Made in Dagenham is a 2010 British film directed by Nigel Cole. The film stars Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James, Rosamund Pike, Andrea Riseborough, Jaime Winstone, Daniel Mays and Richard Schiff. It dramatises the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968 that aimed for equal pay for women. The film's theme song, with lyrics by Billy Bragg, is performed by Sandie Shaw, herself a native of the area and a former Ford Dagenham clerk.
A stage musical version of the film opened at London's Adelphi theatre in 2014.
Based on a true story, Made in Dagenham explores the movement that caused a significant law reform. Rita O'Grady (a fictional character) leads the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike at the Ford Dagenham plant, where female workers walk out in protest against sexual discrimination, demanding equal pay. This strike causes a lot of public attention around the world and was seen as out of the ordinary to many because it was not in a woman's nature to do anything else other than the traditional family roles. The strike is successful and leads to the Equal Pay Act 1970. Mardyke estate
Of 122 Rotten Tomatoes reviews, 80% rated the film "fresh". Maclean's, in a review for the film's 2010 Toronto International Film Festival premiere, called it a ".. combination of Milk and Mad Men.. It’s a film that blatantly condemns sexism and shows, despite its mostly light tone, the real cost of fighting for civil rights. The bee-hived and bobbed characters are fully fleshed and well-rounded even though they fit into ’60s archetypes, and the period piece balances optimism and realism in a way that’s both compelling and fun to watch."
Xan Brooks of The Guardian gave it three stars out of five, calling it ".. uncomplicated fare, overly spiced with 60s cliches.... But the film is also robust, amiable and so warm-hearted you'd be a churl to take against it." Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four., while David Cox, also of The Guardian, gave a less glowing review, suggesting that, despite initial potential, ".. a promising opportunity has been squandered."
Mark Kermode praised the film highly on his weekly show on BBC Radio 5 Live. He ranked it as his fourth favourite film of 2010, beating such films as The Social Network and Another Year.
Made in Dagenham was nominated for four awards at the 2010 British Academy Film Awards; Outstanding British Film, Costume Design, Make Up & Hair Design and Supporting Actress (Miranda Richardson).
A soundtrack for the film was released, with the following tracks:
The title song was written by David Arnold and Billy Bragg just for the film.
A musical adaption of the film opened on 5 November 2014, at the Adelphi Theatre in London. Scripted by Richard Bean, and directed by Rupert Goold, it starred Gemma Arterton in the lead role.