Daniel Day-Lewis in 'There Will Be Blood'
For many years mining was the most popular industrial occupation, and in certain communities, it was common for every young man to be involved in the mining industry in some form. Mining also has the unfortunate title of being the most hazardous industrial occupation, which led to many unnecessary deaths and terrible stories about mining. This ultimately led to the production of many movies about mining, a large majority of which are based on true stories. We thought we'd round up the best movies about mining that we've ever seen, let's get into it:
At the heart of There Will Be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson is an incredible performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, who does an incredible job in the role of the greedy boss who will stop at nothing to suck every drop of oil from the land in this movie. The film does a great job at portraying the greed and reckless nature of many people who wanted to make money from mining, and their general disregard for the safety of their workers. You can stream this movie via Hoopla.
When you think of classic movies about mining, this is probably the first movie that comes to mind for many movie buffs. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a movie from the 40s starring Humphrey Bogart, which is acclaimed both critically and with audiences. It is a darkly funny movie about 2 men who head into the Sierra Madre mountains to mine gold, but they come up against issues such as bandits and their own greed.
This movie starring Tommy Lee Jones isn't wholely about mining - in fact, it is probably more about singing. However, we've included it in this list because we think it shows how despite the dangers and hard work involved in mining, the job was still poorly paid for most of the workers. The main character in the film is the daughter of a coal miner who wants to become a famous singer, partly because her family is so poor due to the job that her dad has. It's an interesting movie that is worth a watch.
This is a movie based on the true story of a 2010 mining accident that left 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days. Beneath 2000ft of rock, the movie shows how the men tried to survive while the rescue teams worked hard to get them out. It's quite an amazing film to watch, particularly because of the true story behind the movie. There are also some great performances from big names like Antonio Banderas. You'll almost certainly feel emotional at the end of this movie. You can stream this movie via Hulu.
This is a really interesting movie because mining was mostly a job for men, but this film portrays a single mother (played brilliantly by Charlize Theron) who becomes one of the first women to work at an iron mine in Minnesota. When the men retaliate and begin sexually harassing some of the women, the mother decides to file a lawsuit. This movie has an all-star cast featuring some massive names and great performances, and we think it is one of the best movies about mining ever made as it shows how the work was hard and the mines were very male-dominated. You can stream this movie via Kanopy.