Coal Region Films

Here’s an alphabetized list of films about Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Region. Contact us or let us know in a comment if we missed any. Enjoy!

 

Beyond the Breaker (2016)

Black Damp (2010)

“A fire has been burning underneath the town of Centralia in Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region for forty years, and it is believed there is enough coal underneath it to fuel the fire for at least two hundred more.

Using archival photos and footage of the site as it appears today, the film explores the strange story of the town, the culpability of government in the face of disaster, and the experience of ownership.” – from tribute.ca

Centralia, Pennsylvania’s Lost Town (2017)

Fire in the Hole! A Coal Miner’s Tale (1977)

“Rich Pawling as coal miner Frank Kehoe tells of his home in the “patch” and the dangers “below ground”, the progression from breaker boy to eventually “miner with papers”, the Mollie Maguires, and the United Mine Workers. Includes music of the mines as well as old-time photographs of miners and mining communities.” – from Rich Pawling’s History Alive!

Hard Coal: Last of the Bootleg Miners (2008)

Kids for Cash (2013)

Knox Mine Disaster (forthcoming)

The Molly Maguires (1970)

The Molly Maguires: Or, Labor Wars in the Coal Mines (1908)

Some thirty years ago there existed among the anthracite coal miners of Northeast Pennsylvania a secret organization known as the Molly Maguires. Taking the name from a secret political society of Ireland, it spread rapidly over the entire anthracite country and soon succeeded in obtaining a general ascendancy in the councils of the miners. The region was divided into districts, each under the sole command of a chief official known as a “body master.” A general strike was successful and many of the hardships of the mining system wiped out. But in a few years the organization fell into the hands of a band of desperate leaders who used their power over the simple miner folks for their own selfish ends. Strikes were ordered by them on the slightest excuse. Soon a species of terrorism existed throughout the entire region. But the arrest and execution of a number of the most criminal leaders broke the power of the “Mollies” over the miners. In the stirring scenes about to be shown you is told a story of human suffering, endurance and heroism among these simple miner people.” – from IMDd

See America First #52 (1916)

“Characteristic and entertaining pictures in and about Mauch Chunk. Pa., and other interesting pictures taken in and about the anthracite coal regions of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., comprise this issue of “See America First.” So much is read of the work accomplished by the coal miners of Pennsylvania that these pictures will no doubt prove the most interesting of their kind ever released. One of the features of this release is a series of views obtained on a trolley trip in the Pennsylvania mountains upon which many scenes of great beauty were obtained.” – from Moving Picture World Synopsis 

Shenandoah (2012)

Skook (2013)

Stories from the Mines (2002)

The Town that Was (2007)

Tray: A Cut of Culture (2017)

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