Matewan


Character: Elma Radnor

Directed by: John Sayles

Written by: John Sayles

Produced by: Peggy Rajski, Maggie Renzi

Cast Members: Chris Cooper, Will Oldham, David Strathairn, Ken Jenkins, Kevin Tighe, Gordon Clapp, Bob Gunton

Released date: June 30, 1987

Genre: Drama, History

A labor union organizer comes to an embattled mining community brutally and violently dominated and harassed by the mining company.

Movie Quotes

I was putting up blackberries when Trammel Blankenship came shoutin’ up the holler that the Number 5 had blown. I remember I took the pot off the stovetop and washed my hands before I went down. It took two days to dig through. And then when they brung ’em up, you couldn’t tell which was which. They found blood on the walls from fellas trying to claw their way out. Mrs. Elkins, Mrs. Mounts, Bridey Mae, me… we all lost our men in that fire. Danny were seven then. Now he’s back in that same hole.

In Mary’s words…

Matewan was my first film, and John Sayles is such a masterful filmmaker. He’s so prepared, because he writes and directs the films, he edits the films, and he produces his own films. When you work with John, it’s super efficient, in that he knows exactly what he’s going after, so he casts accordingly. And you will sometimes shoot your close-up first, because he knows what he needs, and then if he needs a master, he’ll back up and do it, but, you know, he’ll move on without doing that because he knows he doesn’t need it. So I kind of learned how to be an actress in a film through John Sayles, and I naïvely thought that they would all be like that. [from “Mary McDonnell on Battlestar Galactica and going mute in front of Robert Redford” by Will Harris]

Script developed by Never Enough Design