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Posts Tagged ‘Movie’

Norma Rae Dead at age 60

September 14th, 2009 2 comments

Crystal Lee Sutton the inspiration of Sally Field’s Character in a 1979 movie Norma Rae has died at age 68.  It is reported that Sutton died from brain cancer in the Burlington Hospice Home in Burlington, North Carolina.

According to Sutton herself in an article from Facing South the health insurer delayed treatment.

Read the Facing South article for more information about her treatment and history as a labor activist.

Real ‘Norma Rae’ dies of cancer after insurer delayed treatment

The North Carolina union organizer who was the inspiration for the movie “Norma Rae” died on Friday of brain cancer after a battle with her insurance company, which delayed her treatment. She was 68.

Crystal Lee Sutton, formerly Crystal Lee Jordan, was fired from her job folding towels at the J.P. Stevens textile plant in her hometown of Roanoke Rapids, N.C. for trying to organize a union in the early 1970s. Her last action at the plant — writing the word “UNION” on a piece of cardboard and standing on her work table, leading her co-workers to turn off their machines in solidarity — was memorialized in the 1979 film by actress Sally Field. The police physically removed Sutton from the plant for her action.

But her efforts ultimately succeeded, as the Amalgamated Clothing Workers won the right to represent the plant’s employees on Aug. 28, 1974. Sutton later became a paid organizer for the union, which through a series of mergers became part of UNITE HERE before splitting off this year to form Workers United, which is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union.

Several years ago, Sutton was diagnosed with meningioma, a type of cancer of the nervous system. While such cancers are typically slow-growing, Sutton’s was not — and she went two months without potentially life-saving medication because her insurance wouldn’t cover it initially. Sutton told the Burlington (N.C.) Times-News last year that the insurer’s behavior was an example of abuse of the working poor:

“How in the world can it take so long to find out [whether they would cover the medicine or not] when it could be a matter of life or death,” she said. “It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.”

Though Sutton eventually received the medication, the cancer had already taken hold. She passed away on Friday, Sept. 11 in a Burlington, N.C. hospice.

“Crystal Lee Sutton was a remarkable woman whose brave struggles have left a lasting impact on this country and without doubt, on me personally,” Field said in a statement released Friday. “Portraying Crystal Lee in ‘Norma Rae,’ however loosely based, not only elevated me as an actress, but as a human being.”

Field won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her portrayal of the character based on Sutton. The film in turn was based on the 1975 book “Crystal Lee: A Woman of Inheritance” by New York Times reporter Henry P. “Hank” Leiferman.

Sutton was only 17 when she began working at the J.P. Stevens plant in northeastern North Carolina, where conditions were poor and the pay was low. A Massachusetts-based company that for many years was listed on the Fortune 500, J.P. Stevens is now part of the WestPoint Home conglomerate.

In 1973, Sutton, by then a mother of three, was earning only $2.65 an hour. That same year, Eli Zivkovich, a former coal miner from West Virginia, came to Roanoke Rapids to organize the plant and began working with Sutton, who was fired after she copied a flyer posted by management warning that blacks would run the union. It was that incident which led Sutton to stand up with her “UNION” sign.

“It is not necessary I be remembered as anything, but I would like to be remembered as a woman who deeply cared for the working poor and the poor people of the U.S. and the world,” she said in a newspaper interview last year. “That my family and children and children like mine will have a fair share and equality.”

For more on Sutton’s life and work, visit the website of the Alamance Community College’s Crystal Sutton Collection.

Categories: employment, news Tags: , ,

“W” The Movie

October 22nd, 2008 1 comment

W The Movie LogoI saw Oliver Stone’s “W” tonight starring Josh Brolin as George W. Bush.  The movie takes a trip through one of the most controversial figures in Presidential History.  Weather you are “W” (pronounced “dub-ya”) fan or not you can not deny the role of the 42nd presidents role in history.

Oliver Stone’s movie more or less portrayed George Bush’s life history bringing out some of the dark and happy days in his life.  Through out the movie alternated between a flashbacks of recent times and younger days of George W. Bush’s life.

I went into the movie expecting fireworks and slight, neither of which was present.  The movie was intended for viewers to draw their own conclusions.  The film certainly had its fair share of comedy and humor.  But, something it didn’t have was a true point.  The movie bordered on being a documentary.  For those people like myself that were expecting a Michael Moore style Fahrenheit 9/11 you will be disappointed and those looking for entertainment will also be disappointed.  If you have been conscious at any point in the last 8 years already know the story.

Would I go see the movie again?  No.  Do I consider it disappointing?  Yes.  Is it worth the price of the movie ticket price?  No.

Ultimately the movie was virtually a waste of time.  I have seen George W. Bush documentaries online that are more worthy of being in the theater.  The only reason this movie ever saw the silver screen is because of Oliver Stone.  Clearly this is no JFK Movie.  This movie probably will not make it to cable TV and with little chance of being a success.

What would have made this movie a success?  Easy, take a side and set off fireworks.  Choose either to highlight George W. Bush’s success or failures.  Spark fires and don’t play to the center.  The movie premier date was great for fireworks and success.  Just like tabloid magazine, “trash sells”.

Check out the Trailer for the movie:

[sniplet w-the-movie-trailer]

What do you think of the Movie?  Will you see it?  What do you think?

Categories: TV Tags: ,

Eagle Eye the Movie

October 3rd, 2008 1 comment

Eagle Eye the MovieTonight I took a break from politics to see what hollywood had to offer.  I went to a nice huge 30 theater AMC in Sterling Heights, Michigan.  Yeah Yeah, I recently moved to the Detroit Michigan area, to for those of you who didn’t know.

I really had little expectations going into the movie.  I was looking for entertainment more so than I was expecting a fantastic movie. Eagle Eye did live up to the hype of its trailer and online reviews.  In fact there was rarely a dull momment.  I figured it was going to be another chase movie.  But in fact it wasn’t.  I doubt it wins many awards but give it a solid B+ for entertainment value.

See the movie trailer.

Are you going to see the movie?  What did you think about it?

Categories: Blogging Tags: