41 user 26 critic

Salt of the Earth (1954)

Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Wolfe ...
Mervin Williams ...
David Sarvis ...
Rosaura Revueltas ...
Esperanza Quintero
E.A. Rockwell ...
William Rockwell ...
Juan Chacón ...
Ramon Quintero (as Juan Chacon)
Henrietta Williams ...
Teresa Vidal
Ángela Sánchez ...
Consuelo Ruiz (as Angela Sanchez)
Clorinda Alderette ...
Luz Morales
Virginia Jencks ...
Ruth Barnes
Clinton Jencks ...
Frank Barnes
Joe T. Morales ...
Sal Ruiz
Ernesto Velázquez ...
Charley Vidal (as Ernest Velasquez)


Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. In the end, the greatest victory for the workers and their families is the realization that prejudice and poor treatment are conditions that are not always imposed by outside forces. Written by Bob Shields <rshields@igc.apc.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Only Blacklisted American Film See more »


Drama | History


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sal de la tierra  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


When Ramon is in the bar, his hands change position several times between shots. See more »


Esperanza Quintero: Whose neck shall I stand on to make me feel superior, and what will I have out of it? I don't want anything lower than I am. I am low enough already. I want to rise and to push everything up with me as I go.
See more »


Referenced in Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) See more »


We Shall Not be Moved
Sung by the women on the picket line
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User Reviews

18 August 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This is a very political movie (unlike every other movie ever made, I suppose!). It puts even leftist movies to shame. But above all it is gorgeous cinematography, one of the most visually beautiful films I have ever seen, a Mexican Mural come to life. It takes dust and grime and makes something ravishing out of it. On a purely esthetic level it's a sight to behold, far more effective than "The Grapes of Wrath", from which it obviously drew inspiration. Regarding content, it is also great, way ahead of its time, giving dignity to women and humanity to every human, including non-professionals, including children, who are all treated in an admirably egalitarian manner in the credits and the roles. Watching this movie you realize how anti-egalitarian most other movies are. Another movie of similar courage and artistic accomplishment is "Storm Center" (1956), which also seems to have been banned, because it's never shown and is not on video, let alone DVD.

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I was there when this movie was filmed baboquivri
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My father and great-uncle were the miner's attorneys ghann76
the professional cast jstever
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