You have to love Barbara Castle. I have very little idea of whether the real one was anything like Miranda Richardson in Made in Dagenham, but this fiery redhead was great fun, and I hope Harold Wilson was proud of her, outfit from C&A not withstanding.
This is a very British film, and it made perfect sense to take our foreign visitors to see it. It’s a film that has – almost – everything you could want. Nice – if not always correct – period pieces, with a mishmash of 1960s styles. Funny in a charmingly old-fashioned sense. A little bit weepy in places, and quite upbeat in its political message. Unfortunately, with hindsight we know that things didn’t turn out as well as we’d hoped, but it’s still heartening to think that it happened.
After Barbara Castle my favourite was Mrs Hopkins, the plant manager’s wife, who was easily as downtrodden as the machinists at the Ford factory. It takes a Cambridge degree to serve Stilton to visiting business associates.
That you can make high quality entertainment out of an industrial dispute shouldn’t come as a surprise, but we see so many rubbish films these days that you can’t take anything for granted.
Made in Dagenham is just right for a feelgood trip to the cinema, and it’s on at Cornerhouse now.