Black Legion

Black Legion

Director: Archie Mayo Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Dick Foran, Erin O'Brien-Moore


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This hard-hitting, socially conscious drama, the sort of story that Warner Bros. made their hallmark in the 1930s, concerns a factory worker named Frank Taylor (Humphrey Bogart), who is convinced that a big promotion is right around the corner for him. However, the promotion goes to a harder-working Polish immigrant named Joe Dombrowski (Henry Brandon). Angry and upset, Frank is approached by members of a secret organization called the Black Legion, who believe in "America for Americans" and want to drive away immigrants and racial minorities through violent means. Wearing black robes, Frank and the other members of the Legion go on a torchlight raid, driving Dombrowski and his family from their home. With Dombrowski gone from the plant, Frank gets the job, which means more money and a higher standard of living for him and his family. But his outlaw activities with the Legion begin taking up more of his time (and his money, as they make a healthy profit selling robes, weapons, and racist geegaws to their membership), which drives a wedge between Frank and his wife Ruth (Erin O'Brien-Moore). Frank begins drinking and starts slapping Ruth around; she leaves him, and Frank takes up with a floozie named Pearl (Helen Flint). Ed (Dick Foran), a good friend of Frank's, sees that his buddy is drinking too much and ruining his life, so he tries to step in and express his concern. His tongue loosened by alcohol, Frank tells Ed about his secret life with the violent Legion; the next morning, Frank is afraid that Ed might inform on him to the police, so he tells the Legion leadership what has happened. They subsequently order Ed to be captured and executed. While Warner Bros. attempted to avoid the wrath of Black Legion and Ku Klux Klan members by stating that all characters and institutions were entirely fictional, Black Legion was still a brave attack on hate groups, given that lynchings were not uncommon in parts of the United States in the mid-1930s.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/09/2014
UPC: 0888574106614
Original Release: 1937
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 1:23:00
Sales rank: 49,076

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Frank Taylor
Dick Foran Ed Jackson
Erin O'Brien-Moore Ruth Taylor
Ann Sheridan Betty Grogan
Robert H. Barrat Brown
Helen Flint Pearl Davis
Joe Sawyer Cliff Moore
Addison Richards Prosecuting Attorney
Eddie Acuff Metcalf
Clifford Soubier Mike Grogan
Paul Harvey Billings
Samuel S. Hinds Judge
John Litel Tommy Smith
Egon Brecher Old Man Dombrowski
Dick Jones Buddy Taylor
Alonzo Price Alf Hargrove
Dorothy Vaughan Mrs. Grogan
Henry Kleinbach Joe Dombrowski
Charles Halton Osgood
Pat C. Flick Nick Strumpas
Francis Sayles Charlie
Paul Stanton Dr. Barham
Harry Hayden Jones
Robert E. Homans Actor

Technical Credits
Archie Mayo Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
George Barnes Cinematographer
Abem Finkel Screenwriter
Robert M. Haas Art Director
William Wister Haines Screenwriter
Fred Jackman Special Effects
Fred Jackson Special Effects
Bernhard Kaun Score Composer
H.F. Koenekamp Special Effects
Robert Lord Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Owen Marks Editor
Jack Sullivan Asst. Director

Customer Reviews

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Black Legion 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
LPR More than 1 year ago
A precursor to the holocaust, this movie is terrifying and inspiring. To understand mankind and our history, see this film!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible movie. Humphrey Bogart gives a terrific performance as the poor slob who only comes to an understanding of his actions only after they have impacted his life to such a degree that he can't recover. However, do not believe the review that accompanies this film-- the Black Legion was not a fictional construct. There truly was a Black Legion in the 1930's associated with the northern auto industry which preyed upon Jews, Catholics, African Americans, as well as immigrants. This film only deals with the immigrants, but the targets were wide ranging. This film is not only an excellent example of Bogart's early work, but also of the social concience that Warner Brothers Films displayed throughout the thirties.