89 user 36 critic

The Blue Max (1966)

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

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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 5 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Aces High (1976)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In WW1 the high casualty rate among the rookie pilots of the Royal Flying Corps puts an enormous strain on the survivors.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Plummer, Simon Ward
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Jonas Cord is a disagreeable rich young tycoon on the corporate make, with some subplots about booze, broads and Hollywood in the 1930's.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: George Peppard, Alan Ladd, Carroll Baker
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Allied agents attempt to infiltrate the Nazis' rocket research site.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Sophia Loren, George Peppard, Trevor Howard
Tobruk (1967)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Canadian POW major is rescued by a special British military unit made up of Germans to help lead an attack on a major Nazi fuel depot in Tobruk, Libya.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Nigel Green
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Burton, James Mason, Robert Newton
Banacek (1972–1974)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The adventures of proud Polish-American freelance insurance investigator Thomas Banacek.

Stars: George Peppard, Ralph Manza, Murray Matheson
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A government investigator tries to find out the truth behind the break-in at a top secret research facility.

Director: Lamont Johnson
Stars: George Peppard, Michael Sarrazin, Christine Belford
The Victors (1963)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Intelligent, sprawling saga of a squad of American soldiers, following them through Europe during World War II.

Director: Carl Foreman
Stars: Vince Edwards, Albert Finney, George Hamilton
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As the Allied armies close in, the Germans decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen?

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the UK.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà
War | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Korean War peace talks, U.S. troops fight to retake a hill from the Communist Chinese forces.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn


Cast overview, first billed only:
Corporal Rupp
Derek Newark ...
Elfi Heidemann (as Loni Von Friedl)
Feldmarschall von Lenndorf (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Carl Schell ...
Hugo Schuster ...
Hans. Elderly Servant
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


The raiding squadrons of the Red Baron... See more »


Action | Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der blaue Max  »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,151,612, 31 December 1966
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more 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?


Malcolm Arnold was asked to write the score. See more »


German single-seat fighter aircraft in WW1 did not carry bombs. See more »


Bruno Stachel: As long as you're here, perhaps I can get you that drink.
Countess Kaeti von Klugermann: Yes, do.
Bruno Stachel: I'm afraid I'm out of champagne.
Countess Kaeti von Klugermann: Serve whatever you have.
Bruno Stachel: Schnapps.
Countess Kaeti von Klugermann: [takes a drink] Mmm, horrible. But, quite stimulating.
[puts out her glass for more]
See more »


Referenced in Return to the Edge of the World (1978) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Small medal, big heart and ego.
13 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

Bruno Stachel is a lower ranked pilot in Germany's World War 1 air force, he dreams of winning The Blue Max, a prestigious medal given to pilots after 20 confirmed kills. As he rises thru the ranks, and his determination grows, he fails to earn respect from is comrades and more importantly, his superiors.

The Blue Max is a rare old thing, a flying ace picture that not only is in colour, it's also rather good. Perhaps a touch too long {as Stachel's romantic character arc gets over fleshed}, but a ripper of a movie harking back to genre greats back in the 30s and 40s. The vintage planes recreated are majestic, and joyously the aerial sequences in the picture do them much credit, stunts and dogfights flow with almost operatic ease. The story is a good one, based on the best selling novel from Jack Hunter, it's tale of a man who's determination is admirable but ultimately it's his undoing, will winning The Blue Max really make him feel he belongs with the aristocratic crowd?, are the sacrifices he makes worth it?. The ending here is excellent, its point is made, and closes the film with a sort of uneasy incredulity, it takes a good few minutes for the final sequence to really hit home, but when it does you know you have just been sold a highly inventive story.

Technically the film scores high, the direction from John Guillermin is safe, tho if at times guilty of filler scenes, the score from Jerry Goldsmith is perfectly blood pumping, whilst Douglas Slocombe's cinematography pleases the eye. The acting is fine, George Peppard puts guts and honesty into the role of Stachel, Ursula Andress smolders and oozes sexuality as the cheating Countess Klugerman {one bedroom scene had this viewer particularly hot under the collar}, whilst James Mason {sadly underused} owns the film as chief string puller General Klugerman.

Open a bottle of wine on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy, 7.5/10.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 89 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page