Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines
|Photo property of the author
Do you have that movie, that when it comes around, you just have to stop and watch it? There are many like that for me. Even when they asked what your favorite movie was in our staff meeting the other day I had to think about it. Since I'm a big fan of Kurosawa, "The Seven Samurai" popped out. I love it, subtitles and all. But there are other films that are not as well known that also draw my attention. One such is the film "Dark Command".
|Image from IMDb
Based on the novel "The Dark Command: a Kansas Illiad" by W. R. Burnett, written in 1938, the film was released in 1940 staring: Walter Pigeon, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Claire Trevor, George 'Gabby' Hayes, and directed by Raoul Walsh.
The story, just prior to the Civil War, is one of the clashings of ideas and the personal costs to those involved. Pigeon plays William 'Will' Cantrell. Will is in love with Mary McCloud and convinces her to marry him. However, the war takes its toll, and Will changes before our eyes. To complicate matters, Bob Seton, John Wayne, shows up and also is in love with Mary. Add to the mix Fletch McCloud, Roy Rogers, as Mary's brother who follows Will on his raids, but as time progresses he finds himself wondering about Will. Throw in the raid on Lawrence, Kansas and you have a film that keeps you engaged.
|Image of Claire Trevor
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Art Direction and Best Music Score.
Of course, the film is deeper and more complex than my description, but it is one I will always stop to watch it whenever it shows up. Not only is it fun to watch a young Roy Rogers, a non-singing role, give a brilliant performance, but you also get to see John Wayne and Claire Trevor together after their pairing in 'Stagecoach' released the year prior. If you get the chance, check it out.
What films do you stop to watch when they show up?
For more on W. R. Burnett: Wikipedia
For more on the cast, crew, and reviews: Dark Command, IMDb
Colorado and Women's History