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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:
...
...
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$235,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

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 The Brothers Warner (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Fair and Warmer
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Frank turns on the radio at home
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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