The victory of the Great General Motors Sit-Down Strike in Flint, Michigan, in 1937 was the key to the success of the CIO’s drive for industrial unionism. The now classic With Babies and Banners presents the untold story of the women—the working women, wives, mothers and sisters—who became the backbone of the strike. Rich with archival footage and riveting interviews, With Babies and Banners was nominated for an Academy Award.

1978 National Primetime PBS Broadcast
Theatrical Release
Selected for preservation by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science



  • Produced by: Lyn Goldfarb, Lorraine Gray, Anne Bohlen
  • Director: Lorraine Gray
  • Historian: Lyn Goldfarb
  • Director of Photography: Max Reid
  • Editors: Mary Lampson, Melanie Maholick
  • Distributor: New Day Films


Selected Awards and Festivals

  • Academy Award nomination
  • DuPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Award Citation
  • Grand Prize, American Film Festival
  • Gold Ducat, Mannheim Int’l Film Festival
  • Award of Excellence, National Film Advisory Board
  • First Prize, Festival du Cinema Portugal
  • Outstanding Film of the Year, London International Film Festival
  • Silver Medal, Nyon Int’l Film Festival
  • Official Selection, New York Film Festival

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Selected Reviews

“Full of drama, insight and general good humor, coupled with a remarkable use of stock footage, sets a high standard for future compilation films. With Babies and Banners succeeds in making concerns that were alive 40 years ago strikingly relevant today as well.”

– Variety, 1978

“Smoothly professional…the images are startling and moving.”

– Washington Post, 1978

“…emotionally engaging, technically adroit and conceptually astute.”

– Washington Star, 1978

“…a model of socially conscious filmmaking of the highest degree.”

– Le Monde, 1978

“It’s stirring stuff. It’s all about courage and hard work and determination and being gutsy and feisty and female. It makes you want to stand up and cheer and clap your hands and stamp your feet at the wonder of women being made to look like strong people who believed in a cause and were willing to risk insult…and physical danger to fight for it. It’s great…take the kids…It’s an important part of American history.”

– Ann Arbor News, 1978

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