Harlan County, U.S.A.

Release Date: January 23rd, 1977

DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006

PG |1 hr 43 min

Plot Summary

In this documentary about labor tension in the coal-mining industry, director Barbara Kopple films a strike in rural Kentucky. After the coal miners at the Brookside Mine join a union, the owners refuse the labor contract. Once the miners start to strike, the owners of the mine respond by hiring scabs to fill the jobs of the regular employees. The strike, which lasts more than a year, frequently becomes violent, with guns produced on both sides, and one miner is even killed in a conflict.

Director: Barbara Kopple

Genres: Documentary

Production Co: Cabin Creek

Distributors: Cinema 5 Distributing

Keywords: 1970s, Quest, Fascinating, Small town, Sacrifice

Ratings & Reviews

  • 75
    TV Guide Magazine

    Provides an exquisite representation of the emotion and pride in this microcosm mining community. (Review of Original Release) show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    The movie is a great American document, but it's also entertaining. (Review of Original Release) show more

  • 80

    The stars of the film are the men and women of Harlan County, portrayed here not as patronized mountain folks but as human beings. (Review of Original Release) show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Documentary (Feature)