Written by: Bradd Hopkins
Genre: Historical Drama
Type: Period Feature Film
Logline: Two men battle as the government turns machine guns on its people in 1914 in Southern Colorado when a miner's strike against powerful coal companies erupts in open warfare.
TAGLINE: A corporation's unthinkable war against its workers.
A stone memorial rises out of the stark prairie west of Interstate 25 seventeen miles north of Trinidad, Colorado. It is a lonely place today, but in 1913-1914, 1200 striking coal miners and their families overwintered in tents here. On April 20, 1914, after a day-long hail of machine gun fire, the Ludlow tent colony was burned to the ground by mine guards and the Colorado National Guard militia in a violent alliance to protect the Rockefeller mining interests. Twelve children died in that battle for collective bargaining rights, and for recognition of the United Mine Workers union.
Today, a visitor can still enter the Death Pit where eleven children and two mothers suffocated as a fire raged above them. It is a transformational experience.
Union organizer John Lawson steps off the train in Trinidad, Colorado where the situation is tense and volatile. A miners' strike is immanent. His mandate: Unionize the miners.
Ferociously resistant to ceding their iron-handed control, the mine owners align their vast resources against Lawson. Law enforcement, the judicial system and the notorious Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency ruthlessly answer only to company interests. Karl Linderfelt represents them all. His mandate: Destroy the strike at any cost.
The violence rapidly escalates when a union organizer is murdered by mine detectives. The state militia ultimately uses machine guns against private citizens on private property in a horrific war against unionization.
Actor Anthony Quinn was trying to bring the Ludlow story to the screen at the time of his death.
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