Salt of the Earth dvd review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SteveGon, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I knew very little about Salt of the Earth until I read the latest issue of American History magazine which features an article on the making of the film. Being a relatively obscure movie, I was surprised to find that it is available on dvd. Pioneer Entertainment, the same company responsible for the excellent Akira dvd, has done an equally commendable job with their release of Salt of the Earth.

    The story, based on an actual incident, concerns a strike at a zinc mine in New Mexico during the 1950's. The Mexican-American miners are treated unfairly by the company. They don't make as much money as their Anglo counterparts and their housing is sub-standard. They do the only thing they can do - strike. But their picket line is soon made illegal by a court injunction. The cause is seemingly lost until the miners' wives discover a loophole. The injunction states that miners are not allowed to picket so the women, who are not miners, ask their husbands for permission to form a new, all-female picket line. The men are at first reluctant to let their wives "do the fighting for them", but eventually admit that it may be the only solution.

    Salt of the Earth is not, as some would have you believe, pro-Communist. It is about equal rights for all races. It is also about equal rights for women. In this, it was ahead of its time. I highly recommend this dvd release of Salt of the Earth.

    Pioneer has done a very good job here. The transfer is as good as could be expected given the low budget and production woes of Salt of the Earth. There are a few blemishes here and there, but nothing overly distracting. Blacks are deep and the picture is generally sharp. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track gets the job done.

    The are quite a few extras on this disc. Most of them are text-based. The short film The Hollywood Ten describes who the Hollywood Ten were, and why they went to prison. The text-based extras include notes on the troubled production of Salt of the Earth, editing and shooting notes, an illustrated history of the actual strike upon which the film is based, filmographies and biographies, production photos, congressional testimony of the filmmakers, and a history of the blacklist. The theatrical trailer is also included. Overall, this is a very comprehensive package.

    I rate both the film and the dvd three and a half stars.
     
  2. DaveCheung

    DaveCheung Agent

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    Thanks for the review, Steve. I've been thinking of getting this for a while but I haven't since I can't find reviews of it and I wasn't quite sure of the transfer quality, etc. Now I'll put this one on my long "to buy" list.
     
  3. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Dave, you can purchase the Salt of the Earth disc from DVDPlanet for under twenty bucks. Good deal, that. If you do pick it up, let me know what you think of the transfer - I could use another opinion as I'm still honing my critical facilites in that area. [​IMG]
     

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