7.5/10
2,421
42 user 27 critic

Salt of the Earth (1954)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 14 March 1954 (USA)
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
...
Barton
David Sarvis ...
Alexander
Mervin Williams ...
Hartwell
...
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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sal de la tierra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: our scene is NEW MEXICO LAND OF THE FREE AMERICANS WHO INSPIRED THIS FILM

HOME OF THE BRAVE AMERICANS WHO PLAYED MOST OF ITS ROLES. See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Movies these days don't kick up as much dust as this one.
1 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

I had never worked a day of construction until the Summer of 2001. I applied, got hired, and immediately recieved rank of apprentice under the dumbest white guy I'd ever met. While I'm trying to learn maps and numbers, all the minorities were grouped together for the grunt work. I didn't know it, but it seems that there is a war between the whites and the Mexicans on most construction sites, and apparently the port-a-johns are used as the venue for slanderous discussion. Salt of the Earth is almost fifty years old. It illustrates inequality between whites & Chicanos, male & female, and rich & poor. Is it possible that fifty years later nothing has changed? We've achieved nothing as a human race. Sadly, this lack of achievement is what allows this film to have great meaning to modern-day viewers like myself. I've got a tag line for this movie: "Don't fight 'til the end. Fight to win."


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