Norma Rae is a 1979 American drama film about a factory worker from a small town in North Carolina who becomes involved in the labor union activities at the textile factory where she works after the health of her and her co-workers is compromised. The film stars Sally Field in the title role, Beau Bridges as Norma Rae's husband, Sonny, and Ron Leibman as union organizer Reuben Warshowsky.
The movie was written by Harriet Frank, Jr. and Irving Ravetch, and was directed by Martin Ritt. It is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton, which was told in the 1975 book Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance by New York Times reporter Henry P. Leifermann.
The film premiered at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival where Field won the Best Actress Prize and was released theatrically on March 2 1979 to widespread critical praise. Much acclaim and appreciation was focused in particular towards Field's performance, which was noteworthy as it was a very different role from the previous roles she played, which were usually the girlfriend roles in light comedies–Norma Rae was a significant departure for Field, given that it was a drama about a single mother fighting for the unionising of her hazardous workplace. The film received 6 nominations at the 52nd Academy Awards including Best Picture and won two: Best Actress for Field and Best Original Song for its theme song "It Goes Like It Goes." The film was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2011, deemed as being "culturally, aesthetically or historically significant".