IMDb > Dark Command (1940)
Dark Command
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Dark Command (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Grover Jones (screenplay) &
Lionel Houser (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Dark Command on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1940 (USA) See more »
A drama of undying love
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
White Heat Out West See more (47 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Claire Trevor ... Mary McCloud

John Wayne ... Bob Seton

Walter Pidgeon ... William 'Will' Cantrell

Roy Rogers ... Fletch McCloud

George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Doc Grunch (as George Hayes)

Porter Hall ... Angus McCloud

Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Cantrell / Mrs. Adams

Raymond Walburn ... Judge Buckner

Joe Sawyer ... Bushropp (as Joseph Sawyer)

Helen MacKellar ... Mrs. Hale

J. Farrell MacDonald ... Dave

Trevor Bardette ... Mr. Hale
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ernie Adams ... Townsman (uncredited)

Richard Alexander ... Phil - Guerrilla Guarding Seton (uncredited)
Earl Askam ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

Hank Bell ... Townsman (uncredited)

Ray Bennett ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

Stanley Blystone ... Tough (uncredited)

Ed Brady ... Juror (uncredited)

Al Bridge ... Slave Trader (uncredited)

Roy Bucko ... Brawler (uncredited)
Nora Bush ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Budd Buster ... Townsman (uncredited)

Yakima Canutt ... Townsman on Balcony (uncredited)

Bob Card ... Townsman (uncredited)

Horace B. Carpenter ... Townsman (uncredited)
Burr Caruth ... Minister (uncredited)

Noble 'Kid' Chissell ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

Edmund Cobb ... Juror #3 (uncredited)

Tex Cooper ... Townsman (uncredited)

Harry Cording ... Angry Townsman in Bank (uncredited)
Bobby Crandall ... Child (uncredited)
Marvin Davis ... Child (uncredited)
Art Dillard ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

John Dilson ... Town Leader (uncredited)

Edward Earle ... Town Leader (uncredited)
Betty Farrington ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Robert Ferrero ... Child (uncredited)
Joseph Forte ... Townsman (uncredited)
Mildred Gover ... Ellie - Mary's Maid (uncredited)

Herman Hack ... Townsman (uncredited)

Frank Hagney ... Tough Yankee #2 (uncredited)
Al Haskell ... Townsman (uncredited)

Edward Hearn ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)

Howard C. Hickman ... Southerner Orating for Votes (uncredited)

Lloyd Ingraham ... Townsman (uncredited)

Jack Kirk ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

Ethan Laidlaw ... Guerrilla (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Townsman (uncredited)

Tom London ... Messenger (uncredited)

Walter Long ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Low ... Juror #2 (uncredited)
Herbert MacGregor ... Child (uncredited)

Cactus Mack ... Townsman (uncredited)

Nelson McDowell ... Farmer (uncredited)

Joe McGuinn ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

John Merton ... Cantrell Man (uncredited)
Michael Miller ... Child (uncredited)

Jack Montgomery ... Guerrilla (uncredited)
Dolly Nardon ... Child (uncredited)
Lawrence Osman ... Child (uncredited)
Russell Palmer ... Child (uncredited)
Harvard Peck ... Child (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Dental Patient #1 (uncredited)
Lee Riggin ... Child (uncredited)

Jack Rockwell ... Assassin of Angus McCloud (uncredited)
Clinton Rosemond ... Tom - McClouds' Servant (uncredited)

Tom Smith ... Posse Rider (uncredited)

Harry Strang ... Man About to Withdraw Money from Bank (uncredited)

Glenn Strange ... Tough Yankee #1 (uncredited)
Bob Sáenz ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

Hal Taliaferro ... Angry Townsman in Bank (uncredited)

Al Taylor ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

Ferris Taylor ... Banker (uncredited)
Ernest Tobey ... Child (uncredited)
Ethel Wales ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Cecil Weston ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Henry Wills ... Guerrilla (uncredited)

Harry Woods ... Man in Fight with Seton (uncredited)

Bob Woodward ... Yankee (uncredited)

Directed by
Raoul Walsh 
Writing credits
Grover Jones (screenplay) &
Lionel Houser (screenplay) &
F. Hugh Herbert (screenplay)

W.R. Burnett (novel)

Jan Fortune (adaptation)

Produced by
Sol C. Siegel .... associate producer
Original Music by
Victor Young (musical score)
Cinematography by
Jack A. Marta (photography) (as Jack Marta)
Film Editing by
William Morgan 
Art Direction by
John Victor Mackay 
Costume Design by
Adele Palmer (costumes)
Production Management
Al Wilson .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yakima Canutt .... second unit director (uncredited)
Kenneth Holmes .... assistant director (uncredited)
Joseph Kane .... second unit director (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... second unit director (uncredited)
Yakima Canutt .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Yakima Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank Hagney .... stunts (doubtful) (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery .... stunt double: Walter Pidgeon (uncredited)
Henry Wills .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Yrigoyen .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Yrigoyen .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bud Thackery .... special process photographer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Murray Seldeen .... supervising editor
Music Department
Charles Bradshaw .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herman Hand .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Sid Davis .... stand-in: John Wayne (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min | UK:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA "High Fidelity" Recording)
Argentina:13 | Germany:16 | Portugal:M/12 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1986) (1996) | USA:Passed (Classified and Passed by) (The National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (MPPDA rating: certificate #5985) (original rating) | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Anachronisms: 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 »
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton:You know that girl I was staring at when all the ruckus started?
Fletcher 'Fletch' McCloud:Yeah.
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton:Well, who is she?
Fletcher 'Fletch' McCloud:Well, her name is Mary McCloud. Why?
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton:Well, I'll tell you. I think maybe I'll marry her.
Fletcher 'Fletch' McCloud:What ?
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton:Course if she'll have me, I mean. Fella wouldn't wanna marry anyone that didn't want him, naturally.
Fletcher 'Fletch' McCloud:Oh, naturally. Uh, you know her well?
Bob 'Shortcut' Seton:Naw, just seen her once or twice. Once she was on a horse, and...
Fletcher 'Fletch' time she was with a jackass.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Videoclub (2013)See more »
Battle Hymn of the RepublicSee more »


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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
White Heat Out West, 25 January 2004
Author: Melvin M. Carter from United States

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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