Made in Dagenham

Among the Coming Attractions on the DVD of The King’s Speech was the trailer for Made in Dagenham.  It looked like my kind of film, an underdog story, a cute British cast, and good old Bob Hoskins.

I grew up in the 1970s with no father to speak of, a working mother,  and an older sister who was quite taken with the women’s liberation movement. It is a bit shocking to see that male chauvinism and outright sexual discrimination was still going strong in 1968.  For some reason I thought that whole Suffragette thing would have fixed this problem as well-guess not.

The women in Made in Dagenham work at the Ford factory sewing car seat covers-and only women work in the division of the plant sewing car seat covers.  For some baffling reason, the women are not paid as much as the men.  Among the lame ass excuses of the time were that the men had families to support and the women were just working for the hell of it.

The women are members of a Union, as it seems, is everyone working in Britain at this time.  When their complaints fall on deaf ears, they go on strike.  In time, this strike closes down the entire plant, as a car without seat covers is not really ready to be sold.

This leads to a lot of the aforementioned men with families to support being unhappy with the striking women and even their own husbands want them to go back to work.  But the women stick to their guns, finally winning the support of the Union and the backing of a woman in the Government.    Barbara Castle was the Secretary of State and brought to mind the only woman I am familiar with in British politics, Margaret Thatcher.

At one point a nasty and evil Henry Ford II calls up the local Ford boys and tells them to put an end to the strike.  The voice sounded a lot like Penn Jillette.

In the end, the good guys win, justice is served, and life returns to normal.  The most shocking bit of the movie happens when the credits roll and we are shown photos of the real women who worked at the Ford Plant in Dagenham.  Damn.  They were some shockingly unattractive women.  But then, they were auto workers, not actresses.

Made in Dagenham was a great movie, I really liked it.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

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