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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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.
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