Dark Command from 1940, a black and white western made with splash and class by director Raoul Walsh features Wayne in his first role after establishing his star with Stagecoach. The setting is in and around Lawrence, Kansas as the Civil War is about to erupt. Cowpoke Bob Seton arrives in town as dentist Doc Grunch’s strong right fist. Seton's quick fists provide Doc with plenty of work. Seton quickly establishes himself as a man to reckon with by defending a man in an outnumbered fight. He also catches the eye of the pretty Mary McCloud, daughter of town’s leading banker. Will Cantrell, the town’s schoolteacher and Mary’s would-be suitor, takes on the tutoring Seton to read and write. But pretty soon they part ways as the dissatisfied Cantrell forms an army of border raiders raping the towns along Missouri and Kansas. Seton, the town’s Marshal stands in the way of Cantrell’s love and ongoing campaign of terror.
Wayne proves his star power as the lanky Seton armed with a quick gun and an easy smile. Claire
Trevor, Wayne’s co-star in Stagecoach, is excellent as Mary, while Walter Pidgeon, on loan
to Republic studios from MGM, provides a measure of class as Cantrell. Roy Rogers, another cowboy
legend in the making, plays Mary’s younger brother Fletch with the impulsiveness of inexperience
The Movie Poster Archive includes extensive poster images from the films of stars like Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn and many more. Our featured star is John Wayne