Watch: Matewan 1987 123movies, Full Movie Online – Mingo County, West Virginia, 1920. Coal miners, struggling to form a union, are up against company operators and the gun thugs of the notorious Baldwin-Felts detective agency. Black and Italian miners, brought in by the company to break the strike, are caught between the two forces. UMWA organizer and dual-card Wobbly Joe Kenehan determines to bring the local, Black, and Italian groups together. While Kenehan and his story are fictional, the setting and the dramatic climax are historical; Sid Hatfield, Cabell C. Testerman, C. E. Lively and the Felts brothers were real-life participants, and ‘Few Clothes’ is based on a character active several years previously..
Plot: Filmed in the coal country of West Virginia, “Matewan” celebrates labor organizing in the context of a 1920s work stoppage. Union organizer, Joe Kenehan, a scab named “Few Clothes” Johnson and a sympathetic mayor and police chief heroically fight the power represented by a coal company and Matewan’s vested interests so that justice and workers’ rights need not take a back seat to squalid working conditions, exploitation and the bottom line.
Smart Tags: #company_town #strike #1920s #labor_union #west_virginia #labor_dispute #repression #union_movement #coal_mining #labor_activist #two_gun_holster #gun #holster #gun_holster #double_gun_holster #shoulder_holster #shoulder #company #timeframe_1920s #social_commentary #class_struggle
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|7.9/10 Votes: 8,231|
|94% | RottenTomatoes|
|73/100 | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 80 Popularity: 5.338 | TMDB|
As important move about the American spirit as there is
This movie was obviously made as a labor of love, by someone whose ideals are deeply American. Director Sayles masterfully documents the nuances of the ageless conflict between those that would control others for profit and those that would not let themselves be controlled and thereby captures the essence of a battle that still rages between the American ideals of freedom and free enterprise.
Historically, the film documents a victory (some say massacre) by the miners over the power brokers and thugs of the early 20th century coal mining industry. Taken in the overall context of the history of Appalachian coal mining, however, what it truly documents is one battle in a war that was eventually lost when the government once again came down on the side of commerce as opposed to human dignity at the battle of Blair Mountain.
Fortunately for us, Mr. Sayles seems all too keenly aware of the tremendously important under-currents of this historical event. Rather than merely documenting the conflict and violence of this historic event, he artfully imbues the story with human elements of betrayal, regret, loss, resolve, and ultimately, sacrifice in the name of what is right and just. He reminds us that righteousness often comes with a price and that the real war is never won or lost but rages on forever, claiming the salvation and damnation of souls in it’s wake.
This film is a masterpiece and deserves its due. It represents everything good about film-making and should hold a special place in the hearts of all free Americans aspiring to the ideals expressed in our constitution.
Powerful presentation of the struggle for human dignity and equity.
This is a powerful film depicting both the conditions under which most mineworkers labored and the social conditions existing in the 1920-1930 era of our American history. It accurately portrays the manner in which powerful industrial interests manipulated the worker’s economic dependency using ‘script’ issued in lieu of lawful and legal tender and controlled the acquisition of basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothing. By “owning” the stores, controlling employment, threatening the physical well-being of its employees, and hiring of thugs to intimidate individuals and their ability to implement any organized mutual assistance, these wealthy and powerful companies sought to (and succeeded in ) maximizing their profits by using the labor of the poor and impotent at almost no cost to the company.
One needs to search intensely to finally reveal the true history of our period of industrialization. It is of great credit to the producer’s and director’s of such films as “Matewan” that we can see clearly the history and ongoing great struggle between the working class and the wealthy elite to obtain their proper share of “profits.”
This is a film where one enters a theater to be “entertained”, but leaves having the stirrings of compassion and outrage raised in their hearts. It reminds us that there is a human price paid for economic gain.
Original Language en
Runtime 2 hr 15 min (135 min)
Genre Drama, History
Director John Sayles
Writer John Sayles
Actors Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell
Country United States
Awards Nominated for 1 Oscar. 2 wins & 8 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Laboratory DuArt Film Laboratories Inc., New York, USA (processing)
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm (Eastman 250D 5297)
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm