IMDb > The Blue Max (1966)
The Blue Max
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The Blue Max (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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The Blue Max -- 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.
The Blue Max -- Trailer for this wartime drama about fighter pilots


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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jack Hunter (novel)
Ben Barzman (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for The Blue Max on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 June 1966 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 nominations See more »
(14 articles)
DVD Review: "Tobruk" (1967) Starring Rock Hudson And George Peppard
 (From CinemaRetro. 6 October 2015, 3:08 AM, PDT)

‘Towering Inferno’ Director John Guillermin Dies at 89
 (From Variety - Film News. 30 September 2015, 7:28 PM, PDT)

John Guillermin 1925-2015
 (From EmpireOnline. 30 September 2015, 10:52 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
How a man with a dream, misuses it and falls from grace... See more (79 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George Peppard ... Lt. Bruno Stachel

James Mason ... General Count von Klugermann

Ursula Andress ... Countess Kaeti von Klugermann

Jeremy Kemp ... Willi von Klugermann
Karl Michael Vogler ... Heidemann
Anton Diffring ... Holbach
Harry Towb ... Kettering
Peter Woodthorpe ... Corporal Rupp
Derek Newark ... Ziegel

Derren Nesbitt ... Fabian

Loni von Friedl ... Elfi Heidemann (as Loni Von Friedl)
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Feldmarschall von Lenndorf (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Carl Schell ... Von Richthofen aka The Red Baron
Hugo Schuster ... Hans. Elderly Servant
Alex Scott ... The Orator
Roger Ostime ... The Crown Prince
Ray Browne ... Pilot
Timothy Parkes ... Pilot
Ian Kingsley ... Pilot
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Warren Crosby ... (uncredited)
Nikki Van der Zyl ... Countess Kaeti von Klugermann (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
John Guillermin 
Writing credits
Jack Hunter (novel)

Ben Barzman (adaptation) and
Basilio Franchina (adaptation)

David Pursall (screenplay) &
Jack Seddon (screenplay) and
Gerald Hanley (screenplay)

Produced by
Christian Ferry .... producer
Elmo Williams .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Douglas Slocombe 
Film Editing by
Max Benedict 
Casting by
Stuart Lyons 
Production Design by
Wilfred Shingleton  (as Wilfrid Shingleton)
Art Direction by
Fred Carter 
Makeup Department
Patricia McDermott .... hairdresser (as Pat McDermott)
John O'Gorman .... makeup artist: Ursula Andress
Charles E. Parker .... head makeup artist (as Charles Parker)
Tony Sforzini .... makeup artist: George Peppard (as Tony Sfortzini)
Jay Sebring .... hair designer: George Peppard (uncredited)
Production Management
René Dupont .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Causey .... assistant director
Derek Cracknell .... assistant director
Anthony Squire .... director: aerial unit
Art Department
Brian Doyle .... plasterer
Joseph Musso .... production illustrator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Richard Best Jr. .... assistant sound editor
John Cox .... sound
Chris Greenham .... sound editor
Claude Hitchcock .... sound
Bob Jones .... sound
Special Effects by
Maurice Ayers .... special effects
Ron Ballanger .... special effects
Karl Baumgartner .... special effects
Gerry Johnston .... special effects (uncredited)
Ken Byrne .... aerial stunts
Tim Clutterbuck .... aerial stunts
Pat Cranfield .... aerial stunts
Tim Healey .... aerial stunts
Peter Hillwood .... aerial stunts
Joan Hughes .... aerial stunts
Darby Kennedy .... aerial stunts
Darby Kennedy .... stunt coordinator
Roger Kennedy .... aerial stunts
Liam Mulligan .... aerial stunts
Derek Piggott .... aerial stunts
Taffy Rich .... aerial stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Skeets Kelly .... aerial photographer
Skeets Kelly .... camera operator
Skeets Kelly .... photographer: second unit
Donald C. Rogers .... photographer: second unit
Chic Waterson .... camera operator
Mike Fox .... focus puller: second unit (uncredited)
Ginger Gemmel .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elsa Fennell .... wardrobe supervisor
John Furniss .... wardrobe creator: Miss Andress
Editorial Department
Norman Cohen .... assembly editor
Elizabeth Thoyts .... assistant editor
Music Department
Jerry Goldsmith .... conductor
Transportation Department
Arthur Dunne .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Johnny Maher .... air engineer
William O'Kelly .... production liaison: Ireland
Willy Roe .... runner
Allen Wheeler .... air supervisor
Helen Whitson .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
156 min | USA:153 min (FMC Library Print)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
6-Track Stereo | 4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System) | Mono (optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (re-rating) (2003) | Iceland:12 | Ireland:12 (old rating) | Netherlands:14 | Singapore:NC-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | USA:Unrated | West Germany:16 (original rating)

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 »
Continuity: Stachel's aircraft changes from a Pfalz to a Tiger Moth after he makes his first kill.See more »
Willi von Klugermann:[Willi finds out about Stachel and Kaeti in Berlin] We've tolerated you here because we've had to! One day, Stachel - or should I call you Bruno? One day, I'm going to shake you up considerably. I wonder if you're as good as you think you are... in or out of bed.See more »
Movie Connections:
DeutschlandliedSee more »


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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
How a man with a dream, misuses it and falls from grace..., 21 July 2004
Author: jlpicard1701E from New York, NY

I will be brief. Buy it, it's a must! George Peppard plays his role, Stachel, to the hilt in this WWI war drama. He is supported by very talented and well-known actors such as James Mason, Ursula Andress, Anton Diffring and many others.

The image is sharp and the colors are vivid. The sound is a bit conventional, but since the story is all-encompassing and well developed you will probably forget all technicalities and just sit through an excellent movie as I did.

The story deals with a simple German infantry soldier, stuck in the horror of the trench warfare, who dreams to fly and become an ace.

Well, he doesn't have to wait long and soon he's a flyer. he also becomes an ace.

Unfortunately, his modest social origins, keep him from the Sun, the Blue Max in fact. The Blue Max is the highest ranking medal given to pilots in WWI.

Knowing that, Stachel (Peppard) decides to fight all the odds and becomes totally ruthless and opportunistic.

Unluckily for him, two can play at the same game. The German Reich needs a hero, an example to play its cards right, in order to have more draftees to send to the front.

Stachel becomes such a hero, but to a price...

It is a crude and cruel depiction of the rise and fall of someone who came from nothing and through war, thought he could make it in society, only to find out that certain games are better left alone.

A very good morals and ethics lesson, from which many people could still learn something.

I can only suggest it. The rest is up to you.

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