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Black Legion (1937)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,528 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  »
Edit

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

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

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

The scapegoats
4 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

While Hitler in Germany was doing away with the Jews,there were in other countries small groups whose leaders (the scene when Bogart attends the first meeting is revealing) yell " America just for the Americans!" Bogart portrays Frank ,a working man, a good husband, a tender father,a jolly good fellow,a nice guy.He's waiting for his promotion : to become a foreman will be the crowning a hard-working life .But there's just one problem: the job is given to a Hungarian,a self-made man who spends his days and nights in the books ,for he believes in the American dream.Frank's hatred will know no bounds.It will not be long till he falls into the hands of a KKK -like secret society,whose scapegoats are those aliens who take the bread out of our mouth,who steal our jobs ,our women and our land...

Archie Mayo's film is absorbing and Bogart is extraordinary: little by little,a good guy turning into a monster;but that's not all.Mayo also puts the blame on the wealthy educated people who work behind the scenes :the scene when they do their books (well how much for the revolvers?)makes your hair stand on end.

But what's fascinating in Mayo's movie is that it's still relevant today,and not only in America.In France ,in 2002,there was a man like THAT in the second ballot of the presidential election:a man who yelled "France only for the French!" and who is still yelling at my time of writing.


19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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