I watched this and Harlan County USA back to back, and i'm suprised that the fictionalized version of the coal strikes didn't keep me as thrilled as the documentary did. It's still a great movie full of great performances, sharp dialogue and some beautiful images by the master Haskell Wexler.
I saved this movie for the third date with the woman who became my wife. The amount of talent in this movie is staggering. An auspicious beginning to any relationship. And then we watched 'Boy on a Dolphin' where Sophia Loren had to walk in a trench on the beach so as not to tower over Alan Ladd.
John Sayles directs this fantastic film about coal miners in Matewan, W.Virginia 1920. Chris Cooper plays a union man who comes and tries to get the town to be ome a union, but the company men don't like it so they intervene. Great acting here from the cast especially Cooper who gives a fantastic performance. Sayles is an underrated director and I believe he doesn't get the credit he deserves. Fantastic film.
Uli Cain is Writing,"A fine film from credits to credits, strong performances, great cinematography by Haskell Wexler, and honest soundtrack of early bluegrass type music." I agree with ever sylllable above but I find the script to be flawed in its didactic tone and tendency to reduce characters to one dimensional archetypes of good or evil.
Even if this movie seems *too* straight-forward to be true, you all *have* to realize that these miners were fighting for a decent existence, against a colossus that wasn't gonna give an inch. The racism's there, the coal company didn't weaken its stance with these people, CERTAINLY not when money was at stake, and the storyline does represent documented history, even if it seems a little tidied-up.