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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.



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

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





Cast overview, first billed only:
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)

Company Credits

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 majority of Stachel's Squadrons aircraft comprises of the "Fokker D.VII", though Stachel himself is first assigned an "out-of-date" Pfalz D.IIIa aircraft and later a Fokker Dr.1 (triplane). See more »


George Peppard joins the German Flying Service from the ranks of the Infantry. He is shown wearing a visor cap and Uhlan double breasted tunic of the calvary. See more »


Otto Heidemann: [saddened by Willi's death] He was a better man than you.
Bruno Stachel: Well, he's dead!
Otto Heidemann: Is that your test?
Bruno Stachel: Yes! And that was his test too!
Otto Heidemann: What do you ,mean?
See more »


Referenced in The Monkees: Monkees Race Again (1968) See more »


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

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.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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