6.9/10
2,141
50 user 22 critic

Dark Command (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 15 April 1940 (USA)
In Kansas, during the Civil War opposing pro-Union and pro-Confederate camps clash and visiting Texan Bob Seton runs afoul of William Cantrell's Raiders.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Grover Jones (screenplay), Lionel Houser (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Dakota (1945)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1871 Dakota, two crooked businessmen oppose the local wheat farmers and the railroad development, in order to control the town of Fargo.

Director: Joseph Kane
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Walter Brennan
Mystery | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ranch hand Rocklin arrives in town to start his new job but his employer has been murdered and the locals don't seem too friendly.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: John Wayne, Ella Raines, Ward Bond
Musical | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Duke falls for Flaxen in the Barbary Coast in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. He loses money to crooked gambler Tito, goes home and PL: learns to gamble, and returns. After he makes a ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Kane
Stars: John Wayne, Ann Dvorak, Joseph Schildkraut
Adventure | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1759, in Pennsylvania's Allegheny Valley, local settlers and Indian fighters try to persuade the British authorities to ban the trading of alcohol and arms with the marauding Indians.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, George Sanders
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Quirt Evans, an all round bad guy, is nursed back to health and sought after by Penelope Worth, a Quaker girl. He eventually finds himself having to choose between his world and the world Penelope lives in.

Director: James Edward Grant
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A mysterious stranger arrives in the Missouri hills and befriends a young backwoods girl. Much to the dislike of her moonshiner fiancé who has vowed to find and kill his own father.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Betty Field, Harry Carey
Certificate: Passed Action | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the California Gold Rush, Boston pharmacist Tom Craig sets up shop in Sacramento where he clashes with local town crook Britt Dawson.

Director: William C. McGann
Stars: John Wayne, Binnie Barnes, Albert Dekker
Flying Tigers (1942)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot.

Director: David Miller
Stars: John Wayne, John Carroll, Anna Lee
The Spoilers (1942)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In Nome, Alaska, miner Roy Glennister and his partner Dextry, financed by saloon entertainer Cherry Malotte, fight to save their gold claim from crooked commissioner Alexander McNamara.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Randolph Scott, John Wayne
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the 1860s in the South Pacific, Capt. Ralls, skipper of the Red Witch, has a series of adventures involving sunken gold bullion, pearls, natives, an unscrupulous ship owner and a giant octopus.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1906, on Oklahoma's Indian lands, a cowboy fights for oil lease rights against a greedy oilman while a pretty schoolteacher steals both men's hearts.

Director: Albert S. Rogell
Stars: John Wayne, Martha Scott, Albert Dekker
Pittsburgh (1942)
Animation | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Charles 'Pittsburgh' Markham rides roughshod over his friends, his lovers, and his ideals in his trek toward financial success in the Pittsburgh steel industry, only to find himself ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Randolph Scott
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claire Trevor ... Mary McCloud
John Wayne ... Bob Seton
Walter Pidgeon ... William 'Will' Cantrell
Roy Rogers ... Fletch McCloud
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Doc Grunch (as George Hayes)
Porter Hall ... Angus McCloud
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Cantrell / Mrs. Adams
Raymond Walburn ... Judge Buckner
Joe Sawyer ... Bushropp (as Joseph Sawyer)
Helen MacKellar ... Mrs. Hale
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Dave
Trevor Bardette ... Mr. Hale
Edit

Storyline

When transplanted Texan Bob Seton arrives in Lawrence, Kansas he finds much to like about the place, especially Mary McCloud, daughter of the local banker. Politics is in the air however. It's just prior to the civil war and there is already a sharp division in the Territory as to whether it will remain slave-free. When he gets the opportunity to run for marshal, Seton finds himself running against the respected local schoolteacher, William Cantrell. Not is what it seems however. While acting as the upstanding citizen in public, Cantrell is dangerously ambitious and is prepared to do anything to make his mark, and his fortune, on the Territory. When he loses the race for marshal, he forms a group of raiders who run guns into the territory and rob and terrorize settlers throughout the territory. Eventually donning Confederate uniforms, it is left to Seton and the good citizens of Lawrence to face Cantrell and his raiders in one final clash. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A drama of undying love

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comando Negro See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA "High Fidelity" Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marjorie Main plays the mother of Will Cantrell, played by Walter Pidgeon, but she was only seven years older. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, Colt Single Action Army revolvers (commonly known as Peacemakers) are used by various actors including John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and George 'Gabby' Hayes. This revolver was not produced until the 1870s. The film is set in the late 1850s and 1860s. The Colt is the 1873 model so it could not have been in the Civil War. See more »

Quotes

Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: You know, you could make something of yourself if you tried.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: Yeah?
Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: Yeah. You could run for marshal.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: Me being a marshal? Are you loco?
Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: Well, you could try. It's better for a young fella like you to be working for Uncle Sam than against him.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: I can't even read or write. You know that!
Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: Listen, you don't read or write a man into jail.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In those years, 1859 and on, in the dusk before the nation plunged into the red night of civil warfare, the plains of Kansas were an earlier battleground. Down from the north, down to Kansas: up from the south, up to Kansas, came hordes - each bent on voting the territory into the Union as its own. The battle cry of the day was - - "On to Kansas." See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Edited into Law of the Golden West (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

My Country Tis of Thee
(uncredited)
Music written by Henry Carey (1744)
Sung by the schoolchildren
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

White Heat Out West
25 January 2004 | by KingCoodySee all my reviews

Mr. Walsh never let historical accuracy get in the way of telling a good rouser about a historical character. This film and Errol Flynn's "They Died with Their Boots On" made the following year for Warner Brothers are prime examples. This is a good Saturday afternoon movie when is what day I first saw it on. Mr. Wayne was still working on his iconic Western Hero image ( which he would nail down perfectly in "Tall In the Saddle" far more impressive than his lummox with a mission performance in "Stagecoach") and to my mind wasn't grating, Gabby Hayes wasn't a total clown, Roy Rogers was actually acting! and Claire Trevor was good doing her part at playing a bland upper class town girl. But Walter Pigeon steals the picture. No namby pamby Greer Garson where are you stuff here! He gets a chance at playing the marauder William C. Quantrill (in this movie called Cantrell)and goes for it. From freeing slaves after killing their owner and selling them to someone else ( Deep real real Deep that scene... ahem) to massacring a Rebel supply train then donning their uniforms and saying he and his growing band are going ' fight for Dixie, Pigeon is a good man to be bad. In a way he seems to be a precursor to Cody Jarret W.R. Burnett and Raoul Walshs' other crazed mamma obsessed bandit. Like Cody he comes from a family of guntoting pyschos who have bad endings. Unlike Cody he is more educated and Mom isn't a gunslinger herself, though Majorie Mains' character could've been written that way. I can hear her raspy voice telling Walter "Ya need ta go to Lawrence and burn it down 'round that Seton fellas ears and git yer woman back boy, how else yer gonna keep these coyotes in line." All in all a good Western with some darker issues bubbling beneath the popcorn.


15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed