Darby's Rangers Reviews

  • Jun 27, 2019

    As a Frank Gifford fan in the early 60's, I've always wanted to see the movie he was an extra in. I had to wait 58 years to do so. It's one of the worst war movies ever made, at least by today's standards. The script is bad, the acting worse, and even the narration contradicts itself. The "true" story of Darby and his Rangers, it takes a lot of liberties with the truth, par for the course. But it's less a story about WWII and more of a story about invented personal lives of a few of the soldiers. It works on neither level and tries your patience, especially if you're looking for WWII action. The sets are obviously Hollywood and even the German tanks look fake. In his first major film role, James Gardner is very stiff. It aslo stars Jack Warden, Edd Byrnes, Stuart Whitman and other recognizables. I gave it as many as a star and a half because I didn't turn it off, but I would never watch it again. But I did get to see Frank Gifford's scene where he rolled across the road in front of a German tank.

    As a Frank Gifford fan in the early 60's, I've always wanted to see the movie he was an extra in. I had to wait 58 years to do so. It's one of the worst war movies ever made, at least by today's standards. The script is bad, the acting worse, and even the narration contradicts itself. The "true" story of Darby and his Rangers, it takes a lot of liberties with the truth, par for the course. But it's less a story about WWII and more of a story about invented personal lives of a few of the soldiers. It works on neither level and tries your patience, especially if you're looking for WWII action. The sets are obviously Hollywood and even the German tanks look fake. In his first major film role, James Gardner is very stiff. It aslo stars Jack Warden, Edd Byrnes, Stuart Whitman and other recognizables. I gave it as many as a star and a half because I didn't turn it off, but I would never watch it again. But I did get to see Frank Gifford's scene where he rolled across the road in front of a German tank.

  • Jun 03, 2018

    Recycling the well worn "Sands of Iwo Jima" formula of a disparate group of new recruits getting trained at boot camp, coming together as a team, and then taking to the battlefield, "Darby's Rangers" offers nothing new, but is entertaining for fans of these type of WWII films. It's a durable formula that's can work well (i.e. Clint Eastwood's "Heartbreak Ridge") or can be so bad that it becomes a parody of itself (i.e. John Wayne's "The Green Berets"). With a veteran film director at the helm, William Wellman, and a strong cast (James Garner, Jack Warden, Peter Brown, Stuart Whitman, Murray Hamilton, and David Janssen) you have the makings for solid entertainment, which is exactly what "Darby's Ranger" delivers with Garner leading his squad into North Africa and Italy for exciting WWII action. The downside to the film is that the portions of the story focused on Garner's command level politics and the infantrymen's liberty romances are less than interesting.

    Recycling the well worn "Sands of Iwo Jima" formula of a disparate group of new recruits getting trained at boot camp, coming together as a team, and then taking to the battlefield, "Darby's Rangers" offers nothing new, but is entertaining for fans of these type of WWII films. It's a durable formula that's can work well (i.e. Clint Eastwood's "Heartbreak Ridge") or can be so bad that it becomes a parody of itself (i.e. John Wayne's "The Green Berets"). With a veteran film director at the helm, William Wellman, and a strong cast (James Garner, Jack Warden, Peter Brown, Stuart Whitman, Murray Hamilton, and David Janssen) you have the makings for solid entertainment, which is exactly what "Darby's Ranger" delivers with Garner leading his squad into North Africa and Italy for exciting WWII action. The downside to the film is that the portions of the story focused on Garner's command level politics and the infantrymen's liberty romances are less than interesting.

  • Sep 29, 2017

    Interesting film, but sooner would I watch a fifty shades meets call of duty mash up then watch this again.

    Interesting film, but sooner would I watch a fifty shades meets call of duty mash up then watch this again.

  • Jul 03, 2016

    This is a Great War movie, if you like war movies this movie needs to be added to your collection. James Gardner did an outstanding job portraying Colonel Darby. It shows what the soldiers had to go through to become a ranger, and all the different types of training and skills to be a Ranger.

    This is a Great War movie, if you like war movies this movie needs to be added to your collection. James Gardner did an outstanding job portraying Colonel Darby. It shows what the soldiers had to go through to become a ranger, and all the different types of training and skills to be a Ranger.

  • Jun 06, 2016

    An army film that couldn't decide if it was a comedy or a drama.

    An army film that couldn't decide if it was a comedy or a drama.

  • Oct 11, 2014

    What should be a war movie broken up by brief romantic interludes; is a movie whose romantic scenes are broken up by combat scenes. When it is a war movie it isn't bad. But the romance is in full 1950's style. Methodical and boring. There are much better WW2 movies that were made during this time period.

    What should be a war movie broken up by brief romantic interludes; is a movie whose romantic scenes are broken up by combat scenes. When it is a war movie it isn't bad. But the romance is in full 1950's style. Methodical and boring. There are much better WW2 movies that were made during this time period.

  • May 28, 2012

    WWII TALE from the year i was born

    WWII TALE from the year i was born

  • Apr 05, 2012

    William Wellman plays his audience like a piano. 'Darby's Rangers' begins as a humorous mocking on militant types, melodramas and movie cliches, then halfway through the tone changes to a more serious disposition. It does it well, and never does it feel you're being blatantly manipulated. The film is about nostalgic longing, of happier times, and now the war is here, and they're in it - wandering, unsure souls seeking to get back home. Wellman, who is mostly remembered for his Oscar-winning silent classic, 'Wings', and landmark gangster classic 'The Public Enemy', directs this war-time drama with great tenacity, with stark and searing imagery that calls to mind of Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory'.

    William Wellman plays his audience like a piano. 'Darby's Rangers' begins as a humorous mocking on militant types, melodramas and movie cliches, then halfway through the tone changes to a more serious disposition. It does it well, and never does it feel you're being blatantly manipulated. The film is about nostalgic longing, of happier times, and now the war is here, and they're in it - wandering, unsure souls seeking to get back home. Wellman, who is mostly remembered for his Oscar-winning silent classic, 'Wings', and landmark gangster classic 'The Public Enemy', directs this war-time drama with great tenacity, with stark and searing imagery that calls to mind of Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory'.

  • Mar 27, 2012

    William Wellman plays his audience like a piano. 'Darby's Rangers' begins as a humorous mocking on militant types, melodramas and movie cliches, then halfway through the tone changes to a more serious disposition. It does it well, and never does it feel you're being blatantly manipulated. The film is about nostalgic longing, of happier times, and now the war is here, and they're in it - wandering, unsure souls seeking to get back home. Wellman, who is mostly remembered for his Oscar-winning silent classic, 'Wings', and landmark gangster classic 'The Public Enemy', directs this war-time drama with great tenacity, with stark and searing imagery that calls to mind of Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory'.

    William Wellman plays his audience like a piano. 'Darby's Rangers' begins as a humorous mocking on militant types, melodramas and movie cliches, then halfway through the tone changes to a more serious disposition. It does it well, and never does it feel you're being blatantly manipulated. The film is about nostalgic longing, of happier times, and now the war is here, and they're in it - wandering, unsure souls seeking to get back home. Wellman, who is mostly remembered for his Oscar-winning silent classic, 'Wings', and landmark gangster classic 'The Public Enemy', directs this war-time drama with great tenacity, with stark and searing imagery that calls to mind of Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory'.

  • Oct 02, 2010

    A fairly uninvolving WW2 drama about the formation of the first Rangers platoon, the American equivalent of the UKs commandos. Garner is fine, if under used in his first lead role, and the rest of the cast is reliable if uninspiring. Whilst the through line of the groups formation and subsequent forays into combat is fine, other elements aren't and they unbalance what should have been a riveting film. Be it the slapstick that appears early in the film or the implied rape of a Scots woman that one of the GIs is staying with whilst being trained in Scotland.

    A fairly uninvolving WW2 drama about the formation of the first Rangers platoon, the American equivalent of the UKs commandos. Garner is fine, if under used in his first lead role, and the rest of the cast is reliable if uninspiring. Whilst the through line of the groups formation and subsequent forays into combat is fine, other elements aren't and they unbalance what should have been a riveting film. Be it the slapstick that appears early in the film or the implied rape of a Scots woman that one of the GIs is staying with whilst being trained in Scotland.