7.5/10
2,294
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:

Banned! The film the US government didn't want you to see! 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

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 »

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

Referenced in Brush with Life: The Art of Being Edward Biberman (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

We Shall Not be Moved
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the women on the picket line
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Banned in the USA
11 July 1999 | by (Chicago, USA) – See all my reviews

This film is important both historically and artistically. It's very creation was an act of defiance and heroism. Upon its release it was officially banned by an act of congress in the United States - because of it working class sympathies and "communist" overtones. The film is a sensitive portrayal of a strike among Chicano workers in the Southwest and features a beautifully modulated performance by the great Mexican actress, Rosaura Revueltes. The gender politics of the film are remarkable for a work from 1954 as is the very direct socialist ideology. This film is a landmark in political filmmaking effortlessly tying together working class, feminist, environmental and Latino concerns into a brilliant call for radical social change.


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