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The Blue Max (1966)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 21 June 1966 (USA)
3:08 | Trailer

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A young pilot in the German air force of 1918, disliked as lower-class and unchivalrous, tries ambitiously to earn the medal offered for 20 kills.



(novel), (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karl Michael Vogler ...
Harry Towb ...
Peter Woodthorpe ...
Derek Newark ...
Elfi Heidemann (as Loni Von Friedl)
Friedrich von Ledebur ...
Feldmarschall von Lenndorf (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Carl Schell ...
Hugo Schuster ...
Hans. Elderly Servant
Alex Scott ...
The Orator


The tactics of a German fighter pilot offend his aristocratic comrades but win him his country's most honored medal, the Blue Max. The General finds him useful as a hero even though his wife also finds him useful as a love object. In the end the General arranges for him to test-fly an untried fighter. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


MIRACLES IN THE AIR! far from the mud and bayonets of no man's land... See more »


Action | Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der blaue Max  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

| (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the stunt pilots was Joan Hughes MBE who had been Britain's youngest female pilot at age 17. In WW2, she ferried aircraft with the Air Transport Auxiliary and was the first female flying instructor qualified to instruct on all military plane types at the time. She became one of Britian's first female test pilots. See more »


While flying the Triplanes, when ever there is a close up of Bruno and Willi, the cabane struts and top wing are clearly visible. However, when there is a close up from about 45 degrees to the pilot's right, the cabane struts and top wing are missing. The lower mounting lug for the rear cabane strut is visible. Obviously the strut and the wing got in the way of the shot of the actor and had to be removed. See more »


Otto Heidemann: It's a cruel world Stachel.
See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »


Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437
(a.k.a. "The Emperor Waltz") (uncredited)
Composed by Johann Strauss (1889)
[Heard under scenes of the aristocracy]
See more »

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User Reviews

Possibly Best Flying Film Ever
14 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I would rate this a 10, but didn't like the soundtrack enough.

Since the release of "Flyboys" it seems amazing that a movie made forty years ago has a more polished, advanced, and contemporary look than one made today. This will amaze people who compare films of the twentieth century one hundred years from now."The Blue Max" has better cinematography, special effects, acting, storyline, etc. In the end its a disappointing fact that today's films have taken giant steps backwards compared to those of the '60s.

The flying sequences and scenes of aerial combat in "The Blue Max" have never been surpassed or equaled. Even in "Flyboys" with millions of dollars of CGI effects no movie has ever captured the feel of flying and aerial fighting like this one. The planes all look authentic, too.

The big scope of World War One does not swallow up the intense personal stories here either. This is one of the only films that explores the psyche of successful fighting men. The arrogance they need to maintain their bravery and aggression can also be their downfall. Here we also can see the politics behind the combat, both on a personal and national level. This is a very thrilling history lesson.

The actors are so good, and the characters so complex I forgot they were supposed to be my (supposed) enemy. Peppard does a good job of acting, playing a guy who is meant to be both likable, admirable, irritating and repulsive at the same time. The only problem is he looks too American for the role. Imagine if Brando had done it, but he had a hard time choosing really good parts. My favorite is James Mason, who played German generals better than they could play themselves off-screen. If you like flying, history, or personal drama you can't miss this one.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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