In the history of Hollywood there are few
films with a history as dramatically riveting as that of Salt of the
Earth. Made during the height of the McCarthy era by a group of blacklisted
filmmakers who were among the best and the brightest Hollywood talent
of the day, Salt of the Earth is itself a powerful and emotionally
charged feature-length film. On the occasion of the film’s 50th anniversary,
Harbor Electronic Publishing is proud to offer a new edition of Salt
of the Earth: The Story of a Film by Herbert Biberman.
In 1952 three blacklisted Hollywood filmmakers set out to make a movie
which would turn out to be a “crime to fit the punishment.” One of
the great union stories of all time, it was nevertheless smothered by corrupt
Hollywood unions. Herbert Biberman and his partners Paul Jarrico and Academy
Award winner Michael Wilson then struggled for more than 15 years to get
their film seen. Years later, after two of the three partners had died,
it would be one of the first films chosen to be listed in the National
Film Registry - films to be preserved for all time. Only now, after fifty
years, is it receiving its proper due.
Director Herbert Biberman’s eloquent, dramatic story of the making of Salt
of the Earth - although it wasn’t suppressed - was given short
shrift when it was first published in 1965. The blacklist was just ending;
it was still too early to speak up and be heard.
This new edition, with an introduction by James Monaco, restores to circulation what is likely the most important “making of” book ever published. It is a story of true heroism and remarkable courage, with surprising relevance for our time.