8.3/10
4,074
43 user 32 critic

Harlan County U.S.A. (1976)

A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike.

Director:

Barbara Kopple

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at Amazon

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

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Eparhia Harlan I.P.A. See more »

Filming Locations:

Brookside, Kentucky, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cabin Creek See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Quotes

Hawley Wells Jr.: [... ] that was when I learned my first real political lesson, about what happens when you take a position against the coal operators, against the capitalists... I found out that the union officials were working with the coal companies. I also found that the Catholic hierarchy was working with the coal companies. Here was a combination of the whole thing, you see: you had to bump against the whole combination of them.
See more »


Soundtracks

Trouble Among Yearlings
Instrumental by Country Cookin
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User Reviews

Gritty and real.
14 December 2002 | by magellan333See all my reviews

Harlan County USA might surprise viewers that even in the 1970s, large communities existed without indoor plumbing. This documentary is disturbing in that even during the late 20th century, conditions like the one in the movie still existed. Viewers experience many different things as the documentary unfolds; the dangers and pains of working in a coal mine, the corruption of unions and their non-union opposition, and the mind set of American laborers. Harlan County USA is a great documentary and not to be missed by those interested in American labor and the coal mining industry.


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