Salt of the Earth (1954)
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as Esperanza Quintero
as Ramon Quintero
as Teresa Vidal
as Charley Vidal
as Charley Vidal
as Consuelo Ruiz
as Sal Ruiz
as Luz Morales
as Antonio Morales
as Ruth Barnes
as Frank Barnes
as Luis Quintero
as Estella Quintero
as Sebastian Prieto
as Mrs. Salazar
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Critic Reviews for Salt of the Earth
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.
The hard-focus, realistic quality of the picture's photography and style completes its characterization as a calculated social document.
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.
Kudos are in order for this extraordinary film for all it has to say that rings true about workers' rights, racism, and feminism.
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.
It's worth watching simple for the history behind the making of this film.
I really dug Rosaura Revueltas, too.
Should never have been banned, but audiences were probably not sophisticated enough not to riot or whatever, so who knows.
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