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Our Leading Citizen

Our Leading Citizen(1939)

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Remind Me

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Practicing law in a once small town that has evolved into an industrial city, attorney Lem Schofield has not lost sight of his ideals. Lem is joined in his firm by his deceased partner's son, Clay Clinton, who is in love with Lem's daughter Judith. The young man is too anxious for quick success, and disdainful of Lem's homespun philosophy, however and soon leaves for the grandiose quarters of the town's most influential industrialist, J. T. Tapley. Tapley, unknown to Clay, is planning to use the attorney's good name as a political stepping stone to gain patronage. When Tapley imposes a ten percent wage cut at his factory, the workers walk out on strike, precipitating a labor war. Lem immdiately withdraws as Tapley's attorney, but Clay, ignorant of the nefarious tactics that Tapley is planning, stays on. To crush the strike, Tapley calls in a gang of strikebreakers led by Shep Muir. While pacifist union leader Jim Hanna struggles to end the strike peacefully, communist agitator Jerry Peters arrives in town to advocate radicalism and violence. Riots break out, and amid an atmosphere of fear and suffering, Lem steps in to quell the unrest. After insuring the arrest of agitators Peters and Muir, Lem works to institute a labor settlement, and Clay, finally recognizing Lem's virtues, nominates him for the position of United States Senator.