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Dark Command (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 15 April 1940 (USA)
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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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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
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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:

Drama | 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:

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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

Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: You know, you could make something of yourself if you tried.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: Yeah?
Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: Yeah. You could run for marshal.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: Me being a marshal? Are you loco?
Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: Well, you could try. It's better for a young fella like you to be working for Uncle Sam than against him.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton: I can't even read or write. You know that!
Andrew 'Doc' Grunch: Listen, you don't read or write a man into jail.
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

Oh Susanna
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster (1846)
Played at Cantrell's Camp
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User Reviews

 
John Wayne+Raoul Walsh+Republic=Great western
30 September 1999 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Few people did westerns better than John Wayne, few directors did them better than Raoul Walsh, and NO studio did them better than Republic--and when you put the three of them together, the results are pretty near unbeatable.

This film, based on the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, during the Civil War by the Confederate guerilla Quantrill, bears little relation to the actual event--but if you want a history lesson, turn on the Discovery Channel. Instead, just sit back and marvel at the rousing action sequences that Republic was renowned for, enjoy the sea of great old cowboy actors (Gabby Hayes, Harry Woods, Wally Wales, Trevor Bardette, Glenn Strange, etc.), check out the performance of a young Roy Rogers (he's actually very good), and enjoy the talents of masters like Wayne and Walsh at their prime--and remember that this is the kind of movie people are talking about when they say, "They don't make 'em like they used to."


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