Salt of the Earth (1954) torrent download

Salt of the Earth

1954

Drama / History

7.4

Synopsis

Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. In the end, the greatest victory for the workers and their families is the realization that prejudice and poor treatment are conditions that are not always imposed by outside forces.

Director

Herbert J. Biberman

Cast

Rosaura Revueltas
as Esperanza Quintero
Juan Chacón
as Ramon Quintero
Will Geer
as Sheriff
David Sarvis
as Alexander
Clinton Jencks
as Frank Barnes

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dr.Mike 10 /10

More Than Just A Blacklisted Film

Salt Of The Earth is best known as a blacklisted film made by many of the artists whose lives were destroyed by HUAC and the complicity of the film industry. While the film's very exsistance is a tribute to the determination of the artists to do the right thing and not be silenced, it is much more than that. It is also a moving film tribute to the underclass of America who suffer greatly due to injustice and inequality. The film portrays the strike of Chicano mine workers in New Mexico. Their demands, which the company took 15 months to meet, included such outrages as safety, equality, and indoor plumbing. The most interesting aspect of the film is the way in which the women of the community are forced to take a leading role. By linking the oppression of the workers to the workers' oppression of their wives, the film becomes not only a pro-union film but also a feminist one. The story is stirring, and the scenes where the women are attacked for standing by their men are unforgetable. Salt of the Earth probably has more to do with everyday American lives than 99 percent of Hollywood films. Its humane portrayal of regular people fighting for their rights cannot help but awaken the common elements in us all.

Reviewed by laursene N/A

Holds up surprisingly well

Despite the crap the filmmakers had to endure to get this one done, it took its share of pans when it came out: A pious piece of agitprop full of too-good-to-be-true and too-bad-to-be-believed stick figures, etc etc. Today, it holds up well - first, its use of "real" locations and "real" people appears more valuable in a documentary sense the farther away we get from the time it was made. Second, the production values, especially the cinematography - the Blacklist claimed some of the more talented technicians in Hollywood, and Salt of the Earth benefits richly from their work.

Third, the themes remain quite relevant. When we see footage of, say Bolivian coca growers taking to the streets to overthrow their country's US-sponsored tycoon president, what's so surprising about a community of Mexican American workers standing in solidarity against an exploitative mining company? When we see Justice for Janitors bringing the owners of LA's office towers to the table (at least), what's so far-fetched about workers in Salt of the Earth grabbing a bit of justice for themselves? I could go on.

From the vantage point of 2003, Salt of the Earth looks like a refreshing change. Agitprop is news to a lot of people today - it can be powerful if done well, yet we're now all conditioned to think that any form of dramatic art that doesn't center obsessively on the isolated individual is false and/or sentimental. Is Salt of the Earth really more sentimental than On the Waterfront (made about the same time), in which a corruption struggle on the New Jersey docks serves merely as the scenery for Marlon Brando's emoting about his boxing career?? Come on!!

People who stand in solidarity really are powerful. Americans are taught not to think so, but it's when they stand up together, not separately, that they win the biggest victories (and I don't mean in uniform, either).

Reviewed by Baroque N/A

Solidarity Forever!

"The only film in US history to be blacklisted."

That alone is praise!

SALT OF THE EARTH, a powerful film shot on a threadbare budget, mostly with local non-actors, was branded as "communist propaganda" during the infamous McCarthy "Red Scare" and was hardly shown in the USA when first released. However, the film was widely exhibited in Europe, where it was lauded with acclaim. It wasn't until the 1960's and 1970's that anyone in the USA had a decent chance to see this powerful work, and then only in film festivals, union meetings, or college campuses.

It is not propaganda. It is about the struggle for dignity and recognition. The making of this film it testament to that alone! For fear of destruction by "anti-communist" technicians, the film stock had to be smuggled into development labs and worked on in secret! Director Herbert J. Bieberman was arrested during filming, and had to give scene directions by letter and telephone while in prison.

The film the U.S. Government didn't want you see...now part of the National Film Registry. Consider watching this as driving a stake through Joe McCarthy's heart.

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