Review: ‘The Black Legion’

Warners has taken yesterday's headlines and fashioned a melodrama which gives the emotions a rough going over.

Warners has taken yesterday’s headlines and fashioned a melodrama which gives the emotions a rough going over.

The action [from a story by Robert Lord] includes floggings, the burning of a chicken farm, destruction of a drugstore, a neophyte’s taking of the oath of allegiance amid a woodland gathering of the clan, and the behind-the-scene machinations of the Michigan hooded order’s promoters, ex-phoney stock salesmen.

Humphrey Bogart is the pacemaker of a smartly selected cast and lays down a telling performance. His is the role of a young workman in a large machine-making plant who, out of disappointment at losing the foremanship to another with a non-American name, joins the hooded order and eventually degenerates into becoming its murderous tool. His wife (Erin O’Brien-Moore) leaves him when he violently resents her probing into his marauding activities.

Almost equally impressive is the job done by Nick Foran as Bogart’s factory sidekick, but antagonist of the Legion.

The Black Legion


Warner. Director Archie Mayo; Producer Robert Lord; Screenplay Abem Finkel, William Wister Haines; Camera George Barnes; Editor Edward Marks; Art Director Robert Hass


(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1937. Running time: 80 MIN.


Humphrey Bogart Dick Foran Erin O'Brien-Moore Ann Sheridan Robert Barrat Helen Flint
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