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Black Legion

Released Jan 16, 1937 1h 23m Crime Drama List
100% Tomatometer 7 Reviews 59% Audience Score 500+ Ratings
Frank Taylor (Humphrey Bogart) believes he is about to be made foreman of the factory he works in. When the job goes to a Polish-born worker instead, Frank is enraged and decides to join a local organization that persecutes immigrants. Known as the Black Legion, the clandestine hate group uses scare tactics to help Frank get his promotion. However, his involvement with the Legion has dire effects on his marriage and jeopardizes the life of his best friend, Ed (Dick Foran). Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (7) Critics Reviews
Otis Ferguson The New Republic Each incident as it comes up is gone through skillfully, with a dexterous economy of relation and point. It has excitement, reality; and its seeds of truth are assured of being sown nationally. May 8, 2024 Full Review Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review Much like Confessions of a Nazi Spy would do two years later by directly addressing Nazism in America, Black Legion explores the idea that it can happen here. Rated: 4/4 Feb 12, 2022 Full Review Joanne Laurier World Socialist Web Site The Warner Bros. film, directed by Archie Mayo and an uncredited Michael Curtiz, is a gripping depiction of the organization's thuggery and violence and their devastating social and personal impact. Feb 11, 2021 Full Review Meyer Levin (Patterson Murphy) Esquire Magazine One of the year's best pictures. In it Humphrey Bogart rises to the rank of Paul Muni and Spencer Tracy. Apr 22, 2020 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine A pretty grim study of human society, which adults will find authentic, deplorable and well worthy of their attention. Oct 9, 2019 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews A gripping social drama based on the newspaper headlines of the day. Rated: B- Feb 19, 2016 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (71) audience reviews
Blu B A Bogart Classic that's solidly made overall. It defintely doesn't feel like its barely 80 minutes and packs quite a bit in for such a short runtime but never feels rushed or half cooked. Biggest complaints are everyone else besides Bogart isn't bad or just gives ok performances. Bogie is really good in this and steals every scene he's in and almost overshadows everyone else who granted isn't given as much as him but just isn't as memorable. Even the wife and mistress are just kind of on the ok side. Whenever it has a scene that focuses on someone else it just isn't as interesting as anything with Bogart. Also, the court scene at the end isn't terrible but it defintely is a letdown given the climax before it which is the best part easily. It's a lot of just reiterating what we saw already and Bogart doesn't say much except his confession. A lot of other people get time in the end and they just aren't as good, and it doesn't help there just reciting what we already saw too. This can feel a bit on the nose too compared to something like Blue Collar which works the commentary in with riveting characters. This does that only with Bogart and really no one else but it's still interesting commentary about unions, immigration, and hate groups. If your a big Curtiz fan (whose direction isn't the best here suprisingly), fan of any actors in this, films about unions, or deep cut vintage crime dramas than give this a watch. This really is a great testament to how gifted Bogart was. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/19/24 Full Review Steve D Before its time but not especially good. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/11/24 Full Review John M I live in England and I did like the movie however, to what I could see in first half. although it is on warner archive and I had to order the dvd from the States the first half of the movie plays ok then my dvd just freezes up I have cleaned the disc but it keeps on happening at the same location halfway through the movie and then my dvd just freeze. upon looking at other people who have the same problem I wonder if there is a problem in general with the way the disc is produced? my dvd player is multi-regional and I do have very many other warner archive movies that play ok on my dvd player. a shame really because the movie is great but I cannot see the whole movie owing to this error on the dvd itself. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/04/24 Full Review Cindy L Excellent early film on extremist groups in the United States. A young Bogart does a realistic performance. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 05/05/23 Full Review stu b Early Bogie, ripped from the headlines of the 1930s, and released before he had cemented his reputation as Hollywood's quintessential tough guy. Here, he plays Frank Taylor, an easy-going factory worker and family man who--after being bypassed for a coveted promotion--joins a sinister band of "patriotic" (and violent) misfits (the "Black Legion" of the title) who promise to help him make things right. (Read: punish the Polish-born co-worker who ended up with the job, instead.) Awfully heavy-handed--it's about as subtle as a front lawn cross burning (the Klan is mentioned at least once)--but the performances, particularly by Bogart, Erin O'Brien Moore and Dick Foran (as his heartbroken wife and steadfast pal) are terrific, and there isn't a wasted moment or superfluous scene in the movie. A little-known Bogart gem that was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the 10 best films of 1937. Worth seeing. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/14/22 Full Review Audience Member The significance of this movie has not diminished after almost a century. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Black Legion

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Frank Taylor (Humphrey Bogart) believes he is about to be made foreman of the factory he works in. When the job goes to a Polish-born worker instead, Frank is enraged and decides to join a local organization that persecutes immigrants. Known as the Black Legion, the clandestine hate group uses scare tactics to help Frank get his promotion. However, his involvement with the Legion has dire effects on his marriage and jeopardizes the life of his best friend, Ed (Dick Foran).
Director
Archie Mayo
Producer
Robert Lord
Production Co
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Genre
Crime, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jan 16, 1937, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
May 23, 2016
Runtime
1h 23m
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