This drama centers on a Red Army officer (Paul Muni), a Russian woman (Lisa Elenko), and seven German soldiers who have been trapped in the ruined cellar of a bombed out factory in a ... See full summary »
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
According to the videocassette sleeves notes, this was James Garner's first starring role. 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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He was not impressed! And the guy I talked to was a U.S. Ranger who took part in assault landings in North Africa, Sicily, the main Italian landing, and finally at Anzio. (He was captured by the Germans at Anzio and ultimately escaped, making his way eastward to the Russian lines. But that is another story.) My friend was fairly critical of the action portrayed in the movie, despite the fact that another Ranger was the technical adviser.
As for the movie itself, it is only slightly above mediocre. Although I am a big fan of older black and white movies, I must say that the lack of color here is a negative. Also, based on memory, too many scenes were shot on a sound stage. A film noir is fine shot that way, but an A level war movie should have more impressive production values. After all, WWII was not fought in a blimp hanger.
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