The James Garner Blogathon – Darby’s Rangers (1958)


This is my a submission for the The James Garner Blogathon being run by Gill of RealWeegieMidget

Tnx for letting me take part!

“[Rangers are creeping through enemy territory, in a very thick ground fog] This was the low, clinging kind of fog I used to see when I was hunting duck out on Long Island… Now I know how the duck felt.” – MSgt. Saul Rosen

Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Feb 2020)

Brief Synopsis – The Army chooses an ambitious Captain to create and team a regent of Rangers who will be an elite commando unit used to stop the Germans during World War II.

My Take on it – When Gill announced this blogathan I took this film because it was made right at the point where Garner’s star was heavily on the rise.

The premise sounded quite intriguing, so I decided to give it a shot.

The story and plot here are unfortunately not very innovative or unique and this film can be added to the many others dealing with the training of elite troops to fight in old War II.

Garner does an ok job in the lead, but his character feels underused and isn’t as prominent a figure in the story as one would expect.

The way that the soldiers endure their training also seems like a carbon copy of things done in other films.

The integration of genuine footage to the film helps add to the realism of the story.

Besides Garner, the supporting cast is also quite good with Jack Warden and Edd Byrnes helping to make things a bit more interesting to watch unfold.

This film’s lack of originality is its downfall because it delegate the movie to being another stock film about how to train your soldiers properly.

Bottom Line – Very generic war film that fails to bring anything new and innovative to the fold. Garner is fine in the lead but his role also doesn’t feel fresh or unique enough to stand out. The training of these elite soldiers is filled with some realistic footage that helps make this seem even more genuine. The supporting cast is also fine with both Warden and Byrns giving memorable performances. Unfortunately the lack of originality here is the sore oint because it can easily get mistaken for so many other similar themed films.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Leading man James Garner was originally only supposed to have a supporting role here with Charlton Heston being top-billed, but when he signed to a new seven-year contract with Warners, the studio dropped Heston and gave Garner his role. Heston filed a damage suit in the Superior Court against the studio as a result of the switch. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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4 thoughts on “The James Garner Blogathon – Darby’s Rangers (1958)

  1. Pingback: BLOGATHON… Join us for the last of those James Garner reviews with some fabulous bloggers – Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

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