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Black Legion (1937)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 30 January 1937 (USA)
When a hard-working machinist loses a promotion to a Polish-born worker, he is seduced into joining the secretive Black Legion, which intimidates foreigners through violence.

Directors:

(as Archie L. Mayo), (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Ruth Taylor
...
Betty Grogan
Helen Flint ...
Pearl Danvers
Joe Sawyer ...
Cliff Moore (as Joseph Sawyer)
Clifford Soubier ...
Mike Grogan
Alonzo Price ...
Alf Hargrave
Paul Harvey ...
Billings
...
Buddy Taylor
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Judge (as Samuel Hinds)
Addison Richards ...
Prosecuting Attorney
Eddie Acuff ...
Metcalf
Dorothy Vaughan ...
Mrs. Grogan
...
Tommy Smith
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Storyline

Frank Taylor joins the "pro-American" Black Legion when he loses his chance at foremanship to a foreign-born man. The organization is a sort of Ku Klux Klan in the industrial sphere. Frank has troubles with his wife over this and causes serious trouble when he tells all to his best friend Ed Jackson. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La legión negra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$235,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Michael Curtiz was brought in to shoot some additional footage after the production wrapped. It is known that he shot at least the scene with the Black Legion executives. See more »

Goofs

The movie end credits list the name of the character played by Helen Flint as "Pearl Davis" but throughout the movie - particularly during her courtroom testimony - her character is referred to as "Pearl Danvers." See more »

Quotes

Frank Taylor: How yuh doin', Ed?
Ed Jackson: Oh, terrible! I feel like a drill was driving right through the top of my head.
Frank Taylor: It might be a good idea to let out some of dat beer you slopped up last night.
Ed Jackson: Aw, quit riding me, will yuh?
Frank Taylor: Oh, I ain't even started on you yet. C'mon, let's eat.
Ed Jackson: No, Frank, I couldn't.
Frank Taylor: Oh, come on. Do you good. You gotta eat.
[He snaps his finger]
Frank Taylor: I got just the thing to straighten you out.
Ed Jackson: Yeah? What is it?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Fancy Meeting You
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Played on the radio at Jim's Place
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sensationalistic, but brave for it's day.
2 August 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

The opening credits of this film declare in large letters that the characters and institutions portrayed in the film are entirely fictional. It seems even the brothers Warner were afraid of the Ku Klux Klan. And why wouldn't they be in the Thirties when lynchings and other acts of terror were common - are they still? Bogart is fine in an early role as a young worker, dismayed at a Polish worker getting a promotion he was seeking, who joins the Klan (or the Black Legion as they call it here). It's interesting to see him before he was typecast as the tough guy - he is very vulnerable here but not entirely sympathetic.

The film wears its sincerity on its sleeve a bit and is never wholly believable, but it is a brave attempt to confront the racism that was rife in Depression era America, when getting and keeping a job was very tough.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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