Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this classic union movie makes a strong statement about workers' rights and the impact one person can make in the face of great odds. Swearing and harsh language is common ("hell," "s--t," "ass,") and some racial and ethnic slurs are heard ("kike"). There are no sexually explicit scenes, but references to Norma Rae's promiscuous past and male come-ons run throughout. Two characters take a nude swim together, but there is no sexual behavior; only the man's backside can be briefly glimpsed through the water. In one scene, Norma Rae is slapped by a boyfriend and appears soon after with a bloody nose and bruises. White thugs attack an African-American worker, but his friends quickly come to his aid. Characters drink beer and wine occasionally and talk about drinking; one scene shows the drunk heroine vomiting.
No nudity or on-screen sexual activity, but there are numerous references to Norma Rae's promiscuous past; men still frequently make verbal sexual advances towards her. She and a boyfriend are shown in a motel room after an adulterous liaison; Norma Rae is dressing, wearing a bra. Two characters swim naked in a pond (there's a brief glimpse of the man's backside through the water); the two never touch. A loving kiss leads to a romantic relationship; the characters marry and are seen sharing a bed.
A woman is hit by her boyfriend, later appears with a bloody nose and bruises. Young white thugs beat up a young African-American mill worker. Others come to his rescue.
Occasional swearing and harsh language: "hell," "ass," "goddamn," "s--t," "bastards," "Christ," "spread your legs for a poke," "balls." Some bigotry: "kike," "I heard you had horns"; racial discrimination is clearly demonstrated in several scenes ("you have a black man in our house?").
Promotes standing up for what is right despite overwhelming odds. Describes the courage necessary and frustration experienced in the fight against injustice, greed, and inhuman treatment. Shows that one person can have tremendous impact.
Coca Cola and Schlitz displayed front and center in multiple scenes. Other products: KFC, Cap'n Crunch, RC Cola, Dr. Pepper, Joy, Brillo.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Beer drinking in numerous scenes. Leading characters get very drunk in a bar (vomiting results). Discussion of driving while drunk; sober companion insists upon taking the wheel. A wedding toast with homemade wine. Some background characters smoke.