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Made in Dagenham (Blu-ray Review)

24 Mar, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 3/29/11
Sony Pictures
Box Office $1.1 million
$28.95 DVD, $34.95 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for language and brief sexuality.
Stars Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike, Bob Hoskins.

Women have made great strides toward attaining equality with men, and we have everyday heroes such as Rita O’Grady, who stood firm in the face of staunch opposition, to thank. Made in Dagenham revisits Dagenham, United Kingdom, in 1968 — when females were paid less, simply because they were women.

Fed up with the disparity (the factory’s 55,000 male employees earned a significantly higher salary), 187 female machinists at the Ford factory make their demands well known, resulting in an all-out stoppage of work that temporarily cripples the entire manufacturing operation.

Leading the cause is Rita (Sally Hawkins), a married mother of two. She along with her cohorts — Brenda (Andrea Riseborough), Sandra (Jaime Winstone) and Connie (Geraldine James) — find their voices, despite threats from the patronizing male management. But not all the men hold that chauvinistic mentality. Factory manager Albert (Bob Hoskins) encourages the women to press on, himself the product of a working mother’s household. Rita’s husband (Daniel Mays) assumes the household duties while she strikes, eventually fostering a respect for her passion.

Based on true events, Made in Dagenham is an inspirational story about fighting for what’s right. The women, after a meeting with Secretary of State Barbara Castle (Miranda Richardson), earned a salary of 92% what men received. In 1970 the government passed the Equal Pay Act, which led the push for fair wages in other nations.

Made in Dagenham manages to sprinkle in subtle comedic moments. It’s amusing to watch as the ladies catcall and goose a young male worker who enters their workspace, smoke cigarettes and make crass jokes.

The bonus material includes a commentary from director Nigel Cole, a making-of featurette, eight deleted scenes and a playful outtakes segment highlighting the foul-mouthed cast’s best blunders, proving that curse words sound funnier when spoken in a British accent.

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