7.5/10
2,198
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

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:

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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

This film's original copyright expired 1982 and was not renewed, thereby placing it into public domain. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Esperanza Quintero: Ramon, I don't like to bother you, but the store, they say, uh, we will not make another payment on the radio this month, they'll come and take it away... We're only one payment behind... I argued with her. It isn't right.
Ramon Quintero: It isn't right, she says. Was it right that we bought this... this instrument? But you *had* to have it, didn't you. It was *nice* to listen to.
Esperanza Quintero: I listen to it... every night... when you are out at the beer parlor.
Ramon Quintero: 'No money down'. 'Easy term payments'. I tell you something -...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Solidarity Forever!
17 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

"The only film in US history to be blacklisted."

That alone is praise!

SALT OF THE EARTH, a powerful film shot on a threadbare budget, mostly with local non-actors, was branded as "communist propaganda" during the infamous McCarthy "Red Scare" and was hardly shown in the USA when first released. However, the film was widely exhibited in Europe, where it was lauded with acclaim. It wasn't until the 1960's and 1970's that anyone in the USA had a decent chance to see this powerful work, and then only in film festivals, union meetings, or college campuses.

It is not propaganda. It is about the struggle for dignity and recognition. The making of this film it testament to that alone! For fear of destruction by "anti-communist" technicians, the film stock had to be smuggled into development labs and worked on in secret! Director Herbert J. Bieberman was arrested during filming, and had to give scene directions by letter and telephone while in prison.

The film the U.S. Government didn't want you see...now part of the National Film Registry. Consider watching this as driving a stake through Joe McCarthy's heart.


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