5.8/10
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3 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 »

Director:

Alfred Santell

Writers:

Irvin S. Cobb (story), Jack Moffitt (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Burns ... Lem Schofield
Susan Hayward ... Judith Schofield
Joseph Allen Joseph Allen ... Clay Clinton
Elizabeth Patterson ... Aunt Tillie
Gene Lockhart ... J.T. Tapley
Charles Bickford ... Shep Muir
Otto Hoffman ... Mr. Stoney
Clarence Kolb ... Jim Hanna
Paul Guilfoyle ... Jerry Peters
Fay Helm ... Tonia
Kathleen Lockhart ... Mrs. Barker
Hattie Noel Hattie Noel ... Druscilla
Kathryn Sheldon Kathryn Sheldon ... Miss Swan
Monte Blue ... Frank
Jim Kelso Jim Kelso ... Chief of Police
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Storyline

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>

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Plot Keywords:

justice | law | riot | worker | suffering | See All (47) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

User Reviews

 
Hollywood's History of its lesser Known Blacklist
16 January 2016 | by luckydogguySee all my reviews

Hearings for the HUAC, the first I believe, brought in the film critic for the Daily Worker, a Communist paper. Howard Rushmore worked for the Daily Worker from 1936 to 1939. He testified that the script for Our Leading Citizen was leaked to the US Communist Party leader, VJ Jerome. Jerome disliked the message and so Rushmore dutifully panned the film and called for a boycott. He said the Party convinced progressive columnists and front organizations to slam Paramount. You must wonder during that time how many scripts were shelved that did not pass the litmus test of being friendly or at least neutral in regards to Communism. We all know of the horrendous blacklisting in the late 1940s and 1950s. The blacklisting of writers unsympathetic to Communism in the 1930s is less known, but part of Hollywood history. It's ironic that Lawson and Trumbo were blocking non-party line writers in the 1930s. You wonder if they considered the 1950s their comeuppance for doing the same 15 years earlier to fellow struggling writers.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Uvazeni gradjanin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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