Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Dick Foran, Erin O'Brien-Moore, Helen Flint
Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Frank Taylor and people like him have a vision for America. It is a vision shaped by terror and fueled by fear ignorance and hate - a nation of "free white 100-percent Americans!" In his first lead role in a major movie Hu... more »
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A True Story
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a gripping account of a very real problem that affected the Detroit automotive industry in the 1930's. The editorial review states that "the script conjures up." This movie is no conjure job. It tells a true story. My father, originally from Kentucky, went to Detroit to work in the automobile factory in the 1930's. While he was never in the Black Legion, he had enough stories to tell about it. I recommend that everyone watch this movie once."
A Brutal Film For The Thirties
James L. | 07/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Humphrey Bogart stars as Frank Taylor, a factory worker who wants to be the next foreman. When he is passed over for the promotion he was counting on by a young, eager Polish American, his frustration and anger leads him to join the Black Legion, a group of racists out to punish anyone who isn't "100% American". He keeps this activity a secret from his wife Erin O'Brien Moore and his best friend Dick Foran. But before long, his life starts to unravel because of his association with this group, leading to a lot of tragedy, death, and heartache. I was impressed to see that a major studio like Warner Brothers took such a direct look at a hate group in 1930's Hollywood. The scene where Bogart takes the group's pledge particularly surprised me with its subtle brutality. Bogart is very good in this film, one of the few actors of his time that could have made this character seem believable. The supporting cast, which also includes a young Ann Sheridan as Foran's fiancee, all give good performances as well. The film is tough, presents a hate group as frankly as a 1930's film could, and although a little preachy at the end, delivers its message well."
Warner's social drama but not very good
Douglas M | 04/26/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1937, Warner Brothers continued their crusade on social issues with the release of "Black Legion", a powerful story of fascist vigilantes, clearly based on the Klu Klux Klan.
The films stars Humphrey Bogart as a happily married factory worker who misses a promotion and takes revenge. Bogart works hard to overcome an unsubtle and trite script which draws 2 dimensional characters. The cliched "happy home life" is particularly awful. The young Ann Sheridan appears as the girl next door and she is appealing. Dick Foran is very good as the worker who refuses to join the clan. The vigilante scenes are much more convincing then the domestic ones but more for what they are depicting than due to any imagination in Archie Mayo's journeyman direction.
The print of the DVD is excellent and there is a good commentary shared between 2 relaxed historians. Warners's night at the Movies is included with an entertaining short featuring the band leader Cab Calloway, a highly individual performer with a distinctive unusual singing style. The technicolour short on Stonewall Jackson is poor but 2 future Warner's players appear, Jane Bryan and Wayne Morris. The cartoon features Porky Pig and a goat called Gabby who clearly was scrapped - shrill and aggressive. The DVD is good value as part of the Warner's Gangster Set Volume 3."
Early Bogart film is a depression-era moral tale
calvinnme | 12/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1937's "Black Legion" tells a story of a man's involvement with what amounts to the Klan without coming out and calling it that. Humphrey Bogart stars as Frank Taylor, a working man who loses a bid to become foreman when a foreign-born man gets the job instead. The Legion is right up Taylor's alley, reinforcing his belief that his woes are all the fault of the foreign-born. He gradually gets more immune to the violence as he gets in deeper and deeper with the Black Legion. It really is a very good vehicle for Bogart's acting talent as his morality gradually unwinds. The sermon at the end seems a little tacked on, much like a similar scene in 1933's "Wild Boys of the Road", but it doesn't detract too much from the overall film. The extra features on the DVD shall be:
Theatrical trailer: The Perfect Specimen
Two WB shorts: Hi De Ho and Under Southern Stars
WB short: Porky and Gabby
This film is part of the Warner Gangsters Volume 3 boxed set that is being released on the same day.