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Salt Of The Earth

4.6 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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(Mar 30, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Special edition of the famous 1954 blacklisted film about the 1950 strike by zinc miners in Silver City, New Mexico, Salt of the Earth explores the comples issues of labor relations, minority rights and the struggle of women to achieve equality in their daily lives.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Will Geer, David Wolfe, Mervin Williams, David Sarvis, Rosaura Revueltas
  • Directors: Herbert J. Biberman
  • Writers: Michael Wilson
  • Producers: Paul Jarrico
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC, Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Organa
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00213XMPY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,545 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Salt Of The Earth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
It upsets me to see people write negative things about this movie. My grandmother and grandfather were involved in the making of this movie and appear in it along with my dad who was a child. Although I hated watching it as a child (I was forced to)I have learned to see past the not so great acting and cinematography to see the true spirit of the film. I am so proud of what they did to bring equality and safety to those workers who were discriminated against because of their race and their bravery. I am very proud of this movie as are my grandparents and entire family. I have no clue how anyone could view this as communist propoganda! I thought we had all learned our lessons from the Mc Carthy era. Perhaps I have a deeply personal stake in this movie but for me it represents everything that is American about America. Free speech, civil rights, gender equality. Strength and perseverance of the American people to stand up for what is right. I can tell you from personal knowlege that this movie is an entirely accurate account of a very important event in American history and is truly a treasure.
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Format: DVD
"Salt of the Earth" is a film documenting the 1951 strike of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers local 890 against their employer, the Empire Zinc Company. Discriminated against for years, the Mexican miners of local 890 decide to strike for equality and improved safety conditions in the mines. Their wives `man' the picket lines when a court injunction prohibits the miners from picketing at the mine gates. The backlash that results goes far beyond labor-management relations and results in creating equality between the men and women that did not previously exist. The film centers on one family, the Quinteros, and how the strike effected their family from within.
A nice edition for a collector. The supplemental material, "The Hollywood Ten," is dramatic and gives insight concerning the 1950's extreme fear of Communism, when ten Hollywood talents were accused of Communism and imprisoned for comtempt of court.
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Format: VHS Tape
In the early 1950's, film studios were under attack from two directions. Small screen tv had put a big dent in theatre attendance, while the Mc Carthyite cold war had put a big chill in the cultural milieu. A formerly lucrative industry found itself suddenly reeling, with a future no longer very certain. In short, the commercial winds had changed and Hollywood needed an overhaul. To meet tv's challenge, studio moguls introduced big screen Cinerama, biblical spectaculars and full-cleavage romance goddesses; to please congressional investigators, they fired unrepentent left-wingers and blackballed them from future employment. Social commentary, never much of a staple, disappeared entirely, while the escapism of Westerns, Tennessee Williams, and bedroom innuendo took over. The 50's had arrived with a vengeance.

Against this backdrop, Salt of the Earth appears to have parachuted in from another planet. In retrospect, the film's look, feel, and values, plus use of non-actors, represent an anti-Hollywood aesthetic in just about about its purest form. Instead of the usual ersatz, there are company shacks, a desolate land, and real workers sometimes speaking a foreign tongue about hot water and labor solidarity. This was and is about as far removed from the fabled dream factory as any commercial film before or since. To my knowledge, Salt is the only professional movie made in America by known communists. And though I've seen it a number of times, I've yet to detect a theme that any conscionable liberal would disagree with. The emphasis throughout is on reform, not revolution.

So why was the movie so thoroughly ostracized. Aside from the obvious negatives, there are two aspects that challenge patriotic assumptions about the power of the individual.
Read more ›
Comment 36 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Salt of The Earth has no equal. An intelligent and well done film with sharp political content. This is most certainly a propaganda film, but propaganda in the best sense: getting a lot of ideas out to a few people. This is one of the few films that sees working people in struggle (with the company, but also with themselves on issues of gender) as capable, intelligent and something better than they were before hand.
Far from being bad, this movie shows how people in struggle can rise up against the alienation and oppression of this world. Marx said Communism is the actual movement of the working class. That means that workers' everyday struggles contain the future within them, contain insurrection in daily life. This movie is a good slice of what that means.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Isn't it ironic that one of the least American things that ever happened in the U.S. was the "House Committee on Unamerican Activities"? This factual movie is a triumph, exploring two different themes of workers vs. management and men vs. women. Will Geer (blacklisted) did a very good job as Sheriff. Most of the other acting was sub-par, but most of the actors were real residents of the Silver City, NM area. Professional actors wouldn't (couldn't) make this movie. A very important movie, it should be shown in high schools and colleges. It's enjoyable, to boot!
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