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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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Michael Wilson (by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Geer ... Sheriff
David Wolfe ... Barton
David Sarvis David Sarvis ... Alexander
Mervin Williams Mervin Williams ... Hartwell
Rosaura Revueltas ... Esperanza Quintero
E.A. Rockwell E.A. Rockwell ... Vance
William Rockwell William Rockwell ... Kimbrough
Juan Chacón Juan Chacón ... Ramon Quintero (as Juan Chacon)
Henrietta Williams Henrietta Williams ... Teresa Vidal
Ángela Sánchez Ángela Sánchez ... Consuelo Ruiz (as Angela Sanchez)
Clorinda Alderette Clorinda Alderette ... Luz Morales
Virginia Jencks Virginia Jencks ... Ruth Barnes
Clinton Jencks Clinton Jencks ... Frank Barnes
Joe T. Morales Joe T. Morales ... Sal Ruiz
Ernest Velasquez ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 March 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La sal de la tierra See more »

Filming Locations:

Bayard, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because blacklisted people were among those who made the movie, the production was fraught with outside interference. The entire cast and crew were met by a citizens' committee in Central (now Santa Clara), New Mexico, where they had planned to film, and were ordered to leave town. The following day they moved the production to Silver City, NM, and were warned to "get out of town... or go out in black boxes." See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Esperanza Quintero: Whose neck shall I stand on to make me feel superior, and what will I have out of it? I don't want anything lower than I am. I am low enough already. I want to rise and to push everything up with me as I go.
See more »

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 Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist (1987) 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 RigorSee 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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