The negotiating committee of the Writers Guild of America
has recommended that the union’s members go on strike, perhaps as early as
Whether you support one side or just hope it ends quickly, you probably have a favorite film that deals with labor
relations and striking workers. Two classic
pro-labor films date from the same year, 1954.
A couple of years before On
the Waterfront was released, its director, Elia Kazan, appeared before the
House Un-American Activities Committee and identified some of his fellow
writers as Communists. Arthur Miller,
who wrote the original screenplay for On
the Waterfront, was himself blacklisted. The film won a slew of Oscars, among them best acting (Marlon Brando and
Eva Marie Saint), best writing (Bud Schulberg, who replaced Miller), best
director and best picture.
The same year brought Salt
of the Earth, a neo-realist film about striking zinc mine workers in New
Mexico. Not surprisingly, since Salt‘s writer, director and producer
were once members of the "Hollywood Ten," the film was itself
blacklisted by HUAC – it’s the only American film to receive this dubious
The poll, after the jump.