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On the Basis of Sex (2018)

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The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Director:

Mimi Leder
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Popularity
88 ( 13)

Felicity Jones Reveals Her Film Idols

On the Basis of Sex star Felicity Jones take our Take 5 challenge, and reveals the actresses and characters she looks up to.

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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Felicity Jones ... Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Armie Hammer ... Martin Ginsburg
Justin Theroux ... Mel Wulf
Sam Waterston ... Erwin Griswold
Kathy Bates ... Dorothy Kenyon
Cailee Spaeny ... Jane Ginsburg
Jack Reynor ... Jim Bozarth
Stephen Root ... Professor Brown
Chris Mulkey ... Charles Moritz
Gary Werntz Gary Werntz ... Judge Doyle
Francis X. McCarthy ... Judge Daugherty (as Francis Xavier McCarthy)
Ben Carlson Ben Carlson ... Judge Holloway
Ronald Guttman ... Gerald Gunther
Wendy Crewson ... Harriet Griswold
John Ralston ... Tom Miller
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Storyline

The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It was a man's world. So she changed it See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

On the Basis of Sex See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$686,355, 30 December 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$24,622,687, 7 March 2019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,348,761, 21 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although she plays their daughter, Cailee Spaeny is only 13 years younger than Felicity Jones and 11 years younger than Armie Hammer. See more »

Goofs

When Professor Brown and Jim Bozarth tour the DOD computer room, it cannot be a computer room of the 70's. In those days computer rooms were on raised floors with removable sections to accommodate air conditioning the equipment. The floor in that scene is simply vinyl on sub-floor without removable sections or elevation. See more »

Quotes

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: It's not a privilege, it is a Cage. And these laws are the bars!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits include some "What happened to . . . " of the characters. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: A Little Piece of Heaven (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Slippin' and Slidin'
Written by Little Richard (as Richard Penniman), Albert Collins, Eddie Bo (as Edwin Bocage) and James Smith
Performed by Little Richard
Courtesy of Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC dba Tree Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

An entertaining biopic about a living legal icon.
10 January 2019 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Women have been losing the same argument for 100 years!" Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Felicity Jones)

Concerning sexual equality, the above quote best expresses the feisty young lawyer, RBG, and her early fight through the courts to overturn a tax code provision that discriminated against men. Thanks to her husband, Marty (Armie Hammer), who found a discriminatory clause in the code, she was able to fight on behalf of her client and therefore women in their ambition to be equal.

On the Basis of Sex is an entertaining and informative docudrama not only about her early days at Harvard Law and as a mother and professor, but also the daunting task women had of competing with men for professional jobs that were denied them uniformly and openly. To see RBG denied legal job after legal job is almost to feel the anxiety this top-of-her-class graduate endured in finally taking a job as a professor by default.

Her eventual success in the tax case came not in a Hollywood glamorous moment but slowly after grinding research and disappointments in the court room. Anyone in law school should see this carefully crafted drama for the truths it tells about the hard work it was for this diminutive battler. Helping Marty defeat cancer was just another battle the future Supreme Court Justice would fight and eventually win but not easily.

On the Basis of Sex is an old-fashioned courtroom drama about a judicial titan whose life is still inspiring as she approaches its end. "He's not going to take me seriously," she says in an early encounter with a judge. We know how that turns out for liberalism's "Obi Wan Kenobi."


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