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  • Friday 21 November 1958
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Darby's Rangers (1958)

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Major William Darby is a staff officer who is placed in command of the volunteer US Army 1st Ranger Battalion based on and trained by the British Commandos. Darby and Master Sergeant Saul Rosen , who also narrates the film, select a variety of men for training in Scotland. Darby tells his volunteers that the British Commandos are the best soldiers in the world, but in time they will be. The Americans are quartered in Scottish homes and several of the Rangers pair off with local lassies: Rollo Burns with Peggy McTavish , the daughter of the fearsome but humorous Scottish Commando instructor, Sergeant McTavish , and vagabond Hank Bishop with the proper Wendy Hollister .

After a landing in French North Africa, two more Ranger battalions are formed, with Darby promoted to colonel. Joining the Rangers is 2nd Lieutenant Arnold Dittmann , a by-the-book West Pointer who is humanized by his encounter with Angelina De Lotta . There are several action scenes in a bombed out Italian village where the men face a sniper, and a running firefight with the Germans.

Darby confides to Rosen a recurring dream of being run over by an oncoming train, foreshadowing the climax. His 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions are ambushed and wiped out by the Germans at the Battle of Cisterna at Anzio. Darby leads his 4th Ranger Battalion in an unsuccessful rescue attempt. Of the 767 men who go in, only seven come back, the majority being captured.


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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Commandos (film 1958)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.