Salt of the Earth (1954) - Rotten Tomatoes

Salt of the Earth (1954)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Salt of the Earth Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This film is a powerful, persuasive labor-management drama. With the exception of five actors, the cast is comprised of non-professionals. 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.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Wilson
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 24, 2005
The Film Detective - Official Site


Will Geer
as Sheriff
Rosaura Revueltas
as Esperanza Quintero
Juan Chacon
as Ramon Quintero
David Sarvis
as Alexander
Henrietta Williams
as Teresa Vidal
Ernest Vel??squez
as Charley Vidal
Ernest Velasquez
as Charley Vidal
Angela Sánchez
as Consuelo Ruiz
Clorinda Alderette
as Luz Morales
Charles Coleman
as Antonio Morales
Virginia Jencks
as Ruth Barnes
Clinton Jencks
as Frank Barnes
Frank Talavera
as Luis Quintero
Mary Lou Castillo
as Estella Quintero
Victor Torres
as Sebastian Prieto
E.S. Conerly
as Kalinsky
Elivira Molano
as Mrs. Salazar
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Salt of the Earth

Critic Reviews for Salt of the Earth

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

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.

Full Review… | October 16, 2007
Top Critic

This is pretty amazing.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The hard-focus, realistic quality of the picture's photography and style completes its characterization as a calculated social document.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 26, 2006

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

Full Review… | July 25, 2005
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.

Full Review… | December 2, 2004

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.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


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

Patrick Dolan

Super Reviewer


Should never have been banned, but audiences were probably not sophisticated enough not to riot or whatever, so who knows.

Salt of the Earth Quotes

– Submitted by Nina K (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Nina K (3 years ago)

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