2000, 104 min.

Showtime Original Movie, 104 min.

director.gif (905 bytes)Tony Bill


Holly Hunter - Ruby Kincaid
Stellan Skarsgård - Jakopovitch
Ted Levine - Silas Kincaid
Wayne Robson - Tug Jones


June 4, 2000


A courageous and determined coal miner’s wife overcomes politics, poverty and violence in spearheading an intense year-long labor strike. Set against the background of the Harlan County coal strike that took place in the 1970s, the Showtime film centers on Ruby Kincaid who, despite the concerns of her husband, forms a picket line with other wives to bolster efforts to close the mine and force labor contract negotiations. Assisted by union organizer Warren Jakopovich, Ruby refuses to surrender in the tense, increasingly dangerous battle of wills.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)PRODUCTION NOTES:

Filmed in Toronto in 1999 by Millbrook Farm Prods. and the Cort-Madden Co. for Showtime.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)IMAGES

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Premiere in Beverly Hills on June 6, 2000

button_box.gif (205 bytes)REVIEWS:

"Barbara Kopple’s 1976 documentary 'Harlan County USA' directly inspired this Showtime film depicting a Kentucky coal-miner’s wife who gets involved in a strike that turns violent. Fine performances from the leads and some gracefully understated storytelling from director Tony Bill make this a quality telepic."   ...Steven Oxman, Variety

"What a fictionalized movie loses in the raw persuasive power of cinéma vérité, it almost makes up for with the astonishing Holly Hunter as its heroine, Ruby Kincaid, who organized the miners’ wives to hold a picket line when their men were enjoined or in jail or dead. Ted Levine is Holly’s angry husband, Wayne Robson her black-lung father, and Stellan Skarsgård the gun-toting union organizer who turns out to need Holly more than she needs him. The mountains themselves perform, like Japanese scroll paintings."   ...John Leonard, New York Magazine

"'They’d rather kill you than do it right,' says a union organizer (Stellan Skarsgård) talking to aggrieved coal miners about the company’s safety record. 'I’m sick to death of being pushed around,' says a striker’s wife (Holly Hunter), urging the miners’ women to take up picket duty after a biased judge restricts protests by union members. The characters in this drama put their case in stark terms without a lot of fancy rhetoric. That’s one reason 'Harlan County War' hits home."   ...Terry Kelleher, People