On Labor Day pay tribute to workers, especially those who have worked for better conditions for everyone. These movies can help us understand their challenges and their contributions. This year in particular these stories have even more resonance as the very people who make the movies, the writers and performers are on strike to oppose shrinking writers rooms, wage theft, and the use of AI to undermine their current contracts.
Sally Field won an Oscar for “Norma Rae,” a real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. It was inspired by Crystal Lee Sutton, a courageous advocate for workers’ rights.
Doris Day plays a union worker who falls for a new guy in management but doesn’t lose sight of the seven and a half cent raise the workers are bargaining for in the rollicking musical, “The Pajama Game.”
“Made in Dagenham” stars Sally Hawkins and and Rosamund Pike in the true and very heartwarming story of the British women who went on strike when they found that they were being paid far less by Ford Motor Company than the men.
“Pride” — I love this true story, about a group of LGBTQ activists who support the 1984 miners’ strike in Wales.
“10PM-Midnight: Working the Night Shift” is the story of the people who keep things going while the rest of us are asleep.
“Lifelines in the Lockdown” is a CBS News documentary from the early days of the pandemic about essential workers.
John Sayles’ “Matewan” tells the story of mine workers fighting for safer conditions.
“Harlan County USA” is a documentary about a strike by mine workers.
“Bread and Roses” is based on the real-life story of a strike by undocumented janitorial workers, with Adrian Brody as their lawyer.
“Salt of the Earth” was inspired by an actual miners’ strike against the Empire Zinc Co. and the cast includes real-life miners who were involved in the strike
In “The Devil and Miss Jones,” a big boss goes undercover as an employee in his department store and learns some lessons about the workforce. The terrific cast includes Charles Coburn, Spring Byington, and Jean Arthur.
I’m excited at the possibility we might be getting a sequel to the classic “9 to 5,” starring the iconic Jane Fonda, Lili Tomlin, and Dolly Parton. Is there a better bad boss than Dabney Coleman? Or a better song than this film’s title sung by Parton?
Originally published at https://moviemom.com.