Watch Darby's Rangers
- 2 hr 1 min
'Darby's Rangers' is a war film from 1958 directed by William A. Wellman and starring James Garner, Etchika Choureau, and Jack Warden. It tells the story of the famous 1st Ranger Battalion during World War II, led by Lt. Colonel William Orlando Darby, who played a part in some of the most significant battles of the Allied forces. The movie opens with a montage of historical footage from World War II, depicting war-torn Europe and the heroic acts of the U.S. Army rangers. The film then transitions to the training of the 1st Ranger Battalion, where we meet the film's protagonist, Lt. Colonel Darby, played by James Garner.
Darby is a charismatic leader, respected and admired by his men. He has a deep sense of duty and is willing to put his life on the line to protect his country. However, he's also haunted by the deaths of his fellow soldiers, and struggles with guilt and survivor's remorse.
The movie follows the battalion through its training and deployment, detailing the various missions the rangers were tasked with during the war. We see them parachute into Italy to capture a strategic mountain summit and later to rescue a group of trapped soldiers. We also see them storm the beaches at Anzio and battle it out with the Germans in the streets of Cassino.
Along the way, the movie touches on some of the hardships and sacrifices that the soldiers faced during the war, including the loss of friends and loved ones. It also portrays the camaraderie that developed between the soldiers, and how they relied on each other to survive in the harsh and unpredictable environment of war.
The film doesn't shy away from depicting the violence of war, showing us both the carnage on the battlefield and the toll it takes on the soldiers' mental health. Garner's Darby, in particular, struggles with PTSD, which manifests as vivid flashbacks, nightmares, and survivor guilt.
Despite its focus on the military action, 'Darby's Rangers' also has a romantic subplot. Etchika Choureau plays a French woman who falls in love with one of the rangers, and their relationship provides a brief respite from the horrors of war.
The acting is uniformly excellent, with Garner giving a standout performance as Darby. He's a convincing leader, showing both courage and vulnerability in equal measure. The supporting cast is also strong, with Jack Warden adding a touch of comic relief as Sgt. Kolinsky.
The movie has a fast-paced, action-packed feel, with plenty of suspense and excitement as the rangers go through their missions. The music, composed by Max Steiner, is stirring and patriotic, adding to the movie's epic feel.
While the movie is a tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the U.S. Army rangers, it doesn't romanticize war. It acknowledges the ugliness and brutality of war and how it can scar those who experience it. It's a poignant reminder of the high cost of fighting for freedom and a fitting tribute to those who served.
In conclusion, 'Darby's Rangers' is an excellent war movie that tells an engaging and thrilling story while delivering a powerful message about the sacrifices made during the war. It's highly recommended for anyone who enjoys military dramas and historical films.
Darby's Rangers is a 1958 war movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.