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History Film / SaltOfTheEarth

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* PublicDomainFeatureFilms: The film's copyright lapsed in 1982.

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Compare ''Film/LettersFromMarusia'', a Mexican film with a similar story about heroic strikers.


* BrickJoke: At a party, one of the wives tells the others that if anyone dances with her husband, they'll have to deal with his excessive butt-swiveling dancing. Later, at another party, as the husband is swiveling away, the wive points at his butt and nods to the other wives.

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* BrickJoke: At a party, one of the wives tells the others that if anyone dances with her husband, they'll have to deal with his excessive butt-swiveling dancing. Later, at another party, as the husband is swiveling away, the wive wife points at his butt and nods to the other wives.


* AutobiographicalRole: In general the union members, but in particular Juan Chacon (Ramon), Clinton Jencks (Frank) and Henrietta Williams (Teresa, the leader of the women's auxiliary) play fictionalized versions of themselves and their roles in the actual strike.

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* AutobiographicalRole: AmateurCast[=/=]AutobiographicalRole: In general the union members, but in particular Juan Chacon (Ramon), Clinton Jencks (Frank) and Henrietta Williams (Teresa, the leader of the women's auxiliary) play fictionalized versions of themselves and their roles in the actual strike.


* CapitalismIsBad: This film really never stood a chance of getting seen in the United States, seeing as how it's a portrait of brave, determined laborers joining together to fight against greedy capitalist bosses and their law enforcement lackeys. It ''did'', however, get shown in Commnuist China, being the only film shown there between 1950 and 1979.

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* CapitalismIsBad: This film really never stood a chance of getting seen in the United States, seeing as how it's a portrait of brave, determined laborers joining together to fight against greedy capitalist bosses and their law enforcement lackeys. It ''did'', however, get shown in Commnuist China, being the only American film shown there between 1950 and 1979.


* BadToTheLastDrop: How Esperanza gets involved with the strike. Ramon hates the coffee made by the other women.



* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: The title card says "''Salt of The Earth'' by Michael Wilson".

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* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: The title card says "''Salt of The the Earth'' by Michael Wilson".

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* TheStoic: Esperanza.

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* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: The title card says "''Salt of The Earth'' by Michael Wilson".

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* CorruptHick: The sheriff, though the focus is more on his being a pawn of the establishment than his being corrupt or a hick.

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* AutobiographicalRole: In general the union members, but in particular Juan Chacon (Ramon), Clinton Jencks (Frank) and Henrietta Williams (Teresa, the leader of the women's auxiliary) play fictionalized versions of themselves and their roles in the actual strike.


->''"I don't want to go down fighting. I want to win."''
-->-- '''Esperanza'''



* TheQuisling: Ramon, a Mexican who first tries to sneak through the picket line to work as a scab, then identifies the female leaders of the strike so the sheriff can arrest them. Ramon holds him in particular contempt for betraying his own people.
* SpitefulSpit: A disgusted Ramon does this when he catches Ramon, a fellow Mexican, trying to break through the picket line. This is all the sheriff needs to arrest Ramon on assault charges.

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* TheQuisling: Ramon, Sebastian, a Mexican who first tries to sneak through the picket line to work as a scab, then identifies the female leaders of the strike so the sheriff can arrest them. Ramon holds him in particular contempt for betraying his own people.
* SpitefulSpit: A disgusted Ramon does this when he catches Ramon, Sebastian, a fellow Mexican, trying to break through the picket line. This is all the sheriff needs to arrest Ramon on assault charges.

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* MeaningfulName: Esperanza means "hope" in Spanish.


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* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: Zinctown is the thinly fictionalized equivalent of Hanover and Silver City, where the actual strikes took place.


It is a dramatization of a real miners' strike in New Mexico. Esperanza and Juan Quintero are a married couple living in the company town of Zinc Mine; Juan is a miner. All the miners are exploited by their callous employers at Delaware Zinc Inc., but the Hispanic miners have it even worse, living in sad company shacks that lack running water. When Delaware Zinc's cheapskate insistence on having the Hispanic miners work alone instead of in pairs leads to a man nearly getting killed, the miners go on strike.

The strike is a months-long ordeal. Delaware Zinc tries to get scab workers through the picket lines but the union holds fast. Juan spends thirty days in jail on trumped-up charges of assaulting a scab. The strike seems to be doomed when Delaware Zinc obtains a Taft-Hartley injunction requiring the miners to give up picketing or face arrest. However, one of the miners' wives notes that while the miners can no longer picket, the injunction doesn't say anything about the ''wives'' doing the picketing.

The wives take their place on the picket line. While they are successful in keeping the mine closed and frustrating the will of Delaware Zinc, the role reversal does not go down well with many of the miners. Juan in particular is not happy about being left with the housekeeping and domestic chores while Esperanza leads the wives on the picket line.

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It is a dramatization of a real miners' strike in New Mexico. Esperanza and Juan Ramon Quintero are a married couple living in the company town of Zinc Mine; Juan Ramon is a miner. All the miners are exploited by their callous employers at Delaware Zinc Inc., but the Hispanic miners have it even worse, living in sad company shacks that lack running water. When Delaware Zinc's cheapskate insistence on having the Hispanic miners work alone instead of in pairs leads to a man nearly getting killed, the miners go on strike.

The strike is a months-long ordeal. Delaware Zinc tries to get scab workers through the picket lines but the union holds fast. Juan Ramon spends thirty days in jail on trumped-up charges of assaulting a scab. The strike seems to be doomed when Delaware Zinc obtains a Taft-Hartley injunction requiring the miners to give up picketing or face arrest. However, one of the miners' wives notes that while the miners can no longer picket, the injunction doesn't say anything about the ''wives'' doing the picketing.

The wives take their place on the picket line. While they are successful in keeping the mine closed and frustrating the will of Delaware Zinc, the role reversal does not go down well with many of the miners. Juan Ramon in particular is not happy about being left with the housekeeping and domestic chores while Esperanza leads the wives on the picket line.



* ADayInHerApron: Juan has to spend quite a bit of time doing the domestic chores and looking after the kids while Esperanza is on the picket line. He does not like it at all.

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* ADayInHerApron: Juan Ramon has to spend quite a bit of time doing the domestic chores and looking after the kids while Esperanza is on the picket line. He does not like it at all.



* TheQuisling: Ramon, a Mexican who first tries to sneak through the picket line to work as a scab, then identifies the female leaders of the strike so the sheriff can arrest them. Juan holds him in particular contempt for betraying his own people.
* SpitefulSpit: A disgusted Juan does this when he catches Ramon, a fellow Mexican, trying to break through the picket line. This is all the sheriff needs to arrest Juan on assault charges.

to:

* TheQuisling: Ramon, a Mexican who first tries to sneak through the picket line to work as a scab, then identifies the female leaders of the strike so the sheriff can arrest them. Juan Ramon holds him in particular contempt for betraying his own people.
* SpitefulSpit: A disgusted Juan Ramon does this when he catches Ramon, a fellow Mexican, trying to break through the picket line. This is all the sheriff needs to arrest Juan Ramon on assault charges.


''Salt of the Earth'' proved highly controversial in the era of the RedScare and the UsefulNotes/HollywoodBlacklist. Bieberman, Wilson, and Jarrico had all been blacklisted for their left-wing sentiments; Bieberman in fact was one of the infamous "Hollywood Ten" who were held in contempt of Congress for their refusal to name Communists in the movie industry. ''Salt of the Earth'' was Bieberman's first job after spending six months in prison. Additionally, the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, which was behind the RealLife strike and which financed the film, had been booted out of the CIO in 1950 for having Communists in its leadership. As a result, the film was almost completely suppressed in the United States in 1954, appearing in only 12 theaters.

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''Salt of the Earth'' proved highly controversial in the era of the RedScare and the UsefulNotes/HollywoodBlacklist.UsefulNotes/TheHollywoodBlacklist. Bieberman, Wilson, and Jarrico had all been blacklisted for their left-wing sentiments; Bieberman in fact was one of the infamous "Hollywood Ten" who were held in contempt of Congress for their refusal to name Communists in the movie industry. ''Salt of the Earth'' was Bieberman's first job after spending six months in prison. Additionally, the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, which was behind the RealLife strike and which financed the film, had been booted out of the CIO in 1950 for having Communists in its leadership. As a result, the film was almost completely suppressed in the United States in 1954, appearing in only 12 theaters.

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_0513.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Workers of the world unite!]]

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