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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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheriff
David Wolfe ...
Barton
Mervin Williams ...
Hartwell
David Sarvis ...
Alexander
Rosaura Revueltas ...
Esperanza Quintero
E.A. Rockwell ...
Vance
William Rockwell ...
Kimbrough
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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Only Blacklisted American Film See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

14 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sal de la tierra  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Members of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, Local 890, who were part of the original strike upon which this story is based, appear in this film as either extras or supporting cast. Juan Chacón, who played Ramon Quintero, was the Union Local president. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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.
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Connections

Referenced in A Crime to Fit the Punishment (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

We Shall Not be Moved
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the women on the picket line
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User Reviews

 
More Than Just A Blacklisted Film
23 January 2000 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

Salt Of The Earth is best known as a blacklisted film made by many of the artists whose lives were destroyed by HUAC and the complicity of the film industry. While the film's very exsistance is a tribute to the determination of the artists to do the right thing and not be silenced, it is much more than that. It is also a moving film tribute to the underclass of America who suffer greatly due to injustice and inequality. The film portrays the strike of Chicano mine workers in New Mexico. Their demands, which the company took 15 months to meet, included such outrages as safety, equality, and indoor plumbing. The most interesting aspect of the film is the way in which the women of the community are forced to take a leading role. By linking the oppression of the workers to the workers' oppression of their wives, the film becomes not only a pro-union film but also a feminist one. The story is stirring, and the scenes where the women are attacked for standing by their men are unforgetable. Salt of the Earth probably has more to do with everyday American lives than 99 percent of Hollywood films. Its humane portrayal of regular people fighting for their rights cannot help but awaken the common elements in us all.


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