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Black Legion (1937)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,503 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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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Frank lights a cigarette outside the pharmacy after his wife and child leave, an advertisement for Pabst Beer is visible behind him, but the "P" and the "T" have clearly been covered with white-out. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Frank Taylor: How yuh doin', Ed?
Ed Jackson: Oh, terrible! I feel like a drill was driving right through the top of my head.
Frank Taylor: It might be a good idea to let out some of dat beer you slopped up last night.
Ed Jackson: Aw, quit riding me, will yuh?
Frank Taylor: Oh, I ain't even started on you yet. C'mon, let's eat.
Ed Jackson: No, Frank, I couldn't.
Frank Taylor: Oh, come on. Do you good. You gotta eat.
[He snaps his finger]
Frank Taylor: I got just the thing to straighten you out.
Ed Jackson: Yeah? What is it?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Legion of Terror (1936) 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

 
Black Legion's day in court
2 December 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

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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