88 user 36 critic

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.



(novel), (adaptation) | 4 more credits »

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Amazon Video

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
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
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


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




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)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed 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?


The movie takes place mainly in 1918 as stated at the beginning but with no specific date beyond 1918. The historical major offensive featured in the movie, which Stachel and the squadron supported, started on the 21st of March 1918 and was called "Kaiserschlacht" by the Germans and "Spring Offensive" in the West. When Stachel was wounded he met the famous Baron Von Richthofen, the latter being killed in action on the 21st of April meaning the wounding and meeting took place between those two dates. See more »


While serving as an infantryman at the beginning of the movie, Stachel's rank insignia clearly indicates that he was a sergeant. But years later, when he reports to his new flying unit after pilot training, he tells his commanding officer that he was a corporal. See more »


Bruno Stachel: You know, he never did accept me as his equal - in or out of bed.
Countess Kaeti von Klugermann: You're deliciously crude, darling.
See more »


Referenced in Laugh-In: Episode #2.19 (1969) See more »


Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437
(a.k.a. "The Emperor Waltz") (uncredited)
Composed by Johann Strauss (1889)
[Heard under scenes of the aristocracy]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Flawed, but....nice
24 June 2003 | by (helsinki, finland) – See all my reviews

I still don't know what to think of this film. As an air war movie it is a must see. Various plane replicas were made for this film, and the aerial sequences are some of the best i've ever seen. There is quite a lot of flying, especially in the first half of the movie. Also the scenes of trench warfare are huge in scale and very convincing. As a character drama Blue Max is a far more complex issue. It turns the typical scenario of "a lone hero against the cruel world" boldly upside down. Here Peppard's character is a bit of a bastard, he is only hungry for status and never even begins to understand the people around him or their values. A nice parody of a modern alpha male. As a contrast the other pilots and officers around him are quite likeable. I actually found myself rooting for the squadron leader and hoping that the hero gets killed in the end instead of him! So, the war scenes are excellent and the human interest stuff is morally complex and interesting. However, i wasn't completely satisfied with the film. I can't help thinking that maybe i would have enjoyed it more had the hero been a bit more likeable. As the characters start spending more time behind the lines than in the air, the film starts to drag. The love scenes with Ursula Andress, as much i tried to like them, are frankly boring. Also, from an adventure of such scale, you'd expect some sort of a climax in the end, instead we see just about half an hour of political scheming in Berlin.

Overall, Blue Max has moments of greatness and moments of boredom. A must see for war film fans, in any case.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page