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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

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

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

Cliff Moore: Well, what's the matter? You afraid?
Ed Jackson: So, you're afraid! Maybe they better change the name of your outfit from the Black Legion to the Yellow Legion.
See more »

Connections

References The Big Noise (1936) 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

The scapegoats
4 March 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee 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.


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