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Darby's Rangers (1958)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 8 April 1958 (Japan)
The lives, loves, and battles of fictional characters in the Army's First Ranger Battalion during WWII.

Director:

Writers:

, (suggested by the book) (as Major James Altieri)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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MSgt. Saul Rosen / Narrator
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Lt. Arnold Dittman (as Edward Byrnes)
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Pvt. / Cpl. Rollo Burns
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Sgt. / SSgt. / Sfc. Hank Bishop
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Pvt. / Sgt. Sims Delancey
William Wellman Jr. ...
Pvt. Eli Clatworthy (as Bill Wellman Jr.)
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | africa | major | italy | training | See All (72) »

Taglines:

They trained 'em to be killers and then turned them loose in hell! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 April 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

William A.Wellman's Darby's Rangers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the videocassette sleeves notes, this was James Garner's first starring role. See more »

Goofs

When we meet MSgt Rosen for the first time, he looks to the heavens and says, "Mazeltov!" indicating he is Jewish. He then makes the sign of the cross, which is a Catholic custom. See more »

Quotes

Col. William Orlando Darby: [Having a heart-to-heart talk with a somewhat distraught Ranger, who has just killed his first enemy soldier in combat] I've killed men, too. It won't be the last for either of us.
Pvt. Rollo Burns: Uh, sir, well, I was brought up to believe that a man's life was sacred, and that only God had the right to take it.
Col. William Orlando Darby: I believe that... Unless he's trying to kill you first.
Pvt. Rollo Burns: Well, I'll get over it, I guess.
Col. William Orlando Darby: Of course you will... Burns, look. We didn't make this world, so we can't account for the kind of men that are in...
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Soundtracks

Too Marvelous for Words
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Played at the restaurant when the girls arrive
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User Reviews

 
Not Wellman's finest hour
28 May 2012 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Routine, by-the-numbers war film made on an off-day by the great William A. Wellman. It's no better, and somewhat worse, than other WW II films of that era, with some sappy and contrived love stories thrown in. Although Wellman hadn't made "B" pictures for years, that's just what this one comes across as--far too much of it is shot on sound stages (apparently to save money on location shooting) which makes it look cheap, as does the surfeit of poorly integrated newsreel stock footage, and what little action there is isn't particularly well done. The script is, to be honest, awful, and the acting--other than Garner, whose first major role this was and who's quite good and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, who plays an arrogant young West Point officer on his first combat assignment--is for the most part pedestrian, with the tired stereotypes you see in pretty much every war picture: the slow-witted hillbilly, the fast-talking city slicker, the weary veteran sergeant, etc.

Overall, it's slow and boring, with some unnecessary comedy relief thrown in and too much attention paid to the GIs' love interests. Not one of Wellman's better films, by a long shot.


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