Dark Command

Dark Command

Raoul Walsh (1940)

U Certificate


Our Score
After John Wayne's success opposite Claire Trevor in Stagecoach, his home studio, Republic, promoted him from B-westerns to this big-budget effort in which he was re-teamed with Trevor. Wayne plays the simple cowpoke who successfully runs for marshal to impress his girl and, as a result, the much better qualified other candidate, Walter Pidgeon, turns to a life of crime. Action specialist Raoul Walsh was imported to direct and the film lurches between static dialogue scenes and bursts of action. There's a celebrated stunt, arranged by Yakima Canutt, in which four men ride a wagon and team off a bluff into water 50 feet below - the stuntmen knew what they were doing, but let's hope the horses didn't mind.


A teacher is defeated in his ambition to become the marshal of his town during the early years of the American Civil War, so he turns renegade instead. Before long he has a reputation as a feared raider fighting on the side of the South, and it falls to the newly appointed lawman whose job he coveted to stop his reign of terror. Western, starring John Wayne and Walter Pidgeon.

Cast & Crew

Bob Seton John Wayne
William Cantrell Walter Pidgeon
Mary McCloud Claire Trevor
Fletch McCloud Roy Rogers
Doc Grunch George `Gabby' Hayes
Angus McCloud Porter Hall
Mrs Cantrell Marjorie Main
Buckner Raymond Walburn
Bushropp Joe Sawyer
Director Raoul Walsh
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: British Lion Film Corp LtdAvailable on: video and DVD