Matewan

( 6 )

Overview

John Sayles superb period drama Matewan comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. There are no subtitles, but the soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include production notes, and a trailer. This is a sub-par release from Artisan.
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Jace Alexander, Bob Gunton, Gordon Clapp, Kevin Tighe, Ken Jenkins, David Strathairn, Will Oldham, Mary McDonnell, James Earl... 08/14/2001 DVD New 1987 Run time: 142. Still ... Sealed in Plastic. Never used! Buy with confidence-Satisfaction Guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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Overview

John Sayles superb period drama Matewan comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. There are no subtitles, but the soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include production notes, and a trailer. This is a sub-par release from Artisan.
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Special Features

Full-screen version; Mono audio; Production notes; Trailer; Digitally mastered; Scene access; Interactive menus
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Writer-director John Sayles specializes in recasting American history through the eyes of overlooked working-class heroes, and his story of striking West Virginia coal miners in the 1920s is one of his most polished and accessible achievements. Based on a bloody battle in the town of Matewan, the film examines labor unions from a critical perspective, shedding light on racial and cultural attitudes that hampered the movement. James Earl Jones gives a powerful, minimalist performance as the miners' leader. Sayles appears in a minor role, as he often does in his own films, as a conservative minister who preaches against the union organizers. Thanks to cinematographer Haskell Wexler, the film is visually rich. Sayles's dialogue and the period settings and costumes are wonderfully authentic, and the customary low budget of a Sayles movie never seems obvious.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/14/2001
  • UPC: 707729100461
  • Original Release: 1987
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:22:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chris Cooper Joe Kenehan
Will Oldham Danny Radnor
Mary McDonnell Elma Radnor
Bob Gunton C.E. Lively
James Earl Jones Few Clothes Johnson
Kevin Tighe Hickey
Gordon Clapp Griggs
Josh Mostel Mayor Cabell Testerman
Ken Jenkins Sephus Purcell
Jace Alexander Hilliard Elkins
Gary McCleery Ludie
David Strathairn Police Chief Sid Hatfield
Joe Grifasi Fausto
James Kizer Tolbert
Thomas A. Carlin Turley
Fred Cecker James
Neale Clark Issac
Jenni Cline Luann
Mason K. Daring Picker
Hazel Dickens MT Singer
Davide Ferrario Gianni
Michael Frasher Lee Felts
Percy Fruit Black Miner
Stephen C. Hall Redneck Miner
Charles Haywood Sheb
Delmas Lawhorn Conductor
Michael Mantell Doolin
Bill Morris Bass
Michael Munsey Broker
Frank Payne Jr. Old MIner
Hazel Pearl Missus
Hal Philips Boxcar Guard
Thomas Poore Injured Black Man
Michael Preston Ellix
Mithc Scott Mister
Ronnie Stapleton Stennis
Ida Williams Mrs. Knightes
Tara Williams Woman
Gerald Milnes Fiddler
William Dean Broker
Jo Henderson Mrs. Elkins
Nancy Mette Bridey Mae
Maggie Renzi Rosaria
John Sayles Hardshell Preacher
Frank Hoyt Taylor Al Felts
Tom Wright Tom
Technical Credits
John Sayles Director, Screenwriter
Mark Balsam Producer
Dan Bishop Art Director
Nora Chavoosian Production Designer
Mason K. Daring Score Composer
Ira Deutchman Associate Producer, Producer
James Dudelson Associate Producer
Cynthia Flynt Costumes/Costume Designer
Anamarie Michnevich Set Decoration/Design
Sonya Polonsky Editor
Leslie Pope Set Decoration/Design
Peggy Rajski Producer
Maggie Renzi Producer
James Sarzotti Makeup
Barbara Hewson Shapiro Casting
Jerry Silva Executive Producer, Producer
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. Matewan [3:46]
2. The Miner's Strike [2:10]
3. Replacement Workers [2:59]
4. Joe Arrives in Matewan [3:36]
5. The Boarding House [3:27]
6. Union Meeting [3:22]
7. Joe's Speech [6:04]
8. A Heartfelt Sermon [4:00]
9. Stopping at the Union [4:10]
10. A Matewan History [4:03]
11. Working in the Mines [1:37]
12. An Eviction [4:50]
13. Trouble Brewing [2:40]
14. The Night Shift [4:04]
15. A Fresh Start [2:03]
16. The Proposition [3:24]
17. Union Camp [4:58]
18. The Foothill People [5:40]
19. Tension Mounts [4:12]
20. Traitor and Spy [2:10]
21. Helping the Wounded [2:28]
22. A Charade [4:16]
23. Telling a Lie [3:13]
24. Two Bullies [3:03]
25. "Blood of the Lamb" [2:54]
26. Two Parables [7:25]
27. A Turn of Events [2:54]
28. The Movement Grows [5:42]
29. Hillard Gets Caught [6:33]
30. Reinforcements [1:50]
31. Hillard's Funeral [2:31]
32. Preparing for a Battle [4:45]
33. The Matewan Massacre [4:16]
34. The Aftermath [3:20]
35. End Credits [3:49]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Play Trailer
   Production Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    certainly not a special edition

    I concur with previous poster. this is a great film that deserves a great presentation. I would not have bought it had I realized it was in full screen and not letterbox format...the box lists "full screen" and "mono audio" as special features...huh? I am torn however, when it comes to saying don't buy it, if you've never seen it. but once you see it you may want to write the distributor and demand a better experience for an important work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's a travesty that this movie is not in widescreen

    This is one of Sayles best films, and that fact that this release is not in widescreen will prevent me from buying it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie, bad format

    This is an outstanding film about the plight of industrial revolution-age coal miners in West Virginia. This is the first movie that made me really take notice of Chris Cooper (so great in Adaptation). Also, this is a major role for Folk singer Will Oldham, who practically steals the show with his sermon near the end. My complaint with this title is that it is not available in widescreen format. If you have an appreciation for the "cinematic experience" as opposed to full-screen, don't watch this version... wait for the widescreen.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Powerful Storytelling

    Sayles has masterfully crafted the story of ordinary working people, used mercilessly by the mine owners and their minions. Each character is genuine and touches the heart. The settings and the cinematography almost outshine the superb actors. This remains one of the ''Great'' films, on my list. A Pan & Scan DVD is an entirely unsatisfactory offering. I will wait for the MGM release of a widescreen version, reportedly coming in 2003.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Labor Movement

    This movie shows working conditions that many today could hardly relate to. It shows why the labor movement was so important toward providing fair treatment and dignity for American workers. It shows how the minors were, for all practical purposes, enslaved to the company. What the movie does not show was that this type of treatment had existed else where, such as in Ludlow, Colorado where the same machine gun used to hold minors in line in Matwan, was fired on striking workers, ultimately resulting in the deaths of 11 children, 2 women, and 20 some miners. It does not show that following the big shoot out at Matwan, the miners formed an army, estimated as large as 8000 armed men to fight their enslavement by mine owners. It took until the mid-1930's before these conditions were rectified with new labor law forcing management and company owners to recognize unions and bargain with them in good faith. The lessons are still relevant as America continues to move toward the return of the sweat shops here in America, not just over seas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My Daddy was A Coal Miner...

    ...who mined in the late '20s, early '30's in Eastern Kentucky, within 30-40 miles from ''Bloody Mingo'' county, described in the movie. I heard him tell stories about the mines and strikes and the ''wobblies'' during that era...seeing Matewan made that absolutely come alive--John Sayles has created a masterpiece which explicitly captures the language and texture of the appalachian miner culture at that time in a way that feels as much documentary as narrative fiction. Additionally, his character as a southern preacher is so accurate to some of the characters that I've seen from that area that it's pretty spooky. 'Really amazing filmmaking, and on my All Time Greatest Motion Picture list. This is one of the few movies that makes me genuinely proud to work in the entertainment industry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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