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The Blue Max (1966)

Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  21 June 1966 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,743 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 37 critic

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.

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(novel), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Blue Max (1966)

The Blue Max (1966) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Karl Michael Vogler ...
Anton Diffring ...
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
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Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There was no quiet on the Western Front for the heroes and cowards who flew to their rendezvous with Hell! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War | Action

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El crepúsculo de las aguilas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karl Michael Vogler - Hauptmann (Captain) Heidemann - and James Mason - General Klugermann - both played World War II Germany's Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: Vogler in Patton (1970), and Mason in The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951) and again in The Desert Rats (1953). See more »

Goofs

No fighter aircraft of any nation ever fired machine guns by having the pilot reach up and pull a large lever. The guns were triggered by levers mounted on the control stick which pulled wire cables up to the guns. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Postcards: Postcards from New Zealand (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
Played at Stachel's medal presentation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Definition of Class
18 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

At the beginning of The Young Lions Marlon Brando tells Barbara Rush how difficult it is to rise in class in Europe as opposed to America. It's one of the reasons he's thinking that Adolph Hitler and the Nazis will be a good thing for Germany.

George Peppard plays a more ruthless version of the Brando character in the previous generation in The Blue Max. He's a survivor of the trenches who gets an opportunity to learn to fly and transfer in the Air Corps. What comes with it is a commission and while Peppard is now an officer he's no gentleman.

There's a whole different ethic operating in the Air Corps. The pilots see themselves as an updated version of the Teutonic Knights of old. A view by the way shared by both sides. The fliers on both sides see themselves as old fashioned chivalrous sorts who glory in single combat. They are also upper middle class and aristocratic types and Peppard doesn't quite fit in.

You can put him in a biplane and give him rank, but his outlook doesn't change. What Peppard does see is that if he makes 20 confirmed kills he gets awarded the Blue Max decoration and his future and respectability is secure.

James Mason who commands the Flying Corps takes an interest in Peppard's rise. His political instinct tells him revolution is in the body politic. Make heroes out of someone like Peppard who would be part of the proletarian masses will help give those masses a vested interest in the Wilhelmine regime and would forestall revolution. Of course wife Ursula Andress has some different ideas about Peppard.

I like The Blue Max because it is a film about more than aviation. It is about what was happening in Germany during those last days of World War I when Germany was desperately trying to break the stalemate on the western front and pull out a victory before American troops were in sufficient numbers. They almost pulled it out in fact. It's about attitudes, old, new and changing. All three of the leads suit their roles perfectly.

As a veteran of World War I if he didn't gain the respectability out of the war he craved, Peppard would have been ripe for the Nazi propaganda that filled Germany and was finally heeded during the Depression. The Nazis filled their ranks with Peppards up and down Germany.

Which is why The Blue Max should be seen and learned from because it is not just about World War I aviators as good as the aerial footage is here.


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