Made in Dagenham. The film stars the award winning Sally Hawkins as Rita O’Grady who is the catalyst for the 1968 Ford Dagenham strike by 187 sewing machinists which led to the advent of the Equal Pay Act. Working in extremely impoverished conditions and for long arduous hours, the women at the Ford Dagenham plant finally lay down their tools when they are reclassified as “unskilled”. With humour, common sense and courage they take on their corporate paymasters, an increasingly belligerent local community, and finally the government itself. The leader of the women’s struggle is fast-talking, no nonsense Rita whose fiery temper and occasionally hilarious unpredictability proves to be a match for any of her male opponents, and is echoed by Barbara Castle’s struggle in the male-dominated House of Commons.
The film stars a host of Britain’s finest acting talent including Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife), Bob Hoskins (The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Rosamund Pike (Pride & Prejudice, An Education), Jaime Winstone (Donkey Punch, Kidulthood), Geraldine James (Sherlock Holmes, Calendar Girls), Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock, Love You More), Daniel Mays (Shifty, Atonement), Kenneth Cranham (Hot Fuzz), Roger Lloyd-Pack (‘Only Fools and Horses’), Rupert Graves (‘The Forsyte Saga’), John Sessions (The Last Station) and American ‘West Wing’ star Richard Schiff.
Directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls) and written by William Ivory, the film has been produced by Number 9 Films’ Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen marking the second partnership between Number 9 Films and Paramount Pictures after the UK 2008 box office hit, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. It has been financed by BBC Films, the UK Film Council’s Premiere Fund, BMS Finance and Lip Sync Productions. HanWay Films handle worldwide sales.