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
At the end of the film Darby is seen departing Anzio in his Ranger insignia for return to the US. In actuality, Darby served two more months after the Rangers were disbanded as commander of the 179th Infantry Regiment, an Oklahoma National Guard unit. Pictures at the time show him wearing the standard insignia of the 45th Division before his return to Washington. See more »
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.
20 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this