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Goodby, Norma Rae

September 28, 1986|Pat H. Broeske

Remember when Norma Rae was screaming for justice for her co-workers? Sally Field was Norma Rae and won an Oscar playing the poor Southern union organizer.

But did Field allow her union membership to expire?

She's currently starring opposite Michael Caine in Cannon Films' "Surrender," a contemporary comedy that's using a non-union crew.

A rep for Field doesn't think that's such a big deal. ("Does Cannon even make union pictures?" she quipped.) Producer Alan Greisman, Field's husband, pointed out that Cannon isn't a signatory to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents the technicians, but is a signatory to the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild.

"I think it really is a misnomer and an exaggeration of fact to say that Sally Field is doing a non-union picture," said Greisman. "This isn't an unjust situation. This is simply another way of doing movies. And it's the way Cannon always works."

But is it in keeping with Sally Field's "image"? Greisman's rejoinder: "She is an actress--she is not Norma Rae any more than Christopher Reeve is Superman."

Actually, Cannon doesn't always go with non-union crews. "Over the Top," just shot, was all-union. But that, said the film's director, Cannon co-chairman Menahem Golan, had to do with Sly Stallone, star of the film. "When you work with such an immense, big star, it is so, well, call it in the frontline, that they (unions) would have been picketing us every day."

According to Golan, working with IATSE added at least $2 million to the budget of "Over the Top."

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