John Sayles

Matewan

Matewan

Written and directed by John Sayles, this wrenching historical drama recounts the true story of a West Virginia coal town where the local miners’ struggle to form a union rose to the pitch of all-out war in 1920. When Matewan’s miners go on strike, organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper, in his film debut) arrives to help them, uniting workers white and black, Appalachia-born and immigrant, while urging patience in the face of the coal company’s violent provocations. With a crackerjack ensemble cast—including James Earl Jones, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, and Will Oldham—and Oscar-nominated cinematography by Haskell Wexler, Matewan taps into a rich vein of Americana with painstaking attention to local texture, issuing an impassioned cry for justice that still resounds today.

Film Info

  • John Sayles
  • United States
  • 1987
  • 133 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #999

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Sayles, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray 
  • Audio commentary from 2013 featuring Sayles and cinematographer Haskell Wexler  
  • Two new documentaries on the making of the film featuring Sayles, producer Maggie Renzi, production designer Nora Chavooshian, and actors Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, Will Oldham, and David Strathairn  
  • New interview with composer Mason Daring
  • Short documentary on the impact that Matewan’s production had on West Virginia
  • New program on the film’s production design featuring Chavooshian  
  • Trailer  
  • PLUS: An essay by critic A. S. Hamrah

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Coming soon, available Oct 29, 2019

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Sayles, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray 
  • Audio commentary from 2013 featuring Sayles and cinematographer Haskell Wexler  
  • Two new documentaries on the making of the film featuring Sayles, producer Maggie Renzi, production designer Nora Chavooshian, and actors Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, Will Oldham, and David Strathairn  
  • New interview with composer Mason Daring
  • Short documentary on the impact that Matewan’s production had on West Virginia
  • New program on the film’s production design featuring Chavooshian  
  • Trailer  
  • PLUS: An essay by critic A. S. Hamrah

New cover by Eric Skillman

Matewan
Cast
Chris Cooper
Joe Kenehan
James Earl Jones
Few Clothes
Mary McDonnell
Elma Radnor
Will Oldham
Danny Radnor
David Strathairn
Sid Hatfield
Ken Jenkins
Sephus
Kevin Tighe
Hickey
Gordon Clapp
Griggs
Bob Gunton
C. E. Lively
Jace Alexander
Hillard Elkins
Joe Grifasi
Fausto
Nancy Mette
Bridey Mae
Jo Henderson
Mrs. Elkins
Josh Mostel
Cabell Testerman
Gary McCleery
Ludie
Maggie Renzi
Rosaria
Tom Wright
Tom
Credits
Director
John Sayles
Written by
John Sayles
Produced by
Peggy Rajski
Produced by
Maggie Renzi
Executive producer
Amir Jacob Malin
Executive producer
Mark Balsam
Executive producer
Jerry Silva
Associate producer
Ira Deutchman
Associate producer
James Dudelson
Associate producer
Ned Kandel
Director of photography
Haskell Wexler
Production designer
Nora Chavooshian
Editor
Sonya Polonsky
Music
Mason Daring
Costume designer
Cynthia Flynt
Casting
Barbara Shapiro