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The Blue Max (1966)

 -  Adventure | Drama | War  -  21 June 1966 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,314 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 34 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:
...
...
General Count von Klugermann
...
...
Willi von Klugermann
Karl Michael Vogler ...
Heidemann
Anton Diffring ...
Holbach
Harry Towb ...
Kettering
Peter Woodthorpe ...
Corporal Rupp
Derek Newark ...
Ziegel
...
Fabian
...
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:

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:

The Blue Max  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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

Stunt pilot, Derek Piggott, flew both Stachel's and Von Klugermann's planes for the bridge storming scene. With multiple camera angles (including one from a trailing helicopter) Piggott actually flew under the bridge over twenty times. To prove that the sequence was real, sheep were placed in the field next to the bridge so that they would scatter as the plane approached. However, as can be seen in the continuity, by the 20th take the sheep had become blasé and didn't scatter any more. See more »

Goofs

The Iron Cross national insignia on the German aircraft were incorrect for that period of World War One. See more »

Quotes

Willi von Klugermann: [after picking up Stachel from the aid station] You know, I was quite pleased at first when you posted missing.
Bruno Stachel: Thank you
[sarcastically]
Willi von Klugermann: It was just that, the war seemed, a bit more, peaceful. And then, this is the odd thing, I had a sense of loss.
Bruno Stachel: I'm touched
Willi von Klugermann: No, no, seriously, I've had things in my life too easy. I'm inclined to be lazy. I need a challenge. Some one around me who is hard to beat. And you fulfill that role.
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 »

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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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