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Salt of the Earth Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Though it cannot help but lapse into dogma and didactics at times, Salt of the Earth is a powerful, persuasive labor-management drama. With the exception of five actors (including future [[Feature~V175464~Waltons~thewaltons[tvseries]]] star [[Performer~P229513~Will Geer~willgeer]]), the cast is comprised of non-professionals, mostly participants of the real-life strike action upon which the film is based. Set in a New Mexico mining town, the film concerns the measures taken by the largely Hispanic union to improve working and especially living conditions for the poverty-stricken workers. Remarkably prescient, given that the film was made long before the women's movement, is the fact that it is the wives who keep the strike alive while their husbands are beaten and otherwise oppressed by the owners. Not that the miners wholeheartedly accept this; one of the script's many on-target observations shows the macho workers resenting their wives' intervention. The ultimate victory over the strikebreakers (led by [[Performer~P229513~Geer~willgeer]] at his most odious) comes about as much from male-female solidarity as the workers' pre-set determination. Co-produced by the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelt Workers, Salt of the Earth was assembled under conditions of extreme duress by a group of Hollywood expatriates, all victims of the Blacklist: producer [[Performer~P95899~Paul Jarrico~pauljarrico]], director [[Performer~P81808~Herbert Biberman~herbertbiberman]], screenwriter [[Performer~P116994~Michael Wilson~michaelwilson]] and star [[Performer~P229513~Will Geer~willgeer]]. "Freed" of the strictures of Hollywood pussyfooting and censorship, the film's auteurs are able to explore several subjects previously considered taboo. As a result, Salt of the Earth seems even fresher and more pertinent now than it did when given its extremely limited first release in 1954. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 14, 1954

Cast

Rosaura Revueltas
as Esperanza Quintero
Mervin Williams
as Hartwell
David Sarvis
as Alexander
Henrietta Williams
as Teresa Vidal
Clorinda Alderette
as Luz Morales

Crew

Herbert Biberman
Director
Paul Jarrico
Producer
Michael Wilson
Screenwriter
Stanley Meredith
Cinematographer
Sol Kaplan
Composer (Music Score)
Sonja Dahl
Production Designer
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