The cold rain is relentless. Huddled in the mountains, the Gis are soaked, weary, miserable. One might say it was hell on Earth but these men know better. They already walked through hell when they spearheaded the invasions of North Africa and Sicily. Waiting next is something worse: the brutal nightmare of Anzio.
In his first starring movie role, James Garner plays Col. William Darby and William A. Wellman (Battleground, The Story of G.I. Joe) directs Darby's Rangers, the heroic saga of the on- and off-battlefield lives of America's fierce World War II fighting forces. Jack Warden, Edward Byrnes, Stuart Whitman and others fall in as elite commandos trained in assault tactics. Exposed to greater front-line danger, their losses were high - but so was their courage.
Suggested by the book DARBY'S RANGERS by historian Major James Altieri, this film successfully combines the talents of old pro action director William Wellman with those of James Garner, in his first starring role. Garner portrays Major William Darby, the leader of an elite commando brigade that faces the Axis powers in North Africa and Italy. He unexpectedly finds himself spending equal amounts of time preparing his troops and sorting out their onshore amours. The film successfully shows his noble attempt to balance both desires and how the two types of missions intermingle in unexpected ways. Garner's performance works because it is more sincere than wry, and Wellman handles the action-packed aerial sequences with marked finesse. DARBY'S RANGERS was the final film of Wellman's illustrious directorial career.
Theatrical Release |
World War II
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