Harlan County, USA

Harlan County, USA

Barbara Kopple

DVD (Black & White / Wide Screen)

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Barbara Kopple's Harlan County, USA was one of the most important and powerful political documentaries of the 1970s, a startling and compelling look at a bitter coal miner's strike in Kentucky in the early '70s, and this DVD release of the film from The Criterion Collection treats Kopple's work like the masterpiece it is. This edition of Harlan County, USA has been transferred to disc in letterboxed format at the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (while the film was shot in 16 mm at the 1.33:1 ratio, this disc reflects the presentation of the 35 mm blow-up used for theatrical release), and has been enhanced for anamorphic play on 16 x 9 monitors. While the grain of the 16 mm image is apparent throughout, this transfer is noticeably clearer and sharper than Harlan County, USA's previous releases on video, and the colors are clear without being pushed into excessive brightness. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono and is crisp and full of presence, despite the occasional (and unavoidable) flaws of documentary field recording. The film is in English, with no multiple language options. Among the bonus materials are 26 minutes of deleted sequences from the film, a 21-minute documentary on the movie's long and difficult production (including interviews with Kopple and her associates), an onscreen interview with filmmaker John Sayles, who talks about his appreciation of Harlan County, USA and its influences on his own picture Matewan, and a conversation with singer Hazel Dickens, who discusses growing up in coal country and her music (which was used in the picture). Roger Ebert hosted a panel discussion on Harlan County, USA at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and footage from that presentation has also been included. Kopple and editor Nancy Baker contribute a lively and fascinating commentary track in which they offer still more background on how the movie was made. The original theatrical trailer for Harlan County, USA rounds out the disc, and the package includes a handsome booklet with essays from Paul Arthur and Jon Weisberger. Few films say as much about class, labor, and the battle for economic equality -- and say it with such simple eloquence -- as Harlan County, USA, and Criterion's DVD release is easily the definitive presentation of this landmark in documentary moviemaking.

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Product Details

Release Date: 05/23/2006
UPC: 0037429208328
Original Release: 1976
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 1:44:00
Sales rank: 15,371

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by producer-director Barbara Kopple; Audio commentary by Kopple and editor Nancy Baker; "The Making of 'Harlan County USA,'" a new documentary featuring interviews with Kopple, crew members, and strike participants featured in the film; Never-before-seen outtakes from the film; New video interview with legendary bluegrass singer-songwriter Hazel Dickens; New video interview with director John Sayles; A panel discussion from the 2005 Sundance Film Festival featuring Kopple and Roger Ebert; Original theatrical trailer; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; Plus new essays by film scholar Paul Arthur and music journalist Jon Weisberger

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits

Technical Credits
Barbara Kopple Director,Producer,Sound/Sound Designer
Nancy Baker Editor
Mirra Bank Editor
Hazel Dickens Score Composer
Tom Hurwitz Cinematographer
Kevin Keating Cinematographer
Mary Lampson Editor
Phil Parmet Cinematographer
Hart Perry Cinematographer
Merle Travis Score Composer
Josh Waletsky Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Harlan County USA
1. In the Mines [5:43]
2. On Strike [6:28]
3. Lessons Learned [2:55]
4. First Month [3:12]
5. The Women [3:05]
6. Jail Time [3:27]
7. The Company [3:26]
8. "You Got Dental?" [1:48]
9. Stockholders [2:23]
10. Mannington Mine [3:35]
11. Black Lung [5:05]
12. Cold-Blooded Murder [4:22]
13. Miners for Democracy [3:09]
14. "Which Side Are You On?" [2:37]
15. Gun Thugs [7:11]
16. Infighting [3:24]
17. Lois's Gun [1:56]
18. "Fight Fire With Fire" [7:03]
19. Arrest Warrant [4:26]
20. Union Support [3:58]
21. Lawrence Jones [1:00]
22. Contract Accepted [6:46]
23. Right to Ratify [3:43]
24. Back to Work [6:45]
25. "They'll Never Keep Us Down" [2:19]
26. Color Bars [4:30]

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