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Black Legion (1937)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,510 users  
Reviews: 34 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.

Directors:

(as Archie L. Mayo) , (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Black Legion (1937)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frank Taylor
Dick Foran ...
Ed Jackson
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 ...
Billings
Dickie Jones ...
Buddy Taylor
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Judge (as Samuel Hinds)
Addison Richards ...
Prosecuting Attorney
Eddie Acuff ...
Metcalf
Dorothy Vaughan ...
Mrs. Grogan
...
Tommy Smith
Edit

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

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 »

Connections

Featured in Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Powerful, Punchy, Brave Tale.
1 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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