7.1/10
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The Blue Max (1966)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 21 June 1966 (USA)
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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Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
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From $3.99 (HD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

MIRACLES IN THE AIR! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der blaue Max  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

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
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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

When the pilots are riding the truck to their lodgings when Stachel has arrived to the squadron, TV antennas can be seen of the roofs of the houses in the town. See more »

Quotes

General Count von Klugermann: Take a look outside. See that? Revolution is just beneath the surface! If that happens, everything we stand for will be DESTROYED - unless the German officer corps stands like a rock, intact! And what is more important, untarnished. I made this Stachel into a national hero for good military reasons. If I court-martial him now, it will reflect on the integrity of the whole officer corps.
Otto Heidemann: Herr General, I see now, I have notions of honor which are outdated.
General Count von Klugermann: Ahh, they're not outdated!
[pause]
General Count von Klugermann: Stored...
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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
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User Reviews

 
Forget about Top Gun as the ultimate 'fighter pilot' movie!
13 May 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I'm a fan of World War One-movies and I've got several of them in my private DVD collection. "The Blue Max" isn't in it yet, but if I ever find it on a DVD, I won't hesitate for one moment to buy it. I want to have it, not only because it deals with WWI in general and because it is a good movie, but also because it gives an idea of how the war in the air was fought and how these pilots acted and saw themselves...

This movie tells the story of Bruno Stachel, an ordinary infantry soldier who has been turned into a fighter pilot. His colleagues aren't happy with him, not only because he isn't an aristocrat like they are, but also because he's extremely ambitious. He will do anything to win him his country's most honored medal, the Blue Max. But to win it, he'll have to shoot down 20 enemy aircrafts, which will all have to be confirmed by his comrades, without getting killed himself. And while being hated by his fellow pilots, he's seen as the people's hero and perfect propaganda material by the general and as the ideal lust object by the general's wife...

"The Blue Max" shows very well how the pilots during WWI were almost always noblemen (I guess the most famous one of them all was Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, better known as the Red Barron), who considered the concept of an honorable death at the hands of a "worthy" opponent still as one of the most important things during their fights. Even at the end of the war in 1918, while on the ground troops had been anonymously slaughtered by the thousands with machine guns and gas, they still considered chivalry as one of the highest goods.

Next to the historically correct situation of the story, I also admire the rest of the movie. I know, if you aren't interested in WWI, than this might not be the most spectacular movie you've ever seen, but even than the movie has plenty of good and interesting things to offer. The story on itself is nice, the acting is very good and the airplanes are magnificent to watch, on the ground as well as in the air. This is one of those movies that has stood the hands of time, but that is known by only a small audience, which is really a shame. Personally I'm a big fan of this movie and that's why I reward it with an 8/10. My advice: don't call "Top Gun" the ultimate fighter pilot movie before you've seen this one.


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