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American Dream (1990)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 6 October 1990 (USA)
Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour ... See full summary »

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, (co-director) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
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Ray Rogers ...
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Storyline

Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour wage cut. They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. Despite support from P-9's rank and file, FCWU's international disagrees with the strategy. In addition to union-company tension, there's union-union in-fighting. Hormel holds firm; scabs, replacement workers, brothers on opposite sides, a union coup d'état, and a new contract materialize. The film asks, was it worth it, or was the strike a long-term disaster for organized labor? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary strong language | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

6 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikaniko oneiro  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$269,823
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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Features NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Always think of this doc when I see a Hormel product at the store.
13 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

I definitely liked this documentary. I usually think of it a little when I see a Hormel product at the grocery store. It was impressively done and it really has an authentic feel to it. For some reason I have not yet seen Harlan County USA, but will certainly do so sometime this year.

I have seen this twice and it is definitely worth more than one viewing. While the tone starts as pro-union, there seems to be at least some hints about their limitations as well later in the film. I spent my childhood in a town nearly 100 miles north of Austin and the film made me appreciative that my father had access to more opportunities when he got laid off (we were much closer to the Minneapolis region than Austin). I could feel for the families of those in Austin during this film as it was primarily a one company town at that time and for all I know it may still be the case.

Documentaries work best when there is a focus on "real" people rather than well known celebrities IMO. This is evidence of that and I recommend this film.


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