hawkins is especially good in the role that carries the movie. Viewers can sympathize with the women’s efforts to be labeled as “skilled” workers and get a fairer wage. However, the movie not only supports lengthy strikes. It also supports government action to force employers to pay people what government bureaucrats decide. It also has plenty of strong foul language and two quotes from Communist fool Karl Marx. So, it has a socialist agenda that leaves much to be desired.