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Black Legion (1937)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 30 January 1937 (USA)
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:

Archie Mayo (as Archie L. Mayo), Michael Curtiz (uncredited)

Writers:

Abem Finkel (screen play), William Wister Haines (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Humphrey Bogart ... Frank Taylor
Dick Foran ... Ed Jackson
Erin O'Brien-Moore ... Ruth Taylor
Ann Sheridan ... Betty Grogan
Helen Flint ... Pearl Danvers
Joe Sawyer ... Cliff Moore (as Joseph Sawyer)
Clifford Soubier 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
John Litel ... Tommy Smith
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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:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La legión negra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$235,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was inspired by a real case involving a racist/nativist organization called The Black Legion in Michigan, in which a WPA worker was murdered. 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 »


Soundtracks

The Lady in Red
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Whistled in part by Humphrey Bogart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful, Punchy, Brave Tale.
1 March 2008 | by gary-444See all my reviews

A wonderful example of how good writing and strong direction can tell a tale which stands the test of time. Director Archie Mayo enjoyed a career directing films spanning some 30 years, and 84 titles.This one was Directed 20 years in and was number 67. It shows.None of the 83 minute running time is wasted, and if some of the characters come across as caricatures,it is only in the interests of brevity and pace.

A youthful Bogart delivers a fine performance as an ordinary working man of his time seduced by the specious ideology of the Black Legion, whose ideals clearly reflect that of a Ku Klux Klan very much alive in the US at that time.Although carrying a UK PG certificate, Mayo portrays flogging and beating scenes in a manner that although are understated, leave you in no doubt as to what is going on.

Traditional family, friendship and civic values are naturally triumphed, but the insidious nature of xenophobia and the crippling effect of moral rectitude are skilfully played out in a sharp, pacey story.

An almost textbook example of how to tell a powerful, entertaining story with a message in less than an hour and a half, with a fine Bogard performance merely the centrepiece of a strong supporting cast.


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