Made in Dagenham (2010)

R   |    |  Biography, Comedy, Drama


Made in Dagenham (2010) Poster

A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.


7.2/10
13,370

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  • Miranda Richardson and Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Sally Hawkins at an event for Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Andrea Riseborough in Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Sally Hawkins at an event for Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Sally Hawkins at an event for Made in Dagenham (2010)

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28 December 2010 | eatfirst
7
| Gritty and funny social history lesson
Social drama and comedy can be a tough balancing act. In telling the story of how a small group of women working in a factory in the late 1960s began a minor industrial dispute that rapidly escalated into a spearhead movement for gender equality in employment, Made in Dagenham plays it mostly for drama and keeps the laughs low-key and naturalistic. A closer kin to say, Billy Elliot, than to The Full Monty.

Sally Hawkins, best known so far for her breakout role in Happy Go Lucky, becomes the accidental spokesperson in this dispute, and delivers a beautifully nuanced performance of a woman who is angry and frustrated at the injustices of her situation, but has never felt able to voice them until now. In her quiet, sometimes faltering delivery we can sense the well of deep-seated conviction that has been struggling to find its voice. However, it is in the relationships of the women that the film finds its most compelling moments. Few movies these days even attempt, and very rarely succeed, in painting such an honest and heartfelt picture of female relationships and interaction.

By comparison to the core group, some of the surrounding roles (Bob Hoskins magnificently excepted) are rather more coarsely sketched. A pair of dopey civil servants in particular seem to be intended (although certainly not succeeding) as comedy sidekicks and feel rather out of place.

However the story is told in such an understated manner, easy on the grandstanding, and rather working its way under the skin with warmth and honesty; that after being little more than mildly entertained for much of the running time, I was genuinely caught off guard by how I was suddenly seething with anger at the unfairness of their plight, or elated with each little success. In a tale with huge nationwide consequences, it's the personal victories that count the most.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sandie Shaw who sang the film's title song used to work as a punched-card operator in the Ford plant at Dagenham several years before the events depicted in the film.


Quotes

Rita O'Grady: Bollocks. I'm sorry, but it is. Three hours we've been sat here. That's what matters to the girls? How you're qualified to talk about that, I do not know.
Rita O'Grady: Have a look at this. There. You put them together, go on!
Ford executive: Ford property, I believe?
Rita O'Grady: Oh stop it...


Goofs

A Triumph Toledo with G reg number plates was shown in one shot. The Toledo was introduced in 1970; the correct model would have been the Triumph 1300. Also a G plate denotes a car registered between 1 August 1968 and 31 July 1969, whereas all the action in the film took place in during three weeks in June 1968.


Crazy Credits

Captions in the closing credits: "Two years later in May 1970 the Equal Pay Act became law. Similar legislation quickly followed in most industrial countries across the world. Ford Motor Company Limited went on to effect changes in its employment practices and is now used as an example of a good practice employer."


Soundtracks

Paper Sun
Written by
Steve Winwood (as Winwood) / Jim Capaldi (as Capaldi) / Chris Wood (as Wood) / Dave Mason (as Mason)
Performed by Traffic
Published by Universal / Island Music and © 1967 (Renewed) F.S. Music Ltd (PRS)
All Rights On Behalf Of F.S. Music Ltd
Administered By Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd

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Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Comedy | Drama | History

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