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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
[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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A wonderful example of how good writing and strong direction can tell a tale which stands the test of time. Director Archie Mayo enjoyed a career directing films spanning some 30 years, and 84 titles.This one was Directed 20 years in and was number 67. It shows.None of the 83 minute running time is wasted, and if some of the characters come across as caricatures,it is only in the interests of brevity and pace.
A youthful Bogart delivers a fine performance as an ordinary working man of his time seduced by the specious ideology of the Black Legion, whose ideals clearly reflect that of a Ku Klux Klan very much alive in the US at that time.Although carrying a UK PG certificate, Mayo portrays flogging and beating scenes in a manner that although are understated, leave you in no doubt as to what is going on.
Traditional family, friendship and civic values are naturally triumphed, but the insidious nature of xenophobia and the crippling effect of moral rectitude are skilfully played out in a sharp, pacey story.
An almost textbook example of how to tell a powerful, entertaining story with a message in less than an hour and a half, with a fine Bogard performance merely the centrepiece of a strong supporting cast.
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