7.5/10
2,175
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:

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

This was made by blacklisted director Herbert J. Biberman, screenwriter Michael Wilson, producer Paul Jarrico and composer Sol Kaplan largely in retaliation to the fact that they had been blacklisted. They reasoned that since they weren't allowed to work in Hollywood, they might as well make a film as pro-Communist as possible to fit the crime of which they had been accused. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Esperanza Quintero: [opening narration] How shall I begin my story that has no beginning? My name is Esperanza, Esperanza Quintero. I am a miner's wife. This is our home. The house is not ours. But the flowers... the flowers are ours. This is my village. When I was a child, it was called San Marcos. The Anglos changed the name to Zinc Town. Zinc Town, New Mexico, U.S.A. Our roots go deep in this place, deeper than the pines, deeper than the mine shaft. In these arroyos my great grandfather raised cattle before the ...
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
America at its Best
13 June 2001 | by (Charlotte, NC USA) – See all my reviews

This film has a rare and beautiful honest quality seldom seen to this magnitude in pictures. Made during the height of McCarthyism in the 1950s it was produced completely by a blacklisted crew and professional cast. The film itself was banned in the U.S.A. by congress until the late 1960s. The picture is based on a true story of Mexican-American mine workers on strike in New Mexico. It deals with the wives of the miners having to to step up and work the picket lines in place of their husbands who were legally banned from picketing. Many of the cast members were actual participants in the original strike and the leading lady was deported before the film was even finished. The story of the struggle to make this film would actually make a good film. Ironically the film is very patriotic and shows what truly makes America great; it's people. A strong man and woman's picture with a genuinely beautiful fighting human spirit. It's one of a kind.


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