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Black Legion (1937)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  30 January 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,720 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 16 critic

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.


(as Archie L. Mayo) , (uncredited)


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 January 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La legión negra  »

Box Office


$235,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Banned in Austria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Finland, Trinidad and France. The ban in France was lifted after a year, and it opened to extremely negative reviews. Australian and British release versions were heavily censored. See more »


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 »


Cliff Moore: Well, what's the matter? You afraid?
Ed Jackson: So, you're afraid! Maybe they better change the name of your outfit from the Black Legion to the Yellow Legion.
See more »


Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »


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

Over 60 years old but, sadly, still topical
2 April 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Frank (Humphrey Bogart), a factory worker, is passed over on a promotion that goes to a Polish man. In anger, he joins the Black Legion (basically the Ku Klux Klan) to punish all foreigners for taking jobs from "true Americans". The story has been done since, but this one is well-made, quick (82 min.), well-acted (Bogart is great and looks so young!) and still powerful. The film isn't perfect (I could have lived without the closing sermon) but still worth seeing. It's also real sad to realize that a film over 60 years old about racism is still relevant.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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