- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 1 hours, 42 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: November 18, 2003
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: Miramax
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Dolby Digital Surround Sound - English
- Additional Release Material:
- CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT - AN ARTHUR COHN PRODUCTION - Introduced by Marion Weisel
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Academy Awards 1990 -
Best Documentary Feature
Rolling Stone - 04/16/1992
"...Kopple catches the joy and grief of testing the American dream in two hours of vital, provocative filmmaking..."
New York Times - 03/19/1992
"...Devastating....Kopple has found and illustrated another American tragedy..."
Film Comment - 01/01/1991
"...An intimate portrait of the protagonists and antagonists in the strike....AMERICAN DREAM is bound to become a labor-history classic..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/08/1992
"...An intimate and clear-eyed account....AMERICAN DREAM offers a catastrophic snapshot of a nation..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/19/1992
"...A splendid film....Kopple excels at letting both sides speak their piece..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/03/1992
"...This is the kind of movie you watch with horrified fascination, as families lose their incomes and homes, management plays macho hardball, and rights and wrongs grow hopelessly tangled..."
Barbara Kopple's disturbing account of the protracted strike of the employees of the Hormel meat-packing plant in Austin, Minnesota, in 1984 is set against the backdrop of the Reagan administration's demolition of the nation's air traffic controllers union, a move that would help create the worst climate for organized labor since the 19th century. Doubtless emboldened by this decision, Hormel management announced a wage cut from $10.69 to $8.50 an hour, along with a 30% cut in benefits, despite a banner year in which the company posted a $29 million profit. Against the advice of Lewie Anderson, director of meat packing for the United Food and Commercial Workers International, the local union, P-9, elects to strike and hires New York consultant Ray Rogers, a specialist in assisting unions to strategize. As weeks turn into months it becomes evident that Rogers is a skillful flack and motivational trainer but understands little about the complex negotiation he has helped set in motion. A fitting companion piece to the director's earlier HARLAN COUNTY, USA, this Oscar-winning exposé is a tour de force of documentary filmmaking, unfolding the inexorable tragedy of the Hormel workers with compassion and an acute eye for the revelatory detail.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.:
Academy Award(R) Winner for Best Documentary, 1990, this acclaimed motion picture captures the stark reality of working men and women making impossibly tough choices about survival during a time of extreme economic crisis. When workers at the Hormel meatpacking plant in Austin, Minnesota, are asked to take a substantial pay cut in a highly profitable year, the local labor union decides to go on strike and fight for a wage they believe is fair. But as the work stoppage drags on and the strikers face losing everything, friends become enemies, families are divided, and the very future of this typical mid-American town is threatened! Also honored with the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Feature Documentary as well as the Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award, and the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival -- you'll be riveted by the compelling real-life drama in this powerful landmark film!
When Hormel decided to lower employee wages, the workers declined the pay cut and went on strike. Management responded by bringing in scabs, forcing many of the union members to decide whether to break the picket line. This was an emotional decision for the workers, who must take their families, union loyalty, and job security into account. The conflict is eventually resolved, but its implications changed the labor movement forever.
Theatrical Release |