Black SplatMatewan (1987)

"You’re the best looking mountain trash I’ve seen in a long while. I’ll be seeing you around.”

Matewan - Kevin Tighe as Hickey in a crowd

Description: Kevin Tighe as Hickey, a foul-mouthed 1920s coal company detective offers a West Virginia miner’s widow Bridey Mae (Nancy Mette) this off-color compliment in the motion picture Matewan (1987).

In the film, Mingo County coal miners seek to form a union so they can get better wages and living conditions from the "Coal Company" that controls all aspects of their lives.

But when Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper), a UMWA union organizer enters this West Virginia territory, a war begins that sets miner against miner in a struggle that leads to the death of many hard-working men and women who are just looking for some justice in this world.

In an attempt to shake up the quarreling coal miners who seek to exclude certain "types" ( Black and Italian miners) from their ranks, Joe Kenehan tries to make the miners realize that they should not be fighting among themselves, but rather concentrate on the real enemy...the coal company and the brutal detectives and enforcers hired to beat them down.

“You think this man is the enemy? Huh? This is a worker! Any union keeps this man out ain’t a union, it’s a goddam club! They got you fightin’ white against colored, native against foreign, hollow against hollow, when you know there ain’t but two sides in this world—them that work and them that don’t. You work, they don’t. That’s all you get to know about the enemy.”

At one point, local Sid Hatfield (David Strathairn) comments on Mr. Felts, the owner of the thuggish Baldwin-Felts detective agency, by saying:

"I've met Mr. Felts. I wouldn't pee on him if his heart was on fire."

Note: The movie Matewan (1987) is based on "The Battle of Matewan" (also known as "The Matewan Massacre") an historical shootout on May 19, 1920 in the town of Matewan, West Virginia between local coal miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency.

In the motion picture The Entertainer (1960) Roger Livesey as Billy Rice offers tis backhanded complimented.“You were a pretty little thing. Not that looks are important —not even for a woman. You don’t look at the mantelpiece when you poke the fire”

Matewan - Movie Poster

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