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Iron Jawed Angels
Iron Jawed Angels
Actors: Hilary Swank, Margo Martindale, Anjelica Huston, Frances O'Connor, Lois Smith
Director: Katja von Garnier
Genres: Drama, Television
UR     2004     2hr 3min

Oscar-winner Hilary Swank stars in a fresh and contemporary look at a pivotal event in American history, telling the true story of how a pair of defiant and brilliant young activists took the women's suffrage movement by s...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Hilary Swank, Margo Martindale, Anjelica Huston, Frances O'Connor, Lois Smith
Director: Katja von Garnier
Creators: Denise Pinckley, James Bigwood, Laura McCorkindale, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, Jennifer Friedes, Raymond Singer, Sally Robinson
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, All Made-for-TV Movies
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/07/2004
Original Release Date: 02/15/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 02/15/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Kindra K. (Onion) from SAN ANTONIO, TX
Reviewed on 8/31/2010...
Very good movie!
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Seeing this movie is a revolutionary experience
Robin Orlowski | United States | 08/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Only because Mary Poppins was released during the beginning of America's second wave of feminism was its `sister suffragettes' number inspiring during that film.

Yet the 1964 snippet of British suffrage tactics completely and convieniently overlooked their radical strategies in favor of bouncy and pert cheerleading which could otherwise found at a high school game. While acknowledging the need for women's rights, that same film also presented the women as pampered housewives who were really too busy for their families.

Thank goodness this HBO movie is much more realistic about the American-British radical suffrage struggle.

Alice Paul (Hillary Swank) and company may be conventionally attractive, but they are also not afraid to show how openly ticked off they are about being held to laws they cannot help form.

Much to the chagrin of the older `respectable' American suffragists (who want to wait for men to give them the vote), the British experience encourages demand for full sociopolitical equality. When they are jailed for their convictions, the women refuse to eat. By our modern expectations, the prison response (shown in graphic detail) is especially brutal.

For all of their progressive politics, Paul and company downplay race ironically in a time when such justice is most needed. Paul personally welcomes support of Delta Sigma Theta and other African American organizations, but worries their public presence will either undo or prevent the critical southern support necessary to winning suffrage. It is not easy to admit that our movement has an imperfect past, but it is important to ensuring a socially just future for all members. This conciousness is a marked improvement from days when even feminists themselves assumed their experiences applied for all women and race was a separate issue.

Another plus, this same movie recognizes men have always supported the suffrage movement not because they wanted a partner, already had one, or were lobbied until they had no other public choice---but out of similar social justice concern.

Again, earlier suffrage depictions (as with the larger feminist movement) erroneously claimed that the movement was all women. This more accurate historical picture may convince male viewers they have a similar obligation to work for the continuation of modern women's equality. Other men will question their motives and some women will question their sincerity. But equality is really everybody's fight.

Attending a college, which was founded by many suffragists, the emphasis on women college graduates (then a statistical minority) was especially sobering. Despite our current knowledge of women's studies and gender theory, I don't think my generation (including myself) appreciates how fortunate we are when we would have been jeered at in earlier generations for receiving a college degree. After seeing this movie, I walked across my own campus trying to imagine some of the local townspeople (opposed to the idea of women receiving a college education in their town) threatening us on a near constant basis.

Precisely because Paul's Equal Rights Amendment was not ratified by the required states by the 1982 deadline, the film ends on a melancholy note. Paul's work remains half-finished and we have moral obligation to ensure the ERA becomes part of the constitution.

Encouraging viewers to complete the revolution, the movie turns armchair loungers into activists.

While not perfect, I applaud this film. It made me think.
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 12/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This 2004 HBO movie depicts the struggles of the early suffragette movement, which eventually gave women in the United States the right to vote. Spanning the years from 1912 to 1920, it stars Hilary Swank as Alice Paul who led the fight with ultimate courage. There's some interesting history of which I was unaware. And the filmmakers seem to get the theme across. At the time, it was a state-by-state decision as to whether or not women could vote. But Alice Paul wanted to make it a constitutional amendment. There is, of course, is in-fighting in the movement itself with the old factions, led by Anjelica Huston, as Carrie Chapman Catt, preferring to not make a fuss and quietly let each state decide. Alice Paul, however, confronted the establishment head on and brought down some dour consequences on herself and the group of women who followed her lead.

At first I was annoyed at the film. I felt their wardrobes too lavish and the potential romance between Alice and a Washington Post cartoonist was silly. I also thought the women seemed a bit too modern and politically correct. And, frankly, I thought of turning off my DVD and never reviewing this film.

But then there was a scene in which the police turned their backs on protecting a festive parade in which women and children were demonstrating. When the mobs attacked the women I felt real tears dripping down my face. And then, later, when the women were horribly mistreated in prison, I found myself crying again, especially when they force-fed Alice Paul and we see them pushing tubes down her throat and through her nose. By the end of the film I understood exactly what these brave women had gone through in order to give me a privilege that I take for granted. I also know that I have learned a new appreciation for my right to vote and will never take that right for granted again.

While not perfect, I applaud this film. It brought me a new understanding. It will bring it to you too. Recommended."
Best Suffrage Movie I've Seen
Anne Turring | Virginia, USA | 08/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a big fan of historical films, I always get nervous before seeing a movie whose subject is one that I am passionate about. Therefore I was quite apprehensive about this movie.

Turns out, it was the best pull off of all suffrace films. Touching and accurate, with the right amount of heart, humour, and intelligence, this movie made for an enjoyable and educating experience. It reminded me why I am glad to be a woman."