Dark Command (1940)
Director: Raoul Walsh.
Starring: Claire Trevor (Mary McCloud), John Wayne (Bob Seton), Walter Pidgeon (William "Will" Cantrell), Roy Rogers (Fletch McCloud), George "Gaby" Hayes (Doc Grunch), Porter Hall (Angus McCloud), Marjorie Main (Mrs. Cantrelldams), Raymond Walburn (Judge Buckner), Joe Sawyer (Bushropp), Helen MacKellar (Mrs. Hale), J. Farrell MacDonald (Dave), Trevor Bardette (Mr. Hale).
This story is loosely based on fact. John Wayne plays the part of Bob Seaton, an illiterate cowpoke from Texas who has found his way to Lawrence, Kansas. To impress a woman (Claire Trevor) he wants to marry, he successfully runs for election as sheriff, thereby setting off a murderous spree by his disappointed rival, Kantrell (Walter Pidgeon) (the real-life guerilla-outlaw William Clarke Quantrill).
Roy Rogers plays the part of the brother of the Claire Trevor. In an argument, Rogers kills a man, is arrested by Wayne, and is tried for murder. This, of course, alienates Wayne's beloved from him and turns her to Cantrell.
The real life story of Lawrence, Kansas is a sad one. But this movie has a happy ending, of course.
See "Quantrill 's Raiders" for background.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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