1940 movie poster
|Directed by||Raoul Walsh|
|Produced by||Sol C. Siegel|
screenplay by |
F. Hugh Herbert
from the novel by
George "Gabby" Hayes
|Music by||Victor Young|
|Cinematography||Jack A. Marta|
|Editing by||William Morgan|
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 15, 1940|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Dark Command is a 1940 western film loosely based on Quantrill's Raiders in the American Civil War. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the novel by W.R. Burnett, the film features Claire Trevor, John Wayne and Walter Pidgeon. Dark Command is the only film in which western icons John Wayne and Roy Rogers appear together, and was the first film Wayne and Raoul Walsh made together since Wayne's first leading role in the widescreen western The Big Trail a decade before.
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction by John Victor Mackay.
Mary McCloud (Claire Trevor) marries a seemingly peaceful Kansas schoolteacher William Cantrell (Walter Pidgeon), before finding out that he harbors a dark secret. He is actually an outlaw leader who attacks both sides in the Civil War for his own profit. After capturing a wagon loaded with Confederate uniforms, he decides to pass himself off as a Confederate officer. Her naive, idealistic brother Fletcher (Roy Rogers) joins what he believes is a Rebel guerrilla force. Meanwhile, Cantrell's stern, but loved mother (Marjorie Main) refuses to accept any of her son's ill-gotten loot.
A former suitor of Mary's, Union supporter Bob Seton (John Wayne), is captured by Cantrell and scheduled for execution. After being rescued by a disillusioned Fletcher McCloud, Seton and Mary Cantrell race to the town of Lawrence (site of an actual infamous Quantrill-led massacre) to warn the residents of an impending attack by Cantrell's gang.
- Claire Trevor as Mary McCloud
- John Wayne as Bob Seton
- Walter Pidgeon as William 'Will' Cantrell
- Roy Rogers as Fletcher 'Fletch' McCloud
- George 'Gabby' Hayes as Andrew 'Doc' Grunch
- Porter Hall as Angus McCloud
- Marjorie Main as Mrs. Cantrell, aka Mrs. Adams
- Raymond Walburn as Judge Buckner
- Joe Sawyer as Bushropp (guerrilla)
- Helen MacKellar as Mrs. Hale
- J. Farrell MacDonald as Dave (gunrunner)
- Trevor Bardette as Mr. Hale
- List of American films of 1940
- John Wayne filmography (1926-1940)
- "Notes for Dark Command (1940)". tcm.com. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/title.jsp?stid=72283. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- "NY Times: Dark Command". NY Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/12241/Dark-Command/details. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Dark Command at the Internet Movie Database
- Dark Command at Allmovie
- Dark Command at the TCM Movie Database
ca:Dark Command fr:L'Escadron noir sv:Dark Command