Made in Dagenham Movie Poster Image

Made in Dagenham



Uplifting tale of fight for equal pay; strong language.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In a hostile environment against substantial odds, even those who seem powerless can prevail if their cause is just and they have courageous leadership. Everyone must stand tall together when facing discrimination and unfairness.

Positive role models

The filmmakers make an effort to avoid stereotyping both men and women in this period piece. Rita O'Grady, a working class woman, is characterized as brave, smart, caring, and understanding as are women in the upper reaches of English society. Most of the corporate types depicted are concerned only with the bottom line and appear to see women as second-class citizens. They are balanced by a sympathetic male supervisor, some loving family members, and some men in the upper echelons of society who are willing to change their views.


A man has a brief nightmare which recalls a wartime experience. There is an off camera suicide; the character's shoes, hanging and swinging are seen as a scream is heard.


A couple is shown briefly, from the shoulders up and clothed, having sexual intercourse in a tavern  bathroom. In a factory with soaring temperatures, some of the women remove their shirts and work in their bras in several scenes.


Lots of hard-edged working class swearing, British style: "bollocks," "arse," "shitty," "dick," "s--t," "nard on," and numerous uses of "f--k."


The Ford Motor company is the chief villain in this film.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Set in 1968, many of the characters (including the leading men and women) smoke throughout. There is some drinking at a local bar and at a party, several participants are drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that though this film is rated R, based on occasional vulgar language ("f--k" in numerous forms, "bollocks," "arse," "s--t'), and one short sexual encounter (shot from the shoulders up; participants are clothed), it is an educational and entertaining look back at a courageous period in the history of women's rights. Set in England, the working class dialect may be hard for an American audience to understand in some scenes, but it most likely will not impact the viewer's general grasp of the story. One secondary character has a violent dream and then commits suicide off camera. His feet are seen swaying above the floor as his wife screams upon discovering him. Assorted women of all shapes and sizes remove their shirts and work in their bras in an uncomfortably warm factory. Many characters smoke frequently and there is some drinking and drunkenness when the workers unwind in local bars.

What's the story?

Labeled "unskilled," with poor working conditions and low wages, a stalwart group of women machinists who make upholstery for cars built by the Ford Motor Company take on the corporate hierarchy in this true story about a tenacious fight for fair wages and respect. Rita O'Grady (wonderfully played by Sally Hawkins) is their initially unsophisticated leader, but as Rita's smarts and perseverance evolve, so do the other women and their cause. They face rigid, arrogant executives, changing family responsibilities, and increasing pressure from male co-workers and their community. With the support of the fair-minded manager of the factory (Bob Hoskins), England's Secretary of State (Miranda Richardson), and some other surprising allies, Rita's initial skirmish over "skilled worker status" becomes a legendary fight for "equal pay for equal work," a revolutionary concept in 1968 when the story takes place.

Is it any good?


A film about the triumph of the underdog is not original, but done well and with heart, it's always affecting; MADE IN DAGENHAM is one such film. It feels authentic, has wonderful performances, and avoids sentimentality. Sally Hawkins sparkles in her role as "everywoman." The filmmakers have gathered an impressive array of supporting players, paid important attention to the detail of the period, and worked from a script that feels fresh even though the story can't help but be predictable. (Why would they have made this movie if Rita O'Grady and her followers had failed in their endeavor?)

Sad that it has an R rating which might keep many young people from experiencing this entertaining and moving lesson in gender politics.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how times have changed or haven't changed with respect to women earning equal pay for equal work. Find out what statistics show nearly half a century later about male versus female earnings in the United States and Britain?

  • Three very different women were profiled in this film: a woman working in a factory, an educated stay-at-home mom, and a powerful politician. What did the film show that they all had in common? Were these women stereotypes, or did they challenge stereotypes instead?

  • The fim features a lot of drinking and smoking. Does it make a difference to you that the movie is set in a time when smoking was more common? What are the effects of watching smoking and drinking onscreen?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 19, 2010
DVD/Streaming release date:March 29, 2011
Cast:Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Sally Hawkins
Director:Nigel Cole
Studio:Sony Pictures Classics
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and brief sexuality

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Teen, 13 years old Written byhazelflower12 May 28, 2015


I really enjoyed this film.It does have swearing,sex and suicide in it,so I think it's only appropriate for kids aged 12 + . Made in Dagenham follows the story of a group of women who work in the Ford factory in the 1960s.Rita OGrady (Sally Hawkins) works in the factory,and hates the fact that she and her colleagues don't have equal pay to men.The Ford machinists go on a few,unsuccessful strikes,before they go on strike 'until women have the same pay as men'. There are mixed reactions from the public.Meanwhile,another woman,Lisa,campaigns to stop caning at her sons school.Her husband,the manager of the Dagenham Ford factory,laughs at her for studying at university.The Ford machinists fight on,until they get a meeting with someone in the government (I can't remember who,look at other reviews for details.). At the end of the movie,the women win...and get near-to-equal pay and a promise for equal pay.This movie is uplifting and inspiring-watch it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Adult Written bykhan2705 April 2, 2011

awsome movie.

Set against the backdrop of the 1960s, MADE IN DAGENHAM is based on a true story about a group of spirited women who joined forces, took a stand for what was right, and in doing so, found their own inner strength. Although far from the Swinging Sixties of Carnaby Street, life for the women of Dagenham, England is tinged with the sounds and sights of the optimistic era, heard on their radios and seen on their TV sets. Rita O'Grady (Sally Hawkins) reflects that upbeat era, along with her friends and co-workers at the city's Ford Motor Factory -- Sandra (Jamie Winstone), Eileen (Nicola Duffett), Brenda (Andrea Riseborough), Monica (Lorraine Stanley) and Connie (Geraldine James) -- who laugh in the face of their poor conditions. Lisa (Rosamund Pike) is a fiercely intelligent Cambridge-educated woman who feels a bit trapped, tending to the home with a husband that suggests she keep her opinions to herself. She may not live in the same world as the other women, but she shares their views. No one thought the revolution would come to Dagenham, until one day, it did. Rita, who primarily sees herself as a wife and mother, is coerced into attending a meeting with shop steward Connie, sympathetic union representative Albert (Bob Hoskins) and Peter Hopkins (Rupert Graves), Ford's Head of Industrial Relations. What she expects to be simply a day out of work, complete with a free lunch, turns into much more when she and her colleagues become outraged by the lack of respect shown in the meeting to the women employees. With humor, common sense and courage Rita and the other women take on their bosses, an increasingly belligerent local community, and finally the government, as their intelligence and unpredictabilit proves to be a match for any of their male opponents. Daring to stand up and push boundaries, the women changed a system that no one wanted to admit was broken. so i saw this last year's well praised British movie today, i wanted to see this movie for my favorite actress Sally Hawkins. i was really surprised by how well this movie turned out to be. very inspiring and touching movie. women empowerment and their fight for what was right and what was their but couldn't get. starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James and Rosamund Pike, and many others it is a well acted movie. movie is overall beautifully done, excellent art direction, cinematography and costumes like every British movie it had that classic touch to it. well written, nice story. and amazing performance by Sally Hawkins. i was truly delighted by her performance. Nigel cole did a brilliant job with this movie. it has dramatic and sad scenes too but it is entertaining too with those womens. i really liked this movie. i was hoping for some Oscar nominations back then. Sally was outstanding in it. A superb and thought provoking movie which deserves to be seen and loved. go see it must.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models