MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,243 this week

Dark Command (1940)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,506 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 20 critic

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. ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 05 Mar 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 21 Jun 2011
 
list image
a list of 35 titles
created 29 Aug 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 12 Sep 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 02 Mar 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Dark Command" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Dark Command (1940)

Dark Command (1940) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dark Command.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In British colonial America, Captain Swanson's adherence to the rules results in Trader Callendar's selling to the Indians under cover of a government permit. Jim Smith won't sit still for ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, George Sanders
Adventure | Drama | Western
    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
Mystery | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a stranger arrives in a western town he finds that the rancher who sent for him has been murdered. Further, most of the townsfolk seem to be at each other's throats, and the newcomer ... See full summary »

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

Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. ... See full summary »

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Philip Dorn
Dakota (1945)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1871, professional gambler John Devlin elopes with Sandra "Sandy" Poli, daughter of Marko Poli, an immigrant who has risen to railroad tycoon. Sandy, knowing that the railroad is to be ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Kane
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Walter Brennan
Musical | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
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
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe
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
Flying Tigers (1942)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | War
    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
Tycoon (1947)
Romance | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Engineer Johnny Munroe is enlisted to build a railroad tunnel through a mountain to reach mines. His task is complicated, and his ethics are compromised, when he falls in love with his ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: John Wayne, Laraine Day, Cedric Hardwicke
Pittsburgh (1942)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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:
...
Mary McCloud
...
...
...
Fletch McCloud
...
Doc Grunch (as George Hayes)
Porter Hall ...
Marjorie Main ...
Mrs. Cantrell / Mrs. Adams
Raymond Walburn ...
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:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comando Negro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA "High Fidelity" Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: Some portions of this photoplay are based upon actual incidents in the lives of its principal characters. All other events and characters are fictitious, and any similarity to actual events or persons is coincidental. 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. See more »

Quotes

Miss Mary McCloud: Now, will you please get to the point and tell me what you want?
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: I want to marry you.
Miss Mary McCloud: You what?
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: Well, I ain't got no job right now, but I figure to get one. And outside of a snort of hooch now and then, I got no bad habits.
Miss Mary McCloud: I'd say asking a perfect stranger to marry you is a very bad habit!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played at Cantrell's Camp
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cleaning Up Kansas
7 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

After John Wayne became an A picture star with the release of Stagecoach a year earlier, Republic didn't know quite what to do with him. In fact they put him back in some Three Mesquiteer films for a while. I'm sure it took a little negotiating on his part, but Republic finally decided to give him an A film under its own banner. Which set a pattern for his career over the next decade. The Duke would do at least one prestige film a year for Republic, but Herbert J. Yates would make just as much money loaning him out to the big studios also.

This is not the story of William Quantrill. In fact like Inherit the Wind where the real life Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan are given pseudonyms, Quantrill here is named Cantrell. He's played quite well by a loan out from MGM, Walter Pigeon.

Pigeon in essaying Cantrell has captured the character of a man desperate to succeed and not particularly caring about what he has to do. His character is conveyed in the scenes he has with Marjorie Main as his mother. When she and Pigeon talk about the family of outlaws they left in Ohio, his background is vividly portrayed. Their words and the way they deliver them give us what Piddgeon's real nature is.

In fact Pigeon was heading towards the height of his career. Next year in How Green Was My Valley and the year after in Mrs. Miniver he was in back to back Best Picture Oscar winners. Not too shabby for that man.

John Wayne gets his third film with Claire Trevor which almost qualifies them as big a screen team as the Duke with Maureen O'Hara. She was in his breakthrough film Stagecoach and Alleghany Uprising with Wayne. Later on she was also in the cast of The High and the Mighty as one of the passengers on that nearly ill fated flight.

The Duke sits real tall in the saddle in his role as Bob Seton, the man who had a host of sayings from Texas. He's got an appropriate acolyte here as well in Roy Rogers who made one of his few departures from his own B western films at Republic. Rogers is Claire Trevor's younger brother in Dark Command with Scottish banker Porter Hall as their father.

Pigeon's ruthlessness is never more graphically demonstrated than when he both defends Rogers in court after Rogers murders a northern man in Lawrence, Kansas with Pigeon as his defense attorney by day. But as a night rider he and his gang intimidate the prospective jurors with the inevitable results.

Look for some good performances by both Gabby Hayes and Raymond Walburn in roles that were tailor made for the talents of each.

The film is directed by Raoul Walsh who gave John Wayne a first chance at stardom in The Big Trail back in 1929. That film flopped for many reasons, but John Wayne eventually made it to the top. Not too many folks in Hollywood get a second chance, but Wayne sure made the most of is. For reasons though that I can't explain, he and Walsh never worked together again. Odd because Wayne was definitely the kind of action star Walsh worked with best.

Although John Wayne is the hero and he's his usual Duke, the film really turns on Pigeon's performance as Cantrell. It's the most complex part in the film and it's a bit of offbeat casting for him. Still I recommend it to John Wayne fans wherever they be.


30 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Dark Command (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?