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Chris Cooper
Director: John Sayles Cast: Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
, Will Oldham
Will Oldham
, Mary McDonnell
Mary McDonnell
John Sayles


Chris Cooper
Director: John Sayles Cast: Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
, Will Oldham
Will Oldham
, Mary McDonnell
Mary McDonnell
John Sayles

Blu-ray (Color / Wide Screen)

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Independent filmmaker John Sayles creates one of his more artistic works with this period feature about a volatile 1920s labor dispute in the town of Matewan, West Virginia. Matewan is a coal town where the local miners' lives are controlled by the powerful Stone Mountain Coal Company. The company practically owns the town, reducing workers' wages while raising prices at the company-owned supply and grocery. The citizens' land and homes are not their own, and the future seems dim. When the coal company brings immigrants and minorities to Matewan as cheaper labor, union organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper) scours the town to unite all miners in a strike. As the crisis grows, strikers and their families are removed from their homes by two coal company mercenaries (Kevin Tighe and Gordon Clapp, both also featured in Sayles' Eight Men Out (1988)), and the situation heads toward a final shootout on Matewan's main street . Sayles' simple but telling screenplay brings to light the treatment of immigrants and minorities in the early 20th century South, and it draws sharp parallels between the Matewan labor battle and the Civil War some 50 years earlier. The visual feel of the film is real West Virginia backwoods, with much of the credit going to legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler, whose warm, rustic lighting belies the anxiety and terror felt by the oppressed townspeople.

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Product Details

Release Date: 10/29/2019
UPC: 0715515236010
Original Release: 1987
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen, Color]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 2:13:00
Sales rank: 3,094

Special Features

English SDH Subtitles; New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Sayles, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Audio commentary from 2013 featuring Sayles and cinematographer Haskell Wexler; Two new documentaries on the making of the film featuring Sayles, producer Maggie Renzi, production designer Nora Chavooshian, and actors Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, Will Oldham, and David Strathairn; New interview with composer mason Daring; Short documentary on the impact that Matewan's production had on West Virginia; New program on the film's production design featuring Chavooshian; Trailer

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 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 Executive Producer
Dan Bishop Art Director
Nora Chavoosian Production Designer
Mason K. Daring Score Composer
Ira Deutchman Associate Producer
James Dudelson Associate Producer
Cynthia Flynt Costumes/Costume Designer
Amir J. Malin Executive Producer
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
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer

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