Salt of the Earth (1954)

 |  Drama, History  |  14 March 1954 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,034 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 23 critic

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.


0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

3 wins. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Front (1976)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A cashier poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Woody Allen, Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi
Matewan (1987)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A labor union organizer comes to an embattled mining community brutally and violently dominated and harassed by the mining company.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell
Silver Lode (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Dan Ballard, a respected citizen in the western town of Silver Lode, has his wedding interrupted by four men led by Ned McCarthy, an old acquaintance who, as a US Marshal, arrests Ballard ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Payne, Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea
The Bigamist (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of ... See full summary »

Director: Ida Lupino
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmund Gwenn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A lonely housewife finds her monotonous life altered when her childhood sweetheart returns to town.

Director: Mu Fei
Stars: Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi
The Young One (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A jazz musician seeks refuge from a lynch mob on a remote island, where he meets a hostile game warden and the young object of his attentions.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Zachary Scott, Bernie Hamilton, Key Meersman
Carmen Jones (1954)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Billy has lost something Andre wants back badly! He is then given the ultimatum,find it or meet his maker. Luckily ,Billy's taste in women will not only put him in, but also drag him out, of this big mess.

Directors: Bobby Gwin, Henry Stephens
Stars: Hayam Dk, Bobby Gwin, Andre L. Maingot
Brightness (1987)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

Director: Souleymane Cissé
Stars: Issiaka Kane, Aoua Sangare, Niamanto Sanogo
Siunattu hulluus (TV Mini-Series 1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Stars: Mikko Nousiainen, Toivo Tuomainen, Martti Kuosmanen
Likaiset kädet (TV Movie 1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Sulevi Peltola, Matti Pellonpää, Kati Outinen
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Héctor Olivera
Stars: Pedro Aleandro, Héctor Alterio, Luis Brandoni


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Only Blacklisted American Film See more »


Drama | History


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sal de la tierra  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rosaura Revueltas, who played Esperanza Quintero, was a noted screen actress in her native Mexico. After this film was distributed, she was accused of being a Communist and deported. While she continued to appear in Mexican cinema, she never made another film in the US. See more »


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


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 »


Referenced in Trumbo (2007) See more »


We Shall Not be Moved
Sung by the women on the picket line
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Wildly inspirational
8 November 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Salt of the Earth is simply one of the greatest achievements in American cinema, not because it is exemplary in those aspects which usually make a film great, but because it excels in its ideals where so many others during the period were failing. The plot is deceptively simple. Mexican American men, along with a few whites ("Anglos" in the Mexicans' parlance), decide that their job in the mine is too dangerous and that they are treated unfairly compared to Anglo workers. They strike, putting their families through terrible hardships. While this film certainly has an agenda, it thankfully becomes more complex than just a Labor vs Management dispute. Perhaps an even more important theme is the relationship between the men and their women, wives, mothers, sisters. At one point, the Taft-Hartley Act is enacted (of course I mention the name because of recent events), and the miners can no longer picket legally. Their wives, who are asked, according to the local mores, to be silent, dare to pick up the duties of the strike. Not only is Salt of the Earth a brave champion of the worker and minorities, it has the audacity (in 1954!) to back women's rights. No wonder this was the only American film to be blacklisted.

24 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I was there when this movie was filmed baboquivri
An essay on the making of the film, by one of the actors: hezmodo
DVD of movie available for free download akb-4
Movie on how S of the E was made eddiehan
My father and great-uncle were the miner's attorneys ghann76
the professional cast jstever
Discuss Salt of the Earth (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: