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Dark Command (1940)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,454 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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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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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
See  »
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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

Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: You knock 'em loose and I'll pull 'em out. Maybe, I'm just saying maybe, you know; if you was more promiscuous with your punching, we might make a little more money.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: What do you mean - promiscuous?
Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: Well, ah, you got strange ideas about justice. You don't want to hit nobody unless they deserve it. Now, that's all right, but we're in business. And business is different!
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

Ring, Ring De Banjo
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played at Cantrell's Camp on banjo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
wonderful movie
12 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have always liked westerns and this is a great one. Older westerns were closer in time to the events portrayed and even where the production values were not as stunning as those evident in newer film, these older westerns often brought an understanding of the people and the circumstances that is not the same thing as historical accuracy. It may have a character use the wrong kind of gun or an event portrayed may have ended differently but, as to the important things, older westerns get it right and that includes the nature of the people and the cadence of their lives. This is a wonderful movie and a portrayal of the mid-nineteenth century American that resonates even now. The older I get the more I enjoy and appreciate John Wayne's film persona. Whatever his real life behavior,the character he consistently portrayed was the kind of man who did build this country and is the kind of man I would have wanted to know and to introduce to my children. By speech and action, he was decent, gallant and manly --all in short supply in current film. This is a movie that deserves our time and our respect.


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