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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 2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ruth Taylor
...
Betty Grogan
Helen Flint ...
Pearl Danvers
...
Cliff Moore (as Joseph Sawyer)
Clifford Soubier ...
Mike Grogan
...
Alf Hargrave
...
Billings
...
Buddy Taylor
...
Judge (as Samuel Hinds)
...
...
Metcalf
...
Mrs. Grogan
...
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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$235,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the 2007 documentary "The Brothers Warner", the Ku Klux Klan sued Warner Bros. because of a patent infringement over the use of a symbol in the film: a white cross over a red background in a black square. The case was thrown out. 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

Cliff Moore: Read!
Frank Taylor: [reading the Black Legion oath] In the name of God and the Devil, one to reward and the other to punish, and by the powers of light and darkness, good and evil, here under the black arch of Heaven's avenging symbol, I pledge and consecrate my heart, my brain, my body, and my limbs and swear by all the powers of Heaven and Hell to devote my life to the obedience of my superiors and that no danger or peril shall deter me from executin' dere orders. That I will exert every possible means in ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Been Working on the Railroad
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Helen Flint and Humphrey Bogart
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User Reviews

The scapegoats
4 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

While Hitler in Germany was doing away with the Jews,there were in other countries small groups whose leaders (the scene when Bogart attends the first meeting is revealing) yell " America just for the Americans!" Bogart portrays Frank ,a working man, a good husband, a tender father,a jolly good fellow,a nice guy.He's waiting for his promotion : to become a foreman will be the crowning a hard-working life .But there's just one problem: the job is given to a Hungarian,a self-made man who spends his days and nights in the books ,for he believes in the American dream.Frank's hatred will know no bounds.It will not be long till he falls into the hands of a KKK -like secret society,whose scapegoats are those aliens who take the bread out of our mouth,who steal our jobs ,our women and our land...

Archie Mayo's film is absorbing and Bogart is extraordinary: little by little,a good guy turning into a monster;but that's not all.Mayo also puts the blame on the wealthy educated people who work behind the scenes :the scene when they do their books (well how much for the revolvers?)makes your hair stand on end.

But what's fascinating in Mayo's movie is that it's still relevant today,and not only in America.In France ,in 2002,there was a man like THAT in the second ballot of the presidential election:a man who yelled "France only for the French!" and who is still yelling at my time of writing.


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