“Sons of Steel”

June 25, 2008

Chadburne Brothers Steelworks is run by two brothers, old men. They each have different plans for their sons. Curtis (Holmes Herbert) has put Ronald (William Blakewell) through college in style, and hands him a cushy executive job at the plant. John (Walter Walker) has a more twisted plan. He has given his son away at birth to a machinist and his wife. Phillip (Charles Starrett) has worked his way through college tending the furnace and doing rich kids’ laundry. Upon graduation, he puts Phillip in the lowest paying job possible, with the plan of promoting him to the executive branch in one year.

Both plans are terribly flawed and lead to an industrial accident and a general strike by the steelworkers.

There! I was unable to find a synopsis of this film anywhere. Now you can read this one over at IMDB.

This is a good role for Charles. It’s 1933 and early in his career. He gets to play sweet, good-humored and optimistic college grad. Bitter steelworker. Rabble-rousing labor organizer. And, finally, Captain of Industry.

I don’t know much about Charley’s actual politics, but I do know that he was one of the founding members of SAG, the Screen Actors Guild. So he probably used the word “Organize!” outside of the pictures once or twice.

— images courtesy of Les Adams – Abilene, Texas

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