Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Salt of the Earth"


  1. Speaking of good old Communist films, here's a thought.

    Clint Eastwood starred as "The Man with No Name," in the film A Fistful of Dollars.

    A Fistful of Dollars was based on Red Harvest, by Dashiell Hammett.

    Hammett was a firm Communist. He was imprisoned by HUAC. He was blacklisted. He died an early death, alcoholic and suffering from lung cancer exacerbated by a heavy smoking habit. It can be said that the Father of Film Noir was killed by the Capitalism he fought so hard against and hated so very much.

    If Clint Eastwood hadn't starred in A Fistful of Dollars, he'd never have been the Man with No Name in the "Dollars" Trilogy. That trilogy launched his career.

    And Clint Eastwood spoke on behalf of Bain Capital's Mitt Romney and Ayn Rand Cultist Paul Ryan, at the Republican National Convention.

    I think God likes playing jokes on me.

  2. Ah logic!

    You know, I suspect Ol' Clint would agree with you more than dispute you. He may not like commie pinko scum. But I'm sure he's aware of the connection between his stardom and those scum like Dash Hammett, and I'll go out on a limb and suggest that he's even man enough to be grateful. In private. Don't tell anyone.

    Nevertheless, Tricksters delight in making us all feel like the butt of some cosmic joke. (because we are!...?)

    "Salt of the Earth" is one of my favorites. It really hits home. The story is true enough, but it is remarkable how closely it resembles Sergei Eisenstein's "Strike" from 1925, only with a happier ending!

  3. Eastwood's beliefs are supposed to be more nuanced than simple modern, tea party Republicanism. I've watched enough of his films to know that this is true. The villain of Pale Rider, for example, is an evil strip mining operation. Unforgiven has a character who had been hired by the railroads to gun down Chinese workers. There are other examples, but I can't remember them all.

    Of course Dirty Harry is a fascist inversion of the film noir. (In a proper film noir, Scorpio would get away with atrocities not because of a simply dysfunctional State, but a State controlled by moneyed interests which served him. Robert Rodriguez did an inversion of Dirty Harry in his film Sin City, where the disgusting, sadistic rapist is coddled because he's related to old money.)

  4. I'm trying to think of my favorite movie to compare to Salt but I can't think of any off hand.

  5. It really is an excellent picture, not the least because it is so inspirational. "Strike" infuriates the masses, "Salt of the Earth" gives some hope.

    Oh, and it has been shown on the big screen in Albuquerque and I believe Silver City as part of New Mexico's Centennial Celebration this year.

    Can't imagine any such thing happening in Arizona....