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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Mystery | Western | Romance
    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
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
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
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
Dakota (1945)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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
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
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
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
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  

Captain Ralls fights Dutch shipping magnate Mayrant Sidneye for the woman he loves, Angelique Desaix, and for a fortune in gold aboard the Red Witch.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young
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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Fletch McCloud
...
Doc Grunch (as George Hayes)
Porter Hall ...
...
Mrs. Cantrell / Mrs. Adams
Raymond Walburn ...
Joe Sawyer ...
Bushropp (as Joseph Sawyer)
Helen MacKellar ...
Mrs. Hale
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Dave
...
Mr. Hale
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dolly Nardon
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:

 »
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

Early in the picture, Franklin Pierce is president (1853-1857) and Kansas is not yet a state (admitted 1861). Angus McCloud announces he is going to Dodge City. Dodge City was founded in 1872. See more »

Quotes

Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: [accepting Cantrell's dinner invitation] This is the first time I've had two kinds of bird for dinner - turkey to eat, and buzzard to look at.
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

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1961)
Played as part of the score when the Civil War starts
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fascinating Wild West Moral Fable
1 July 2000 | by (Kent, England) – See all my reviews

Although 'Dark Command' reads like a 'Who's Who' of Westerns (John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gubby Hayes, Clare Trevor etc), the real 'star' is its writer - William Riley (WR) Burnett.

He created a vivid moral fable of the wild west - William Cantrell (Pidgeon)gives up the role of good School teacher to become a ruthless bushwacker and gunrunner. In the opposite corner is the illiterate Bob Seton (Wayne) who keeps the Faith and becomes town marshall. Both want to achieve things and get the same girl before the Civil War strikes(Trevor)

Seton stands up for right even if it means losing friends and the girl, whilst Cantrell will stop at nothing to make a difference and as his Mother (Main) remarks "the Devil is walking with you". The title of the movie must say it all for W R Burnett.

The picture is not only gripping but hilarious and good hearted in parts. Gubby Hayes is superb as Seton's Dentist/Barber/Butcher and is responsible for most of the humour and keeps your interest when the film starts to fade.

For Western fans, 'Dark Command' is a must - to see Wayne, Rogers, Hayes & Trevor together should not be missed. But general moviegoers should try and catch it if they can - to see the work of the man who (amongst others) penned 'Little Caesar', 'High Sierra', 'The Alsphalt Jungle' and of course 'The Great Escape' (all great titles!)and frankly any movie that has the line "Jumping Catfish - I can give up Barbering!" has got to be worth a looksee.




22 of 24 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:
?