Highly fictionalized account of the formation of the US Army's First Ranger Battalion in World War II and their first commanding officer Major (later, Lieutenant-Colonel) Orlando Darby. The idea was to create a US unit along the lines of the British commandos. In this account, which focuses on several fictional characters, the story is initially on their training in Scotland and the lives and loves their encounter while there. Their first combat mission was in the invasion of North Africa in 1942, followed by the invasion of Sicily and then Italy itself, including the amphibious landing at Anzio. Written by
Leading man James Garner was originally only supposed to have a supporting role here with Charlton Heston being top-billed. When Heston quit, Garner stepped into his shoes See more »
The German tanks shown in scenes at the Battle of Cisterna are M-41 walker bulldog tanks, which were made first made in 1951. See more »
MSgt. Saul Rosen:
[Rangers are creeping through enemy territory, in a very thick ground fog]
This was the low, clinging kind of fog I used to see when I was hunting duck out on Long Island... Now I know how the duck felt.
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"It Can't Be Wrong"
Music by Max Steiner
Played at the restaurant when Bishop introduces Wendy to the boys See more »
I had not seen this film before this year, and I was surprised how good it was. Though obviously filmed in the USA its portrayal of British characters (though incidental to the plot), was refreshingly good. The action scenes were well filmed and it is nice to see James Garner not playing for laughs. Though a good light comedian, I think he is best in straight roles like in 36 Hours and the Great Escape. The cast is on the whole very good, and I have to say that I thoroughly recommend watching this film, if like me you are a war movie fan.
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