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Character: Lisa Hopkins
Directed by: Nigel Cole
Written by: William Ivory
Produced by: Laurie Borg, Tim Haslam, Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Langan, Norman Merry, Paul White, Stephen Woolley
Other cast: Sally Hawkins, Andrea Riseborough, Andrew Lincoln, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson
Release date: September 20, 2010 (U.K.) | November 19, 2010 (U.S.)
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Running time: 113 min

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.

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Character Quotes

Rita O’Grady: Look, I know you’re not mentioning it because you’re being polite and everything, but when we met in the corridor, well I was really upset, and I never usually use that type of language.
Lisa Hopkins: Don’t you?
Rita O’Grady: No.
Lisa Hopkins: Well I called Mr Clarke a complete cock.

Lisa Hopkins: I’m Lisa Burnett, I’m 31 years old and I have a first class honours degree from one of the finest universities in the world, and my husband treats me like I’m a fool.

Robert Tooley: Lisa. Do you mind if I call you Lisa? You must have quite a head on your shoulders. Peter tells me that you read history at Cambridge.
Lisa Hopkins: Yes I did.
Robert Tooley: Mind if I ask: what do you think of our little problem over at the factory? Do you think maybe he’s a bit too much velvet glove, not enough iron fist?
Lisa Hopkins: Not at all, no. Quite the opposite, actually. Look at Vauxhall. They don’t have any problems with the unions. And that seems to be because General Motors have a more collaborative approach to management. Whereas at Ford you only deal with the unions because you have to. You tolerate them. And as a result they’re more entrenched and they’re aggressive in their dealings with you.
Robert Tooley: Well that’s a very progressive point of view.


“Period authenticity is nailed within the film’s sunny design and sharply drawn characters, with the U.K.’s class structure and male-oriented industries depicted without fuss.”
Ray Bennett , The Hollywood Reporter

“Made in Dagenham is perfectly shameless but shamelessly perfect.”
David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture


• Three of the original Dagenham seamstresses invited Sally Hawkins for tea, prior to the filming, as they wished to inform her properly about mindset behind the strike, that she was set to portray in the film. Hawkins’ grandmother also worked as a seamstress, although not at the Dagenham factory.

• 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.

• The film takes place in 1968.

Awards & Nominations

Nominated BAFTA Awards – Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film
Nominated British Independent Film Awards – Best Supporting Actress – Rosamund Pike
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