8.3/10
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41 user 28 critic

Harlan County U.S.A. (1976)

A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Yarborough ...
Himself - Eastover Mining President
Houston Elmore ...
Himself - UMW organizer
Phil Sparks ...
Himself - UMW staff
John Corcoran ...
Himself - Consolidated Coal President
John O'Leary ...
Himself - former Bureau of Mines director
Donald Rasmussen ...
Himself - Blackwing Clinic, WV (as Dr. Donald Rasmussen)
Hawley Wells Jr. ...
Himself (as Dr. Hawley Wells Jr.)
Tom Williams ...
Himself - Boyle campaigner
Chip Yablonski ...
Himself
Ken Yablonski ...
Himself
Logan Patterson ...
Himself - negotiator
Harry Patrick ...
Himself - UMW secretary-treasurer
Mike Trbovich ...
Himself - UMW VP
Bernie Aronson ...
Himself - UMW staff
Guy Farmer ...
Himself - BCPA General Counsel
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Storyline

This film documents the coal miners' strike against the Brookside Mine of the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky in June, 1973. Eastovers refusal to sign a contract (when the miners joined with the United Mine Workers of America) led to the strike, which lasted more than a year and included violent battles between gun-toting company thugs/scabs and the picketing miners and their supportive women-folk. Director Barbara Kopple puts the strike into perspective by giving us some background on the historical plight of the miners and some history of the UMWA. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Eparhia Harlan I.P.A.  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When filming began, the film was intended to be about the 1972 campaign by Arnold Miller and Miners For Democracy to unseat UMWA president Tony Boyle, in the aftermath of Joseph Yablonski's murder; but the Harlan County strike began and caused the filmmakers to change their principal subject, with the campaign and murder becoming secondary subjects. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 30 Days in Hell: The Making of 'The Devil's Rejects' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Forty-Two Years
Written and Sung by Nimrod Workman
Instrumental by Kenny Kosek
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Which Side Are You On?
12 June 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Possibly the finest documentary I have seen and I've seen quite a few. Exemplary on how a filmmaker can involve herself, be in everybody's face, get every little thing on camera, but be testifying instead of exploiting. My greatest delight in this film was how articulate and intelligent the miners and their wives were; textbook English is far inferior to their language. Also see "Matewan" by John Sayles for another perfect evocation of struggle. Watching this movie makes my previous semi-respectful estimation of Michael Moore's self-love evaporate. This is how it should be done, and lord if only all such struggles resolved thusly. Lois Scott for president. See this as quickly as you can.


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