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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:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Guy Trosper, James J. Altieri (suggested by the book) (as Major James Altieri)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Col. William Orlando Darby
Etchika Choureau ... Angelina De Lotta / Dittmann
Jack Warden ... MSgt. Saul Rosen / Narrator
Edd Byrnes ... Lt. Arnold Dittman (as Edward Byrnes)
Venetia Stevenson ... Peggy McTavish
Torin Thatcher ... Sgt. McTavish
Peter Brown ... Pvt. / Cpl. Rollo Burns
Joan Elan ... Wendy Hollister
Corey Allen ... Pvt. Pittsburgh Tony Sutherland
Stuart Whitman ... Sgt. / SSgt. / Sfc. Hank Bishop
Murray Hamilton ... Pvt. / Sgt. Sims Delancey
William Wellman Jr. ... Pvt. Eli Clatworthy (as Bill Wellman Jr.)
Andrea King ... Mrs. Sheilah Andrews
Adam Williams ... Cpl. Heavy Hall
Frieda Inescort ... Lady Hollister
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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 (73) »

Taglines:

Nothing Like It Since "Battle Cry"! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1958 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

William A.Wellman's Darby's Rangers See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in black and white in order to blend-in with the wartime stock footage and to render the sets more believable. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

MSgt. Saul Rosen: [Screen shows Ranger recruits in rigorous training, some of whom have dropped from exhaustion while running] As long as I live, I'll never forget Manson's favorite expression...
Lt. Dave Manson, British Training Officer: Get off your bloody knees, Yanks!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Los que no fuimos a la guerra (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 5, 1st Movement
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played briefly when the poster is shown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Tip Of The Spear
20 October 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Darby's Rangers is the story both of a proud group of the best and brightest the USA sent to war and the commander who sold the idea to the brass and the outfit was unofficially named for him. It was director William Wellman's next to last feature film and the first starring picture of James Garner.

As William Orlando Darby, James Garner is far from the cynical and comical Bret Maverick whom he was portraying on television at the time in a mega-hit series. Garner sells the idea of having an Americanized version of the British commando spearheading the American landings wherever they may be.

Trained by the British Commandos, Darby's Rangers or as it is officially known the First Ranger Batallion comes into being. We follow the Rangers from their first blooding at Dieppe through the North African and Italian campaigns until they were nearly annihilated at Cisterna, protecting the Allied landing at Anzio.

The film is narrated by Jack Warden who plays Garner's chief non-commissioned officer in the unit. We meet all the Rangers, some of them not the noblest of characters such as womanizing Corey Allen who takes up with married British lady Andrea King. Young shavetail lieutenant Edd Byrnes gets a baptism of fire on many fronts both in battle with Garner and in love with Etchika Choureau.

After the action of this film is concluded Darby was killed on April 30, 1945 just days from VE Day in action. Coincidentally on the same day that Adolph Hitler committed suicide. Maybe it was better for the film to end as it did however for entertainment value.

It's a fine World War II film about a true story. And this review is dedicated to those survivors if there be any of our First American Ranger Batallion and their gallant fallen comrades.


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