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Again, one can find such rare gems in made-for-TV movies, and this is one of them. With Hilary Swank leading the cast in this very engaging movie, honestly, where could you go wrong?
|Hilary Swank||Alice Paul|
|Anjelica Huston||Carrie Chapman Catt|
|Molly Parker||Emily Leighton|
|Margo Martindale||Harriot Blatch|
|Frances O'Connor||Lucy Burns|
|Lois Smith||Reverend Anna Howard Shaw|
|Vera Farmiga||Ruza Wenclawska|
|Brooke Smith||Mabel Vernon|
|Adilah Barnes||Ida Wells-Barnett|
|Laura Fraser||Doris Stevens|
|Julia Ormond||Inez Millholland|
|Patrick Dempsey||Ben Weissman|
|Joseph Adams||Senator Thomas 'Tom' Leighton|
|Bob Gunton||President Woodrow Wilson|
|Michael Kennedy||Representative Gordon|
"Votes for women"
The film begins as Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Frances O'Connor) return from England, where they participated in the women's suffrage movement. Once the pair becomes more active within the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), they begin to understand that their ideas were much too forceful for the established activists, particularly Carrie Chapman Catt (Anjelica Huston). The pair leave NAWSA and found the National Women's Party (NWP), a better way to fight for women's rights.
Over time, problems occur as NAWSA leaders criticize NWP tactics, such as protesting against a wartime President Woodrow Wilson and picketing outside the White House with "Silent Sentinels." Male supremacists famously (and infamously) label the women "iron-jawed angels." Relations between the American government and the NWP protesters also intensify, as many women are arrested for their actions, though the official charge is "obstructing traffic."
The women are sent to the Occoquan Workhouse for 60-day terms where they suffer under unsanitary and inhumane conditions. During this time, Paul and other women undertake a hunger strike, during which paid guards force-feed them milk and raw eggs. News of their treatment leaks to the media through the husband of one of the imprisoned women, a U.S. Senator, who has been able to lobby for a visit (the suffragists are otherwise unable to see visitors or lawyers) by putting a letter in his shirt. Pressure is put on President Wilson as the NAWSA seizes the opportunity to try for the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution.
Paul, Burns and all of the other women were all pardoned by President Wilson.
Theatrical : 2004-02-15 : United States of America
DVD : 2004-09-07