ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – M – Made in Dagenham (2010) Movie Review

Director: Nigel Cole

Writer: William Ivory (Screenplay)

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Andrea Riseborough, Jaime Winstone, Lorraine Stanley, Nicola Duffett, Geraldine James, Bob Hoskins

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

Tagline – Dagenham, England, 1968. An ordinary woman fights for equal pay and achieves something extraordinary.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Made in Dagenham starts as we meet the female workers I the Ford car plant in Dagenham, Rita O’Grady (Hawkins) is one of the employees in the plant. The women are looking for better pay, which will see Rita working with Albert (Hoskins) to lead the women on a fight against Ford, not only for better pay, but for equal pay for women.

As the strike starts getting a following, the women take a bigger battle for equal pay in every job, pushing for the change that will be remembered forever.

Thoughts on Made in Dagenham

Characters & Performances – Rita works in the manufacturing part of the Ford garage in Dagenham, she is the timid for the most part, but when the women look to get better pay, she will become the leader they need, she will put herself in the position where she can make enemies within the company, but will lead the march for change. Sally Hawkins is brilliant as the timid leader, showing us just how much of a change the everyday person will take. Albert Passingham is the factory manager that will push the ladies into fighting for what is right, he will stand up for them, but knows they need to lead the fight themselves. Bob Hoskins is great to watch, bringing most of the comedy into the film, while getting across the message that not everyone thinks the same, some think better. Barbara Castle is the member of parliament that is looking for the unions to come together, she will use her position to help make this happen, knowing the change in important for everyone. Miranda Richardson is great in the supporting role, giving us a character that will look to bring the change through. We do meet plenty of the other women involved in the strike, each with their own motivation for being involved, we have the men fighting back and the husband who are doing the best to support their fight. This truly is an all-star cast of brilliant performances.

StoryThe story here follows the women of the Ford plant who went on strike to get equal pay, leading to a bigger change across the country and the world for equal pay for the same job. This is a moment in history that should be known, taught and respected, showing how the small manufacturers went out on strike to make sure everyone got the same pay, for the same role, it will show how the rich companies would do anything to make sure they kept up their profit to levels where it would put their employees down. Seeing the unity between the women shows us just what it mean for them to get to make the difference to their own lives, let alone the world.

ThemesMade in Dagenham is a biographical comedy about the change these women pushed for in England, showing they are from estates, who might never get the chance to make a difference, standing up against the rich who would always put them down. The historical change is the most important part of this story, which sadly, is still a conversation we are having today.


Made in Dagenham is a brilliant and important movie that shows us the people who risked more to make a change.

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