He continually interferes with the intimidatory tactics of the two Baldwin-Felts agents in the town, Hickey and Griggs. Fausto is their leader. The decision to wage murderous war on the union was taken by these men. Some of the worst violence came from the Baldwin-Felts detectives who actually were professional strikebreakers. For all of the binary simplicity of the film’s moral structure, the question of violence, its utility or even necessity, is the great ambiguity at the film’s center. Another cause of the final confrontation is the conduct of Matewan’s chief of police, Sid Hatfield. The coal companies and most of the political machinery that fed on them and even the UMW hierarchy denied even the existence of black lung disease and refused any compensation for it.

Fantastic film on all levels. The miners want to talk with this new man Kenehan. This resulted in January in the establishment of the Central Competitive Field. Joe Kenehan is on the train headed to Matewan. As the union recruited so the mine companies responded with sackings and evictions. A Luta Final

Matewan () – IMDb

But suddenly the ambushers are ambushed from behind by the company thugs. They effectively took control of the area from south of Charleston up to the mountain range surrounding Logan and Mingo Counties. The coal bosses maintain their domination by using force and violence. One of the miners hurries mqtewan the camp to find Few Clothes James Earl Joneswho had drawn the short straw for who would kill Kenehan synopsiis his assumed treachery.

The film begins moviw with a coalface being blown. In one instance, miners surrounded a camp of guards during the night, cleared away the underbrush, and silently waited till dawn. Critic Desson Howe liked the look of the film and wrote, “Cinematographer Haskell Wexler etches the characters in dark charcoal against a misty background. He gets off at the station and meets a young widow named Bridey Mae Toliver.

Davide Ferrario as Gianni. A large scale confrontation took place at Mateewan in May. The steel strike was, in Philip Foner’s phrase, ‘the pivotal industrial conflict in the post-war period’. Few Clothes passes the word to his men not to go into town tomorrow. I was putting up blackberries when Trammel Blankenship came shoutin’ up the holler that the Number 5 had blown. Bob Gunton as C.


In both states the UMW met with the most fierce resistance. His efforts to provoke violence snopsis, and culminate in the chilling murder of a teenage miner, Hillard, who is caught stealing coal from the company tip.

The solidarity of black and white, Protestant and Catholic, immigrant and native miners was unbreakable.

This particular phase, immediately after the First World War, was to culminate in the march on company controlled Logan County by over 15, armed miners and in the week long battle for Blair Mountain which only came to an end with the intervention of federal troops.

H B Lee, op cit, pp; L Savage, op cit, pp But then some armed foothill peoplewhose land was taken by the coal company, enter the camp. Movid Clothes syjopsis the short stick in a contest to determine which miner is going to shoot Joe for being a spy.

Please click the link below to receive your verification email. The attempt to organise southern West Virginia had failed. Although the film ends here, the amtewan, the young miner Danny, tells of how the union went down to a violent defeat as Kenehan had foretold, but reaffirms his own commitment to the union cause.

Joe Kenehan is on the train headed to Matewan. Nevertheless the film does make it absolutely clear that, whatever Kenehan’s beliefs, his own survival is in fact dependent on other men having guns and being prepared to use them, on Hatfield, on the striking miners and, on one occasion, on the intervention of the hill people.

Meanwhile, Sephus has made his way back to town and informed the others of Lively’s betrayal, furiously burning down his restaurant. Already have an account? They hire “private detectives” and pay off public law enforcement agents to ensure that union organizers are kept out of Logan County. Hundreds of miners attacked the town and as the company brought in reinforcements, fighting spread along a ten syynopsis front.


But the audience never learns who hires the gun thugs and for what reasons National action by the UMW and solidarity action from other unions could still have won the day. And the miners have to deal with the profit-oriented coal operators and their gun thugs. No matter how brave and determined, the miners would have been beaten in an armed conflict with regular troops. Victory was snatched away on 14 September when the governor declared martial law and sent troops in to occupy Mingo.

The Felts brothers claimed to have a warrant for Hatfield’s arrest and after an argument one of them shot Mayor Testerman dead.

Matewan: film and working class struggle

Danny Radnor tells he’s mother that they done it: On 1 April ‘the largest single coal miners’ strike in United States’ history’ began. A guerilla campaign continued throughout the winter months in which a number of soldiers were killed, but the union had lost the initiative and faced defeat by attrition. The historical shootout at the climax occurred in May offour months beforehand. Neale Clark as Issac. This unrest came to a head at the UMW convention in September when delegates voted to demand a six hour day, moviw day week at that time miners worked an eight hour day and a six day week, so this would have required an 18 hour reduction and a 60 percent wage increase.

Matewan – Wikipedia

Most of the thugs are killed along with lots of miners. Lively then uses the letter to manipulate Bridey. Jenni Cline as Luann.