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Dark Command (1940)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Western  |  15 April 1940 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,520 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 »

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Title: Dark Command (1940)

Dark Command (1940) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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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
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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:

 »
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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
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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

William Cantrell: I know what I'm doing, Ma. I'll be running Kansas yet. I'm going clear up to the top. But I'm not going for the climb or the view.
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

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

Soundtracks

(Oh My Darling) Clementine
(uncredited)
Written by Percy Montrose
Played at Cantrell's Camp
See more »

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User Reviews

White Heat Out West
25 January 2004 | by (United States) – See 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.


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