A list of the top movies about mining

Mining has all the elements that make for a good movie: long odds, adventure, conflict, danger, amazing natural scenery, and heroes and villains.

Here’s our list of top movies about mining. Let us know in the comments below if we missed any.

1. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Although it is 60 years old and showing its age, the film is still the ultimate movie about mining.

Humphrey Bogart had the lead role, but the core of the movie is grizzled prospector Sam Dobbs, played by Walter Houston. Bogart said that: “He’s probably the only performer in Hollywood to whom I’d gladly lost a scene”.

During the movie, Dobbs famously reflects on mining:

A thousand men, say, go searchin’ for gold. After six months, one of them’s lucky: one out of a thousand. His find represents not only his own labor, but that of nine hundred and ninety-nine others to boot. That’s six thousand months, five hundred years, scramblin’ over a mountain, goin’ hungry and thirsty. An ounce of gold, mister, is worth what it is because of the human labor that went into the findin’ and the gettin’ of it.

John Houston, Sam Houston’s son wrote and directed the 1948 movie. He won an Academy Award for directing and writing the adapted screenplay. The movie also has a cameo by Robert Blake, who went on to star in the TV cop series Baretta.

2. There Will be Blood Movie Trailer

Although the movie is mostly centered around oil, the lead character amasses his wealth by mining for gold. His profits launch his careers as an industrialist.

The movie captures the human cost of mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when there were little to no safeguards for the work. It also shows the hustle and cunning that is acquired to put together a property.

The movie was inspired by the Treasure of the Sierra Madre. There Will be Blood director, Paul Thomas Anderson, said he watched the movie nightly to help him write his screenplay.

The movie was released in 2007 and starred Daniel Day-Lewis.

3. North Country

A 2005 movie inspired by true events, a sexual harassment case filed by a female worker filed against the Eveleth Taconite Company in northern Minnesota. The movie stars Chalize Theron.

4. Coal Miner’s Daughter

The story of Loretta Lynn, who married young and came from poverty. He father was a coal miner in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. Lynn found fame after her husband promoted her singing talent.

The Academy Award winning film starred Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones and came out in 1980.

5. King Solomon’s Mine

An adventurer tries to find a explorer who went missing in Africa looking for a diamond mine. The movie was release in 1950.

6. Galaxy Quest

OK, this is a notable mention. The movie is a spoof of Star Trek and every other science fiction series. But the movie does have a scene, a common scene in science fiction, where the ships captain, played by Tim Allen in this role, tries to steal some space rocks from an alien mining colony that will power his crippled ship.

Image is from the movie trailer of the Treasure of the Sierra Madre

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