In a gritty mining town in New Mexico, Mexican-American workers go on strike to protest their dangerous working conditions and low wages. They meet with fierce opposition from company thugs and local sheriff's deputies. After vicious beatings and the suffering of the miners' families, the wives and mothers of the striking workers take over the picket line in a final demand for justice.
Stylistically mirroring Italian neo-realism, Salt of the Earth was produced, directed and written by victims of the 1950's anti-Communist blacklisting, including Herbert Biberman - one of the "Hollywood Ten" who was jailed for refusing to cooperate with Congressional inquiries. With the notable exception of Will Geer (Grandpa on "The Waltons"), the cast is almost entirely comprised of workers who participated in the real-life strike on which the story is based. The only blacklisted American film in history, Salt of the Earth was banned for its daring political content, which anticipated the civil rights and feminist movements by nearly ten years. This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library Of Congress, in 1992.
A controversial drama about the struggles of striking mineworkers in a small New Mexico town whose views are socialistic and surprisingly feminist. Many of the actors and the film's director were blacklisted after its release.
In New Mexico, Mexican zinc miners, fed up with the life-threatening conditions under which they work, organize a walk-out. The racist management of the company tries to end the strike, with a variety of extremely violent and cruel tactics.
SALT OF THE EARTH was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1992.
The film was sponsored by the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers.
When SALT OF THE EARTH was first released, it was considered to be a propaganda film in favor of communism. Some of its makers faced a McCarthy-era Congress, and its director served time in jail.
Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and
unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC,
Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We
are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion
for films with a large audience.
Let us know what you have.