7.9/10
6,192
54 user 23 critic

Matewan (1987)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 30 June 1988 (Australia)
A labor union organizer comes to an embattled mining community brutally and violently dominated and harassed by the mining company.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Men with Guns II (1997)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Federico Luppi, Damián Delgado, Dan Rivera González
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Bruce MacDonald, Maggie Renzi, Adam LeFevre
Limbo (1999)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In an economically devastated Alaskan town, a fisherman with a troublesome past dates a woman whose young daughter does not approve of him. When he witnesses the murder of his shady brother, he, the woman and the kid run to the wilderness.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: David Strathairn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Vanessa Martinez
City of Hope (1991)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

City of Hope is a portrait of a typical middle-sized American city of the present day. The crux of the story is an old apartment block which stands in the way of a major commercial ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Stephen Mendillo
Passion Fish (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

May-Alice Culhane was a successful soap opera star, but a car accident has left her bound to a wheelchair. She returns to her now-empty family home in the bayous of Louisiana which she had ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett
Silver City (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The discovery of a corpse threatens to unravel a bumbling local politician's campaign for governor of Colorado.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Maria Bello
Lone Star (1996)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Stephen Mendillo
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mute alien with the appearance of a black human is chased by outer-space bounty hunters through the streets of Harlem.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Joe Morton, Daryl Edwards, Rosanna Carter
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman and her new husband returns to her hometown roots in coastal northern Florida, and must deal with family, business, and encroaching real estate development.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Angela Bassett, Edie Falco, Alex Lewis
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Fontayne is enlisted by Bernice - her estranged old friend and current parole officer - along with a disgraced cop to search for Bernice's son, who went missing on the Mexican border.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: LisaGay Hamilton, Yolonda Ross, Edward James Olmos
Amigo (2010)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A fictional account of events during the Philippine-American War.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Joel Torre, Chris Cooper, Garret Dillahunt
Lianna (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A happily married woman comes to realize herself of being a repressed lesbian after she has an affair with a female college professor, and then tries to come to terms with her newfound lifestyle.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Elma Radnor
...
Danny Radnor
...
...
Sephus Purcell
...
Hickey
...
Tom Griggs
...
C.E. Lively
...
Hillard Elkins
...
Fausto
Nancy Mette ...
Bridey Mae
Jo Henderson ...
Mrs. Elkins
...
Cabell Testerman
Gary McCleery ...
Ludie
Maggie Renzi ...
Rosaria
Edit

Storyline

Mingo County, West Virginia, 1920. Coal miners, struggling to form a union, are up against company operators and the gun thugs of the notorious Baldwin-Felts detective agency. Black and Italian miners, brought in by the company to break the strike, are caught between the two forces. UMWA organizer and dual-card Wobbly Joe Kenehan determines to bring the local, Black, and Italian groups together. While Kenehan and his story are fictional, the setting and the dramatic climax are historical; Sid Hatfield, Cabell C. Testerman, C. E. Lively and the Felts brothers were real-life participants, and 'Few Clothes' is based on a character active several years previously. Written by Susan C. Mitchell <susanm@indirect.com>, expanded by Silverwhistle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

At the coal company they use you until you wear out See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 June 1988 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Azok a véres napok  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,680,358 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was selected to screen in the Section Parallèle of the Cannes Film Festival in 1987. See more »

Goofs

The steam locomotive used in "Matewan" was ex-New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railway ("Nickel Plate Road") #765. It was a modern steam locomotive built in the 1940's and thus would not have existed at the time of the events depicted in "Matewan." See more »

Quotes

Danny Radnor: [Narrating] All we got is our misery, Joe Kenehan used to say, and the least we could do is share it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Directors (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

GATHERING STORM
Music and lyrics by Mason Daring
(c) 1987 Daring Music/ASCAP
Sung by Hazel Dickens
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An overlooked masterpiece
4 March 1999 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

Looking back to 1987 I have to wonder why this masterpiece was not nominated for Best Picture. But then again, this is the same institution that voted for films such as Braveheart and Forrest Gump. Is the Academy afraid of John Sayles?

See Matewan for its wonderful portrayal of the events that occurred in West Virginia in the 1920's. See this film for its phenomenal cast. See it for its beautiful cinematography. There is an ethereal glow that envelopes the characters and buildings of Matewan.

There is also an underlying allegorical depiction of Christ and his followers. Chris Cooper is a saint. He reminds me of Gary Cooper a little bit. He has such an unusual handsome face. He is the protagonist joined by James Earl Jones, Mary Mcdonnell, and Will Oldman. Perhaps the most fascinating character is that of the Sheriff portrayed by Strathairn. He is the angel on the black horse who carries with him the wrath of God. Just watch him stand up against the bad guys.

The main antagonistic characters are pure evil. They terrorize the inhabitants of Matewan with juvenile antics.

Please see this film and be prepared to have it imbedded in your mind for the rest of your life. This is what great film making is about


46 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?