7.4/10
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46 user 30 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.

Writer:

Michael Wilson (by)
3 wins. See more awards »

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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:

Banned! The film the US government didn't want you to see! 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 the producers feared both sabotage and destruction of the film, the exposed footage had to be developed in secret, and at night, by a sympathetic lab technician, with the film delivered in unmarked canisters. See more »

Goofs

CC on the TCM broadcast misidentifies a music snippet as "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," but it is actually "John Brown's Body" [aka "Battle Hymn of the Republic"]. 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 ...
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 Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics (2009) 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

 
America at its Best
13 June 2001 | by heatmiseSee all my reviews

This film has a rare and beautiful honest quality seldom seen to this magnitude in pictures. Made during the height of McCarthyism in the 1950s it was produced completely by a blacklisted crew and professional cast. The film itself was banned in the U.S.A. by congress until the late 1960s. The picture is based on a true story of Mexican-American mine workers on strike in New Mexico. It deals with the wives of the miners having to to step up and work the picket lines in place of their husbands who were legally banned from picketing. Many of the cast members were actual participants in the original strike and the leading lady was deported before the film was even finished. The story of the struggle to make this film would actually make a good film. Ironically the film is very patriotic and shows what truly makes America great; it's people. A strong man and woman's picture with a genuinely beautiful fighting human spirit. It's one of a kind.


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