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Native Land (1942)

 -  Drama | History  -  11 May 1942 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 169 users  
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Paul Robeson narrates a mix of dramatizations and archival footage about the bill of rights being under attack during the 1930s by union busting corporations, their spies and contractors. ... See full summary »

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Title: Native Land (1942)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator / Vocalist (voice)
Fred Johnson ...
Fred Hill, farmer
Mary George ...
Hill's Wife
John Rennick ...
Hill's Son
Amelia Romano ...
Window Scrubber
Houseley Stevenson ...
White Sharecropper (as Housely Stevens)
Louis Grant ...
Black Sharecropper
James Hanney ...
Mack, union president
Howard Da Silva ...
Jim - informant (as Howard DaSylva)
Art Smith ...
Harry Carlyle
Bert Conway
Richard Bishop ...
Spy Executive
Charles Jordan
Vaughn King ...
Mary, Mack's wife
...
Frank Mason, grocer
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Storyline

Paul Robeson narrates a mix of dramatizations and archival footage about the bill of rights being under attack during the 1930s by union busting corporations, their spies and contractors. In dramatizations, we see a farmer beaten for speaking up at a meeting, a union man murdered in a boarding house, two sharecroppers near Fort Smith Arkansas shot by men deputized by the local sheriff, a spy stealing the names of union members, and a dead Chicago union man eulogized. In archival footage we witness police and goons beating lawfully assembled union organizers, and we see men at work and union families at play. The narration celebrates patriotism and democracy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

union | spy | sharecropper | rights | goon | See All (46) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

11 May 1942 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(Reeves Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Feature film debut of Robert Strauss. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dated.
12 August 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In light of his strong political and social leanings that Paul Robeson would narrate a strongly pro-union sort of movie. What's interesting about it is that the film links the union spirit with the same forces that fought tyranny and founded America. Much of the film consists of little vignettes that illustrate the importance of unions and the rights of workers.

Unfortunately, while the film probably played pretty well back in its time (as violence against unions was more common), today it seems pretty dull and preachy. Part of it is the style and part of it is that today many of the abuses of workers in the film are not as relevant (such as safety of workers or attacks on union members for exercising their rights to free speech). And, I must point out that similar ideas were presented much better in other films, such as the union-produced "Salt of the Earth". In many ways, this is a film that historians would love but the average worker would not because of its style and subject matter. It tends to drag and probably could have made its point had the film been made in a less documentary and detached style.


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