2 user 2 critic

Our Leading Citizen (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 23 August 1939 (USA)
Lem Schofield practices law in a formerly small-town that has grown to be an industrialized big city, He bases his ideals on the examples set by Abraham Lincoln and never waivers in them ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay)
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A mentally unstable man, who has been kept in isolation for years, escapes and causes trouble for his identical twin brother.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Albert Dekker, Susan Hayward, Frances Farmer
The Hairy Ape (1944)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During the 1940s, social class conflict is depicted when a spoiled socialite, traveling on a freighter, calls the ship's head stoker a hairy ape, provoking him into stalking the rich woman once ashore in New York.

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: William Bendix, Susan Hayward, John Loder
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The simple told story, based on Corra Harris' biographical book, of a Methodist minister, called to a north-Georgia mountain-community in 1910 who, with his gently-bred new bride, meets the... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Susan Hayward, William Lundigan, Rory Calhoun
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A ruthless fashion designer steps on everyone in her way in order to reach the top of her profession. Eventually she is forced to choose between her ambition and the man she loves.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Susan Hayward, Dan Dailey, George Sanders
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of president Andrew Jackson from his early years, the film begins when he meets Rachel Donaldson Robards. The plot concentrates on the scandal concerning the legality of their marriage and how they overcame the difficulties.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Susan Hayward, Charlton Heston, John McIntire
Sis Hopkins (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young girl from the "sticks" comes to the city to live with her wealthy relatives. At first she is the objection of derision and made fun of because of her unsophisticated nature, but it ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Santley
Stars: Judy Canova, Bob Crosby, Charles Butterworth
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Eric Busch, a novelist/playwright, and his wife, Janet, go to New York where he arranges to have Matt Saxon, who has a reputation for ruthlessness, produce his play. Saxon insists on so ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Binyon
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Susan Hayward, John Payne
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jane Froman (Susan Hayward), an aspiring songstress, lands a job in radio with help from pianist Don Ross (David Wayne), whom she later marries. Jane's popularity soars, and she leaves on a... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During courtroom drama, philandering California stockbroker Larry Balantine, on trial for murdering his wife and girlfriend, takes the stand to explain those deaths as simply being accidents.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Robert Young, Susan Hayward, Jane Greer
Tap Roots (1948)
Drama | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1860s Mississippi, the Dabneys, founders of the Dabney plantation in Levington, experience tragedy and turmoil when they refuse to join either side of the American Civil War.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Van Heflin, Susan Hayward, Boris Karloff
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

For those, if any, who have wondered why so many Paramount contractees appeared in United Artists' films during the war years, this is another one of the Paramount productions that was sold... See full summary »

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: William Holden, Eddie Bracken, Robert Benchley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Swedish woman wants her American host to father her baby.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Susan Hayward, James Mason, Julie Newmar


Cast overview, first billed only:
Judith Schofield
Joseph Allen ...
Clay Clinton
Aunt Tillie
J.T. Tapley
Shep Muir
Mr. Stoney
Jim Hanna
Jerry Peters
Fay Helm ...
Kathleen Lockhart ...
Mrs. Barker
Hattie Noel ...
Kathryn Sheldon ...
Miss Swan
Jim Kelso ...
Chief of Police

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat


July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con



Lem Schofield practices law in a formerly small-town that has grown to be an industrialized big city, He bases his ideals on the examples set by Abraham Lincoln and never waivers in them nor his sense of justice for the poor. His deceased partner's son, Clay Clinton, in love with Schofield's daughter, Judith, joins the firm but is anxious for quick success and considers Schofield's old-fashioned law offices out of step with the times. He moves over to the elaborate offices supplied by the city's most powerful industrialist, J. T. Tapley, who plans on using Clay's good family-name reputation as a stepping stone to political patronage. The rift between Schofiled and Clay widens when the unscrupulous Tapley precipitates a strike in his factory mill, and then brings in strike-breaking scabs. Schofield can not abide the riots, suffering and death to the workers and sets out to bring Tapley and his political henchmen to justice. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

justice | law | riot | worker | suffering | See All (48) »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uvazeni gradjanin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A nitrate print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives, and is not Listed for preservation. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Late 30s drama tries to find middle path in political confusion: strongly endorses sentimentality as best choice, disguised moderate liberalism a close second
19 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This significant film, pretty much withheld from circulation these days except in the odd eBay home-made DVD (how I saw it), has a mixed reputation. In those days of the late 1930s, there was much agitation about how to recover from the Great Depression and what changes society needed to make--and how drastic they should be---in order to avoid ever going through it again. It is thus one of the very, very few mainstream Hollywood movies to have an openly Communist character outspoken for what he is---an attacker of big capitalism which exploits the common working man. (He calls everyone "comrade" just to make sure you understand, but wears a very nice suit.)Yet the makers of the movie don't want him to be the hero, so they (slight spoiler here) have him involved in the blowing up of the factory of a nasty and selfish tycoon who wants to lower the wages at his factory. (The workers have tried to strike against him as a result but have been beaten up by hired thugs.)

On the other hand, the filmmakers have a pretty good go at the millionaire who has big parties and is just selfish and politically manipulative. He is humbled and has to bow down, just as the Communist labor organizer has to. So who is left to root for? Just an old-fashioned all-American country lawyer who talks to a statue of Lincoln. This movie even has a character say, "we don't want the left, we don't want the right, we just want to go down the middle." In fact, this is a rather liberal movie of its day, tending to side with the progressive politics of President Roosevelt's New Deal. Ironically, though, it has been treated very harshly by some, but not all, historians (as opposed to movie fans and ciritics). At the time, labor leaders thought it was a right-wing conspiracy movie, because for practical reasons, they were at the time accepting the help and encouragement of Communists who who among the few to offer real assistance at a time when unionism was just beginning to obtain legal legitimacy. Anyone attacking the Communists was thus seen as attacking organized labor. (You have to remember that the so-called Popular Front of the late 30s united all well-meaning people, including both liberals and Communists, in the fight against Fascism, such as in Spain, and this included all good progressive causes in the US such as labor unionism.)

Even now, there are leftist historians who think this movie is a little reactionary or at least anti-labor. In fact, it is just very moderate, or even slightly liberal in retrospect, justified with a kind of sickly-sweet patriotism that tries to substitute love of the flag for any political allegiance. It is almost forgivable in that respect, but its flaws were not invisible to sophisticated audiences at the time. The New York Times movie reviewer in 1939 made slight fun of the fact it was about just everything you could imagine a nice sweet story about modern America should be: "a strike, a strike-breaker, a Communist agitator, a tycoon, an Aunt Tillie, a girl, a boy, a leading citizen and several other things." Nonetheless, it is a fascinating look at how mainstream Hollywood---Paramount studios---tried to find a realistic, entertaining and relatively balanced look at the pressing issues of its day at a time when political divisions were sometimes very bitter.. Much of it is soap opera (including a very young, but good, Susan Hayward), but a great piece of movie and political history, and not a bad little watch.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: