Made in Dagenham

October 1st, 2010


Made in Dagenham

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Still of Sally Hawkins in Made in DagenhamStill of Bob Hoskins and Sally Hawkins in Made in DagenhamStill of Nigel Cole and Sally Hawkins in Made in DagenhamStill of Sally Hawkins in Made in DagenhamStill of Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James, Sally Hawkins and Jaime Winstone in Made in DagenhamStill of Rosamund Pike in Made in Dagenham

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

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 7.1/10 (4,743 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Director: Nigel Cole

Stars: Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Andrea Riseborough

In 1968, the Ford auto factory in Dagenham was one of the largest single private employers in the United Kingdom. In addition to the thousands of male employees, there are also 187 underpaid women machinists who primarily assemble the car seat upholstery in poor working conditions. Dissatisfied, the women, represented by the shop steward and Rita O'Grady, work with union rep Albert Passingham for a better deal. However, Rita learns that there is a larger issue in this dispute considering that women are paid an appalling fraction of the men's wages for the same work across the board on the sole basis of their sex. Refusing to tolerate this inequality any longer, O'Grady leads a strike by her fellow machinists for equal pay for equal work. What follows would test the patience of all involved in a grinding labour and political struggle that ultimately would advance the cause of women's rights around the world.

Sally Hawkins - Rita O'Grady
Andrea Riseborough - Brenda
Jaime Winstone - Sandra
Lorraine Stanley - Monica
Nicola Duffett - Eileen
Geraldine James - Connie
Bob Hoskins - Albert Passingham
Matthew Aubrey - Brian (as Matt Aubrey)
Daniel Mays - Eddie O'Grady
Roger Lloyd-Pack - George
Phil Cornwell - Dave
Karen Seacombe - Marge
Thomas Arnold - Martin
Sian Scott - Sharon O'Grady
Robbie Kay - Graham O'Grady

Taglines: 1968. It's a man's world. But not for long...


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 1 October 2010

Filming Locations: Croydon, London, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £674,059 (UK) (3 October 2010) (354 Screens)

Gross: $1,094,798 (USA) (10 April 2011)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Sandie Shaw who sang the film's title song used to work as a punched-card operator in the Ford plant at Dagenham several years before the events depicted in the film.

Revealing mistakes: Whilst the interior of Lisa Hopkins' 1600E Mk 2 Cortina was in fairly good shape for a 42 year old car, it was pretty ropey for a brand new car which it would have been at the time the film was set in.

Barbara Castle: I am what is known as a fiery redhead. Now, I hate to make this a matter of appearance and go all womanly on you, but there you have it. And me standing up like this is in fact just that redheaded fieriness leaping to the fore. Credence? I will give credence to their cause...

User Review

Superbly written and performed, a true tale for our tough times

Rating: 10/10

Made in Dagenham has brilliantly broken the mould. It combines the clear, explicit and nuanced politics of the best of Ken Loach with the heart-grabbing attractions of any mainstream popular film you care to name. The brilliant scene where Sally Hawkin's modest and unpractised union rep spells out why the job she does is skilled is a metaphor for the whole movie. Politics isn't hard to understand – it's our lives, stupid! I cannot think of a previous British film with a mainstream aesthetic that has had the guts before to put the ordinary workers' point of view so wholeheartedly at its centre. But this is no simplistic idealised narrative. Going on strike, as the women find, makes you very unpopular, not least with the very people you'd thought would support you – the Union leadership and your fellow (male) workers. Nothing is a cinch, nothing too easily won and Sally Hawkins brilliantly portrays the thorny predicament of the figurehead of the struggle beginning to doubt her own single-mindedness and how much it's costing not just her family but the entire town (and possibly the UK's) working community. Made in Dagenham shows a true story in a truthful, thoroughly engaging way. There is not one bum note in any of the performances – from Kenneth Cranham's sleazily compromised Union official, to Rosamund Pike's surprisingly moving posh wife, to Jamie Winstone's wannabe model – everybody has a committed credibility without ever being worthy or cloying and Sally Hawkins (with a startling look of the young Rita Tushingham) plays a richly layered blinder in the central role. Huge hats off to the writer Billy Ivory who has written a bright, funny, completely unpatronising and clever script. And a big, big thank you to producers Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen for the guts to get right inside the truth of this big, big story that started in a little place.


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