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
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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