Director: Nigel Cole
Running time: 109 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 1st October 2010
Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 15th November 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I remember when this came out the director came on the radio and complained bitterly that it had been given a 15 certificate. The main reason for this was the amount of swearing used, particularly in the first half of the film. Well, I’m sorry to say Mr Cole, but the BBFC were right, I’m pretty sure 12 year olds swear enough without seeing adults doing it to that extent on the big screen. But enough of my ramblings… more after this very brief summary.
It is 1968 and the Ford motor company have several large manufacturing plants here in the UK. One of the largest is at Dagenham in the South East of England and part of their operation is the women who sew together the seat covers etc. Their job has been downgraded as unskilled and they are paid the minimum Ford can get away with. With the help of their union representative, Albert Passingham, they take a vote and decide to stand up for their rights. A meeting is convened with the management and Rita O’Grady is one of those picked to represent the workers. At the meeting, Rita is unhappy with the way they are treated and tells them that they are going out on strike. It turns out there are bigger issues at stake and this little dispute is soon making national news as the people come to the realisation it’s more about equal pay for women than anything else. I won’t say any more or the Spoiler Police will be checking my union card.
Well made with some nice comic moments, but it’s FAR from the comedy much of the publicity may tell you it is. Decent performances all round, particularly from; Sally Hawkins as Rita O’Grady, Geraldine James as Connie, Bob Hoskins as Albert Passingham, Jaime Winstone as Sandra, Daniel Mays as Eddie O’Grady, Rosamund Pike as Lisa Hopkins and Miranda Richardson as Barbara Castle.
One of the things that put me off seeing this at the cinema was the fact that it was being touted as a comedy. Imagine my surprise when I found it was actually a semi-biographical drama about the struggle for equal pay for women with some comic moments thrown in. A much better proposition in my book and one I pretty much enjoyed. Throw in a few tunes of the day and you’ve got something certainly worth a look. I may be slightly biased because these events occurred during my lifetime, although I was pretty young at the time, but still, it’s a pretty good film and worth a viewing if you get the chance.
My score: 7.1/10
IMDb Score: 7.1/10 (based on 3,829 votes at the time of going to press).
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Rita O'Grady: Look I know you're not mentioning it because you're being polite and everything, but that day when we met in the corridor, well I was really upset, and I never really use that type of language.
Lisa Hopkins: Don't you?
Rita O'Grady: No.
Lisa Hopkins: Well I called Mr Clark a complete cock.
News Reporter 1: What if Mrs. Castle says "no deal"?
News Reporter 2: How will you cope then?
Rita O'Grady: Cope? How will we cope? We're women. Now, don't ask such stupid questions.
Official Site: http://www.sonyclassics.com/madeindagenham/#/home/