Salt of the Earth

1954, Drama, 1h 34m

13 Reviews 1,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

At New Mexico's Empire Zinc mine, Mexican-American workers protest the unsafe work conditions and unequal wages compared to their Anglo counterparts. Ramon Quintero (Juan Chacon) helps organize the strike, but he is shown to be a hypocrite by treating his pregnant wife, Esperanza (Rosaura Revueltas), with a similar unfairness. When an injunction stops the men from protesting, however, the gender roles are reversed, and women find themselves on the picket lines while the men stay at home.

Cast & Crew

Rosaura Revueltas
Esperanza Quintero
Juan Chacón
Ramon Quintero
David Wolfe
Barton
Ángela Sánchez
Consuelo Ruiz
Michael Biberman
Writer
Sol Kaplan
Original Music
Stanley Meredith
Cinematographer
Leonard Stark
Cinematographer
Joan Laird
Film Editor
Ed Spiegel
Film Editor
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for Salt of the Earth

Critic Reviews for Salt of the Earth

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (13)

  • 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…
  • This is pretty amazing.

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

    March 25, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A progressive look at the Mexican American experience focusing on the zinc miners in New Mexico. Based on true events, this feminist narrative feels relatable.

    July 3, 2021 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite its formal esthetics and narrative didacticism... the movie has a a true force extolled by the austerity derived from the scarce technical equipment. [Full Review in Spanish]

    August 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • This is pretty amazing.

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

    March 25, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A progressive look at the Mexican American experience focusing on the zinc miners in New Mexico. Based on true events, this feminist narrative feels relatable.

    July 3, 2021 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite its formal esthetics and narrative didacticism... the movie has a a true force extolled by the austerity derived from the scarce technical equipment. [Full Review in Spanish]

    August 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Salt of the Earth

  • May 02, 2011
    "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
  • Sep 19, 2008
    It's worth watching simple for the history behind the making of this film. I really dug Rosaura Revueltas, too.
    Patrick D Super Reviewer

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