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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>
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 »
When the Legion trusses Mike Grogan to the tree branch before flogging him, in the shot from the front both of his arms are fully extended from the branch. However, in the shot from behind, his right wrist is strapped to the branch with his arm bent at the crook of the elbow. See more »
Well, what's the matter? You afraid?
So, you're afraid! Maybe they better change the name of your outfit from the Black Legion to the Yellow Legion.
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Not a bad movie for its time, since it tries to show how otherwise well-meaning men like Frank Taylor (played by Humphrey Bogart)can become involved in vigilante activities against foreigners and immigrants. It is the low man on the totem pole who has to bear the brunt of competition for jobs when newcomers arrive. This is an old story and the reaction today is much the same as it was then: anger and frustration, leading to a loss of self-esteem and sometimes to criminal behaviour. Fortunately, thugs who engage in lynchings and beatings are no longer on the loose.
In some ways, Frank is the hero as well as one of the villains since it is his testimony that puts members of the Black Legion behind bars. The sermonette delivered by the judge is full of platitudes by a character who never had to worry about his own position or status. The movie seems to deliver a message that says "watch out and don't become like him, if you know what's good for you." The real challenge then and now is to unite people so that they are not fighting one another but working together.
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