In Ya Blood

Director: Herb E. Smith
Release Year: 1971
Running Time: 20:09
Original Format: 16mm Film
Color / B&W: bw

Randy: How long you worked in the mines?

Miner: Twenty‑eight years.  Straight.  Nothing else.  Don’t know nothing else.  Can’t do nothing else… It gets in ya blood.

Appalshop’s first dramatic film, In Ya Blood is the story of a prototypical young man from Appalachia in the summer after his senior year in high school. Randy, the protagonist, must make the difficult decision faced by many Appalachian youth‑‑whether to stay in the mountains or leave in search of a “better life.”  The film follows Randy as he struggles with his alternatives of working in the coal mines or going off to college. Shot in black and white by filmmakers the same age as those portrayed in the film, In Ya Blood is highly effective as an insider’s look at the decisions faced by many teenagers as they consider their futures.

This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation. To support the work of preserving and safeguarding Appalshop’s collections, please consider making a donation to Appalshop Archive.

Festivals and Screenings

Museum of Modern Art


“The portrayal of youth as they mature torn between the roots of their culture and the challenge of the outside world is excellent.  This feeling could be projected into any situation in any area of the United States.”

‑L.W. Harvey, Director, Division of Media Services, Halverson Center for Education, Iowa

“Very well‑done.  Effectively used local persons and conditions to dramatize the Appalachian dilemma.  The students related well to the young man’s decision and wrestled with his circumstances for over an hour.”

‑Robert H. Hartman, Professor of Philosophy, Western Maryland College

“Very authentic and down‑to‑earth.”

‑Richard D. Isbell, First Methodist Church, Maryville, Tennessee