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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

Joan Elan replaced Joanna Barnes. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

It Can't Be Wrong
(uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
Played at the restaurant when Bishop introduces Wendy to the boys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Wellman's finest hour
28 May 2012 | by frankfobSee 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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