MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 3,977 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 1,400 users  
Reviews: 37 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...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 21 Jun 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 09 Sep 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 18 Sep 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 27 May 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 10 months ago
 

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... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A city girl on a bus tour of the West encounters a handsome rodeo cowboy who helps her forget her simpy city suitors.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Jean Arthur, John Wayne, Charles Winninger
Drama | Film-Noir | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter
Certificate: Passed Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Will Parker has been destroyed by a local politician and now must steal to feed his family. He steals a steer from the Three Mesquiteers.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Raymond Hatton
Certificate: Passed 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
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
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
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Can Dare Rudd prove he is responsible enough to win the heart of Judy and also outwit the crooked saloon owner?

Director: Charles Barton
Stars: John Wayne, Marsha Hunt, Johnny Mack Brown
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
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Rodeo star John Scott and his gambler friend Kansas Charlie are wrongly accused of armed robbery. They leave town as fast as they can to go looking for their own suspects in Poker City.

Director: Lewis D. Collins
Stars: John Wayne, Mary Kornman, Paul Fix
New Frontier (1939)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The Three Mesquiteers convince a group of settlers to exchange their present property for some which, unbeknownst to our good guys, is going to be worthless. They are captured before they can warn the ranchers.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Raymond Hatton
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A small-town attorney comes to the city to investigate the murder of a friend and falls in love with the daughter of the crime ring he hopes to expose.

Director: John H. Auer
Stars: John Wayne, Frances Dee, Edward Ellis
Certificate: Passed History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Talbot uses a phony land grant to rule thirteen million acres, taxing everyone heavily and evicting those who won't pay. The Three Mesquiteers becomes mysterious "night riders" to fight ... See full summary »

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mary McCloud
...
...
...
Fletch McCloud
...
Doc Grunch (as George Hayes)
Porter Hall ...
Marjorie Main ...
Mrs. Cantrelldams
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

The character of Will Cantrell is loosely based on the real life Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill. Like Cantrell, Quantrill was born in Ohio, taught school in Lawrence, Kansas, became a guerrilla fighter on the Confederate side and burned Lawrence to the ground. However, the Confederacy eventually distanced itself from him and later revoked his commission and disowned him, because of his band's propensity for executing prisoners, massacring civilians, looting and raping. The real Quantrill died at the ripe old age of 27--not at the hands of "Bob Seton" but during an ambush by a Union cavalry unit, in which a Union cavalryman caught up to a fleeing Quantrill, whipped out his saber and cut off Quantrill's head. 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

Angus McCloud: Four killings in a week! It's got to stop!
Judge Buckner: Four! Did you say four? That's right, four! Well, we're going to be quite a town, ain't we? I doubt that they have that many in Dodge City. No, I don't think so.
Angus McCloud: We aim to compete with any city in size, but not in lawlessness!
See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Action (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

My Country Tis of Thee
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

Poor as a history lesson; good as a movie
25 April 2000 | by (El Cerrito, California) – See all my reviews

"Dark Command" is, of course, one of the Essential Westerns, since it puts up Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes and JOHN WAYNE on the screen at the same time--not to mention teaming up the Duke with Claire Trevor, his lady from "Stagecoach." It's also a transitional film, mixing in elements (and actors) from the long line of Republic horse operas of the 1930s with themes, leads, and a director more in line with the "A" pictures of its day. The real star is the heavy, Cantrell (Walter Pidgeon), who begins as a schoolteacher and ends as a cynical partisan leader with no real allegiance. John Wayne is no slouch here, but his role is too much the conventional good guy to allow him to outsize Pidgeon. Roy Rogers actually gets to kill a guy, and Gabby Hayes plays something more than a caricature.

Now for the history: There wasn't really a time warp in 1861 Kansas that allowed people to get Colt Model 1873 revolvers, which everyone in the movie except Claire Trevor seems to pack. Sergio Leone got away with it in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," though, so I will forgive Mr. Walsh. Cantrell is VERY loosely based on William Quantrill, a Confederate guerrilla leader who actually burned Lawrence, KS, during the Civil War. Thirty years after "Dark Command," John Wayne would play a former member of Quantrill's Raiders in "True Grit."


11 of 13 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:
?