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Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth (1954)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 926

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Movie Info

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 Waltons star Will Geer), 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


Drama, Classics

Michael Wilson

May 24, 2005

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (0) | DVD (1)

Salt of the Earth is a good, highly dramatic and emotion-charged piece of work that tells its story straight. It is, however, a propaganda picture which belongs in union halls rather than theatres.

October 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
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This is pretty amazing.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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The hard-focus, realistic quality of the picture's photography and style completes its characterization as a calculated social document.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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One of the most daring "social problem" works in American film history, this movie, created by blacklisted artists, also shows the limitations of making a working-class film within the context of American culture.

November 26, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Kudos are in order for this extraordinary film for all it has to say that rings true about workers' rights, racism, and feminism.

July 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

More than a typical Miramax/Tarantino extravaganza, it's films like this that establish the historical precedent and importance of truly independent American filmmaking.

December 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmjourney

This remains a fascinating and powerful movie as well as a significant piece of celluloid history.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

An extraordinary film, made under extraordinary conditions and based on real events.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Unavoidable classic on a 1950 mine strike, made by McCarthy era blacklisted filmmakers.

April 23, 2003

Audience Reviews for Salt of the Earth

"If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution" - Emma Goldman

In "Salt of the Earth," Esperanza(Rosaura Revueltas), who is married to Ramon(Juan Chacon), a mine worker, has grave doubts about the future while she is pregnant with her third child. A lot of that comes from living in a house owned by the company with inadequate sanitation, and not even being able to afford a small luxury like a radio. And that's not to mention him spending a lot of nights out with the guys. It is not only the low pay that Ramon and his fellow workers are angry about(getting paid less than their Anglo counterparts adds insult to injury), it is the danger of the job as the men are forced into the dangerous position of having to work alone. When an accident does happen, gravely injuring a worker, that is the final straw, as a strike is called.

With a cast of professional and amateur actors, "Salt of the Earth" is a rousing and detailed call to arms that was far ahead of its time in not only attacking the racism of the mine owners, as Hispanic culture was in danger of being written over, but also telling the story from a Hispanic point of view which is not exactly common even in this more enlightened day and age. What's even more exceptional is recognizing the roles that women have played in strikes(one of the characters in the movie should have been a lawyer), and not only in support positions, either, but on the front lines of the picket. In fact, Mother Jones(1837-1930) was a fearless union organizer in her time.
May 2, 2011
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

It's worth watching simple for the history behind the making of this film.
I really dug Rosaura Revueltas, too.
September 19, 2008

Super Reviewer

    1. Esperanza Quintero: I don't want anything lower than me. I want to rise and push everything up as I go.
    – Submitted by Nina K (2 years ago)
    1. Esperanza Quintero: I don't want to go down fighting. I want to win.
    – Submitted by Nina K (2 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Das salz der erde (DE)
  • The Salt of the Earth (UK)
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