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. The
twelve-year struggle to bring Salt of the Earth to the American
people is a graphic record of the ravages of McCarthyism, and
Biberman spares no one in his account of it. His story, however,
is not one of despair and bitterness because he found - in the
darkest moments - men of deep courage and conviction.
From the preface by James Monaco:
"Salt of the Earth: The Story of a Film, director
Herbert Biberman's dramatic and wise saga of the film's notorious
passage into history, is likely the most revealing and instructive
narrative of the film business in the last fifty years. The story
begins during the dark days of the blacklist and the Hollywood
Ten, takes us through the adventurous production of an exciting
and resonant film, continues with the valiant struggle to get
the film seen, and concludes with the lengthy and persistent battle
to achieve retribution in the courts."