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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 4,819 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 38 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
Edit

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:

MIRACLES IN THE AIR! 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:

Der blaue Max  »

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

Fox wasn't able to rent any of he surviving WWI planes still extant, so they built their own. The aircraft were later used in "Darling Lily" and "You Can't Win Them All." See more »

Goofs

Carl Schell looked a little old to play Manfred Von Richthofen. The real "Red Baron" was only 25 when he was killed on 21 April 1918. See more »

Quotes

[about von Klugerman's kills]
Bruno Stachel: You've got 18, haven't you?
Willi von Klugermann: Squadron Rule #1, Stachel: Gentlemen never parade their military achievements.
Bruno Stachel: Any rule against... saying how long it took you?
Willi von Klugermann: I would say that was covered by the same rule, wouldn't you?
Bruno Stachel: No. I wouldn't. How many rules are there?
Willi von Klugermann: I don't know: none of them have been written down.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Top Secret! (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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