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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:
...
...
Ed Jackson
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Ruth Taylor
...
Betty Grogan
Helen Flint ...
Pearl Danvers
...
Cliff Moore (as Joseph Sawyer)
Clifford Soubier ...
Mike Grogan
Alonzo Price ...
Alf Hargrave
...
Billings
...
Buddy Taylor
...
Judge (as Samuel Hinds)
...
Prosecuting Attorney
...
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

The film was inspired by a real case involving a racist/nativist organization called The Black Legion in Michigan, in which a WPA worker was murdered. See more »

Goofs

A newspaper clipping names Clifford Soubier's character as Michael F. Grogan. However the letter earlier refers to him as Michael P. Grogan. 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

References Public Enemy's Wife (1936) 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

 
One of the Best of Bogey's Early Films
8 May 2000 | by (Gloucester, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

The Black Legion is significant in the career of Humphrey Bogart. This film is the first time he played the lead in an "A" feature. The film is also a great showcase for his acting talents.

In this film Bogey's character, Frank Taylor, moves from a happily married family man, to a man filled with hate and finally to a man remorseful for the trouble he has brought upon himself and others.

When Frank Taylor loses an expected promotion to a "foreigner", he becomes disillusioned and is coerced by a co-worker (Joseph Sawyer) into joining a secretive hate and Klu Klux Klan like organization called The Black Legion. Despite pleas from his wife (Erin O'Brien-Moore) and best friend (Dick Foran), Taylor continues his terrorist activities leading to the inevitable tragic consequences.

The subject of prejudice and hate organizations in a major studio production was quite daring for the 30s, given the introduction of the Production Code only a few years earlier. It still delivers a powerful message today.

The Black Legion remains one of the best of Bogey's early films.


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