The Inglorious Bastards (1978) Poster

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Fun Italian War Adventure
SgtSlaughter4 December 2002
Here's one the lightest, most fun Italian war movies I've come across. It features a top notch cast and some great action scenes.

Bo Svenson stars as an American officer who's thrown into a prison convoy with a murderer, Tony (Peter Hooten), Fred (Fred Williamson), a thief, Nick (Michael Pergolani), and a coward, Berle (Jackie Basehart). The convoy comes under attack by the Germans and the men escape across the French countryside. They enventually become wrapped up in an important Allied mission headed by Colonel Buckner (Ian Bannen).

The movie features a top notch cast. Peter Hooten is especially memorable as the bigot, Tony and Fred Williamson turns in a great performance. Bo Svenson, himself a renegade, still tries to do the decent job as an officer and keep these boys in line. Michael Pergolani has little to do in his role as the hippie/thief; he does have one great motorcycle stunt scene, though, a la Steve McQueen in THE GREAT ESCAPE. Watch for Michel Constantin (THE DIRTY HEROES) as a partisan leader; Donald O'Brien as a German officer and Enzo Castellari himself as a German officer.

The movie has some stunning action scenes; there are plenty of shootouts and explosions. The big gun battle amidst ruined German and American trucks and halftracks is especially impressive. The Partisan raid on the train near the end is well filmed, but features many repeated shots of the same action happening over and over again. The miniature work is not the greatest, but is much better than the later BATTLE OF THE EAGLES.

The plot is basically a combination of THE DIRTY DOZEN and BATTLE OF THE COMMANDOS, but it's so fast-paced that you won't really care. Castellari lets only a few minutes go by before something important happens. He really develops his lead characters, which is another important feature we don't get to see much of in typical Italian war films.

Despite all of the good stuff, this movie has a few rough spots. For one thing, it's got a very needless love story sub-plot that never goes anywhere and has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Another complaint: there are some lengthy conversations between the German characters that weren't dubbed. It's impossible to understand what they're saying.

The movie is not for young kids. It features graphic violence, plenty of profanity and even *full* female nudity in one scene.

The version I saw was from Lightning Video, entitled DEADLY MISSION. The source print was of top quality, with fresh picture and good sound. The opening and closing titles, however, were apparently new material and feature some music that isn't heard anywhere else in the feature.

Overall, this is a fun-to-watch Italian adventure piece. For the great cast, production values and action scenes, I'll give a 6/10.
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Fun, dynamite stuff, straddling 'exploitation' and high-caliber film-making
MisterWhiplash7 June 2009
I wasn't sure at first what to expect from director Enzo G. Castellari. I saw his film 1990: Bronx Warriors and it was a lot of fun, but in that way that comes with knowing a man made a no-holds-barred exploitation rip-off on the Warriors that, truth be told, was barely even shot in the Bronx. But, of course, movie-PHD Quentin Tarantino held up this man's work, particularly this film, to such high esteem he took the title (if not the skeleton of the subject matter) for his latest opus. Why not give a late 70s war movie a shot featuring Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, one of those unsung bad-asses, and Bo Svenson, an underrated actor-cum-star, a shot? Turns out, the shot was a big surprise. In the best possible way.

Inglorious Bastards is made by a real professional, not by some slacker just looking to slap together some used sets and flunky character folk for roles. This is the real deal; if it's not one of the very best war films, it's certainly one that is one of the best you haven't heard of (least until recently thanks to the aforementioned PHD-in-film-incarnate). It's one of those "guys-on-a-mission" movies where it features a tag-line "Whatever the Dirty Dozen did – they do DIRTIER!" and with, from the looks of the trailer, either very good or very shoddy fx and a lot of ammo. Basically, a bunch of US soldiers, on their way for court-martial/execution, somehow, escape after an incident, and go on the run... only to find themselves getting embroiled in a mission involving a train, a whole s***load of Nazi's, and perhaps a few casualties here and there – few dozen to few hundred give or take.

There's barely a line wasted in this flick, barely a scene that doesn't actually try and provide its actors like Svenson and Williamson – also other very good players like Peter Hooten and Jackie Basehart and Ian Bannen as the tricky Colonel Buckner – some good meaty dialog to chew on when they're not blowing stuff up to bits (written, and I was even more surprised by this than you, by five writers). Oh, sure, you could argue that it's violent, maybe needlessly so. But that is part of the point. It actually doesn't go *too* over-the-top, not as far as I expected given its Italian-cult credibility and that of Castellari's speckled career.

The action is shot and edited with the great ferocity possible when a crew gets enough money and enough verve to push buttons. It does get bloody, and there's a pile of bodies that reaches up to a small skyscraper. But it's also a lot of fun to watch it, and it even goes beyond being a guilty pleasure into being just plain awesome. You lose yourself with these guys on their mission, with Williamson gritting and showing off why he is "The Hammer", or how Svenson could be such a persuadable star in good hands. And, yes, it probably does crib from the likes of the Great Escape (motorcycle jumps, anyone) and Bridge on the River Kwai (bridge blow-up, anyone), and at the same time it holds its own as a legitimate effort.

I imagine that's what Tarantino saw in it, its own sense of paying tribute to so many other war pictures while holding its own for a bunch of dudes watching a bunch of dudes go to extreme in Nazi-occupied France. It's surprisingly tense, terrific genre film-making that doesn't force the Platoon treatment – it just asks you go just a little "Dirtier" with the flow of the average war flick, like Sam Fuller with a face full of pasta yelling out orders.
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Italian WWII action with a Dirty Dozen topping and insane body count
chaos-rampant30 July 2008
The Italian industry from the 50's to the late 70's thrived by imitating big Hollywood box office hits and even though The Inglorious Bastards came a good 10 years after the WWII action cycle of the 60's, it's still a welcome addition to the genre. Two years after his spaghetti western masterpiece Keoma, director Enzo G. Castellari gathers a cast of b-movie stalwarts spearheaded by Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson, a couple hundred disposable extras in Nazi uniforms and unleashes hell.

There's no sophistication or Spielberg-ian schmaltz here. It's an action-er through and through with a comedic touch and lots of gunplay. Castellari is no hack though and you can see flashes of his directorial brilliance in the slow-motion intercutting shots in the train, which rival anything Sam Peckinpah has done with the same technique. He knows he's not doing Citizen Kane though so he doesn't let his "artistry" get in the way of making an entertaining picture. Not a masterpiece by any means and it will probably seem outdated to anyone used to modern CGI work and Matrix stunts. This is old school action.

Tarantino is preparing a remake of sorts for 2009 but The Inglorious Bastards has enough going for it to warrant a watch not just so you can brag to your friends on opening day that you've seen the original. Action fans will get a kick out of it.
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Better than Most
Wendy Black1 January 2010
I viewed this movie because the QT movie of the same title came out in 2009. I enjoyed the drama of this movie, the plot twists, and action. I was raised in the era of Clint Eastwood's Italian westerns and while this was a low budget Italian made film, it contains some of the elements that makes those movies so great.

Slightly like the Dirty Dozen this movie remains true to history and looks deep into human nature. There is a lot of good action scenes and the acting is great for the style. There are better action war films to watch but few that will remain a classic like this one.

While I did not enjoy the 2009 movie by QT, I must thank him for directing my attention to this title. Enzo Girolami Castellari is by far a much better director from viewing both movies of the same title. My advice is to rent both and come to your own conclusions.
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Badass form start to finish
bensonmum29 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
For my 1,000th user-comment on IMDb, I wanted to write about something that I not only enjoyed, but something that summed up or represented my feelings about and tastes in movies. You know, something that has my name written all over it. I considered a number of films – some bad – some good - but in the end, I decided to go with The Inglorious Bastards. Not only is it a great example of the kind of movie I go for, but I've been wanting to write something about it for a while now. And with Tarantino's re-imaging set to open this year, I definitely wanted to get my user comment written beforehand. So here it is, #1,000.

As the film opens, a group of WWII era soldiers are being transferred to a military prison to await decision on the many crimes they've committed. Murder, theft, robbery – these aren't your typical, clean-cut, all-American GIs. On the way, the MP convoy is attacked by a German plane and a band of five prisoners escapes. They immediately decide to head to neutral Switzerland and the freedom it offers. On the way, they have plenty of opportunities to kill and maim Nazis. But when they accidentally shoot a group of American paratroopers disguised as German soldiers, the Bastards decide to stand in and complete their compatriots' mission. And what a mission it is – steal a train carrying a V2 rocket.

If director Enzo G. Castellari is known for anything, it's action. And in The Inglorious Bastards, he outdoes himself. It's a testosterone injected ride from start to finish! Gun battles, explosions, vehicle wrecks, fights, falls off castle walls, motorcycle stunts – if it involves action, you'll find it here. Castellari somehow manages to keep the film well paced throughout. While the action does admittedly slow a tad in the second act, the film never bogs down and is always enjoyable. The Inglorious Bastards also features some really nice miniature work. The film's finale is especially memorable on that front. The cast is first rate. Fred "the Hammer" Williamson may be third billed, but he's the real star. Williamson's character is appropriately named Fred. Appropriate because he's pretty much playing himself – a cigar-chomping, one-line spewing, gun-toting badass. Surprising to me is that Bo Svenson is able to match Williamson scene for scene. I've never thought much of his other work that I've seen, but here, Svenson is very believable as the in control leader of the Bastards. The rest of the cast provide equally enjoyable performances. It's an excellent job by all involved.

While I can see why The Inglorious Bastards might not appeal to everyone, for me, it's a near perfect movie. I've seen some reviews nit-pick the lack of realism. Relax, this was never intended to be a documentary. It's about having a good time and enjoying yourself. Just go with it and quit being so uptight. As for those who complain about the dialogue or the editing, you're obviously not familiar with Euro movie making from the 60s and 70s. Again, just go with it. Like I said, it's almost perfect to me. In fact, I've got no problem at all rating The Inglorious Bastards a 9/10, verging on a 10/10.

So here's to 1,000 user comments. For those of you who have read and maybe even enjoyed some of what I've written, I say thanks. And look forward to more to come. On to 1,001!
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One of those great "Action-war" movies
gaus10 November 1999
An entertaining action-war movie. I remember i bought this movie the in a video-store back in 1986-87. It was an old English video-version from the early 80's (from that time when video-stores in my country imported video-movies direct from England without giving them subtitles)

The movie have some similarity's with "The Dirty Dozen" and it's obvious that the film-makers got much inspiration from this great hit from the 60's. Acting and plot is not the greatest in history, but it's still a very exiting film. Not so much indifferent action-scenes here, like there are in many other movies of this type.

8 out of 10
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Action , suspense and entertainment with a band of escaped WWII POW fighting nasty Nazis
ma-cortes28 March 2007
It is well set in 1944 France . Five convict soldiers (Peter Hooten, Fred Williamson , Basehart , Pergolani) in WWII French territory led to martial court escape from lock-up and head to Switzerland . They are commanded by a con-lieutenant (Bo Svenson) . They , then , mistakenly attack an allied command suited as Nazis . Shortly after , the motley gang assigned by an Allied colonel (Ian Bannen) pull off a daring assault on a Nazi-held stronghold , the most heavily guarded base . To add intrigue , a female (Debra Berger) and French resistance (Michel Constantine) have joined the ranks of the rag-tag , tough outfit ; besides , a rebel Nazi (Raimund Harmstorf) has also infiltrated the band . After that , they participate on a suicidal task to thwart the Nazi schemes by blowing up a train containing V2 head-rockets in a decisive battle for winning the war .

The movie packs noisy action , slow motion explosion , shootouts , bombing and results to be quite amusing . It's well-made war-action/thriller/adventure/ Eurotrash film , it is a standout in its genre : ¨The Spaghetti-Italian warlike¨ . Relentless plot twists , in spite of some flaws , the warlike action keeps you breathless ; dealing with a peculiar band to steal the Nazi's most precious military hardware , and bring it back to the allies without getting arrested again by their own side . Rough , elegant Bo Svenson is fine as the group leader of the motley pack , he leads the misfit band of crooks from behind enemy lines . Remainder cast formed by Fred Williamson , Michel Constantine , Debra Berger (William Berger's daughter) , Enzo G. Castell himself in a brief cameo and Peter Hooten as an assassin convict are nice . The film takes part from American classic movies , just like :¨Dirty dozen¨ , ¨Kelly's heroes¨ and ¨ Where the eagles dare¨ but is actually its origin an Italian movie in similar plot , titled ¨ Hell commandos¨ (1969) .

Inglorious bastards¨ had a special remake directed by Quentin Tarantino , in fact several scenes had to be re-scripted and/or shot differently as during filming the Italian Government, in response to increasing activity by the terrorist Red Brigade, drafted a law prohibiting the holding of weapons in case they fell into Red Brigade hands . The castle rescue scenes originally featured a massive shoot out, but were rewritten into the covert attack and escape featured, using knives, catapults and crossbows instead of firearms . The picture was professionally directed by Enzo Girolami Castellari who previously had made another good war film : ¨Eagles over London¨ . Besides , Enzo usually worked with Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson (who is even named as a co-writer on screenplay on deposit at the Copyright Office) in Italian ¨B¨ films such as : ¨Delta Force commando¨ ,¨Deadly impact¨, ¨ Tides of war¨ ,¨Bronx warriors¨, and ¨Warriors of the wasteland¨ .
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Bargain Bin "Dirty Dozen" with Style to Spare
evanston_dad22 September 2009
A group of American convicts in WWII Europe escapes in transport and makes their way for the Swiss border. Along the way they encounter German platoons -- lots of shoot outs ensue. Eventually, they come across another American contingent and are mistaken for a special ops team whose plan is to bomb a Nazi train carrying some sort of big fancy weapon. More shoot outs ensue.

Leave your hat and your desire for plot logic at the door if you want to enjoy this bargain-bin version of "The Dirty Dozen." Much of this film doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you won't realize it doesn't make sense until after the movie's over, because while you're watching it it's easy to be distracted by the energy of the storytelling and film-making. One thing this movie has is style.

Bo Svenson heads the cast of mostly unknowns, though Ian Bannen (who has an Academy Award nomination to his credit, though not for this) brings some actorly street cred to the film as a general. The movie makes no effort whatsoever to capture the period feel of 1944 Europe. The various pornstaches on display are pure 1978.

Grade: A-
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These guys are doin' a coupla things and a coupla things only, not just killin' Nazis.
Lee Eisenberg1 December 2009
Enzo Castellari's B movie "Quel maledetto treno blindato" is nowadays probably most recognizable because its English title "The Inglorious Bastards" inspired the title of Quentin Tarantino's 2009 movie. Castellari's movie contains a similar plot, with American GIs killing Nazis. In this case, our heroes are about to get taken to prison at the beginning, when their captors get killed by Nazi gunfire. So, the now free convicts decide to make their way to neutral Switzerland. Along the way, there's plenty of goose-stepping goons to shoot, and there's even some hot women. The main point of the movie is to show Fred Williamson off as a cool tough guy.

So, this isn't one that you're supposed to interpret as a Fellini-style film. This is pure, unadulterated fun. Really cool.

I bet that Brad Pitt's comment at the end of Tarantino's version not only reflected what Tarantino probably assumed about his movie, but what Castellari probably assumed about this one.
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The train runs on lasagna
paul_johnr28 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
DVD technology has helped to bring retrospectives of 1970s Italian cinema and saved many films that looked doomed to oblivion. Action director Enzo Castellari is one name who has benefited from this trend, seeing projects like 'Heroin Busters' and 'Street Law' drawing new audiences. Castellari's second war film, 'The Inglorious Bastards,' is also enjoying a revival and has spurred an upcoming project by Quentin Tarantino.

'Bastards' can be viewed as a summing-up of the Italian war genre, bringing together elements of plot, character, and general nuttiness seen over two previous decades. Renamed by its distributors as 'Quel maledetto treno blindato' ('That Damn Train'), 'Bastards' hooks onto several well-known premises. The idea of U.S. Army convicts on a tactical mission was originally used in 'The Dirty Dozen' and the progress of a German locomotive was seen in John Frankenheimer's 'The Train.' These elements were later fused into 'Battle of the Commandos' (directed by Umberto Lenzi) and seen in Italy many times afterward. Everything from twenty years of Italian war film-making surfaces in 'The Inglorious Bastards:' a wildly uneven plot, a myriad of characters, plenty of gunfire and explosions, and an over-the-top finale.

The major European cast is led by Bo Svenson, who plays U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Yeager. Yeager is forced to take charge of army prisoners who escape when their ground transport is attacked by a German fighter plane. The 'bastards' plan to reach exile in Switzerland but accidentally kill off a group of American soldiers (disguised as Nazis) whose mission is to stop a train carrying the prototype of Germany's new V2 missile. 'The Inglorious Bastards' devotes an hour to their escape and forty minutes to their carrying out of the operation.

Despite third billing, former NFL defensive back Fred Williamson stays visible as Private Fred Canfield. Canfield is the most developed character in this film, having to deal with ongoing racism from both 'friend' and enemy. Peter Hooten creates much of the racial strife as Tony, a blue-eyed American who is unafraid to drop slurs. Michael Pergolani gives a spirited effort as Nick, the long-haired, mustache-wearing playboy who excels at forging documents. Jackie Basehart nicely fills Berle, a cowardly farmer who delivers at pivotal moments. Academy Award nominee Ian Bannen maximizes his role as Colonel Buckner, the mission's guide; Bannen is particularly effective with Svenson as Nazi impostors.

Enzo Castellari's main talent is action and the action scenes in 'Bastards' are well-made. After seeing their guns confiscated by the Italian police during a Red Brigade scare, the film's crew pressed onward with homemade arms (including from wood) that fired electrical sparks in one burst. Castellari pulled off later scenes by using rapid crosscutting to disguise the 'fake' weaponry. These scenes are superbly paced (with editing by Gianfranco Amicucci) and use Castellari's favorite technique of slow motion to heighten the drama. Matte layouts by Emilio Ruiz del Río and explosives work by Gino De Rossi place 'Bastards' on a much larger scale than its budget allotted for. Composer Francesco De Masi ('Eagles Over London,' 'The New York Ripper') presents an orchestral soundtrack, arguably the best written for a spaghetti war flick.

While highly watchable, 'Bastards' is hurt a great deal by sloppy writing and mediocre venues. The script was written by no less than five people, with Franco Marotta and Laura Toscano making last-minute changes to enlarge its action. Main characters (except for Canfield) are little more than bodies, which is usual for this genre, and the intended humor doesn't always work to its potential. Much of the humor is slapstick and has a built-in risk of annoying viewers; this occurs at several points in the film. The writing often lacks focus and has unneeded subplot; actress Debra Berger is highly welcome as a French nurse, but her romantic interest with Tony has no definite place in the storyline.

'Bastards' was also not filmed in Spain as other Italian war movies of the period. Instead, it was shot in locations around Rome, which clearly didn't offer the wide-open feeling that a movie of this type requires. While the foliage and climate of Italy appear to match those of France, several of the action scenes are happening on cramped backlots; the areas are confined and seem to be hiding elements that would give away its place in a modern-day Italian suburb. del Río's matte work helps to bring an epic feel to the movie, but it often looks as if Castellari was hindered by the tight workspaces.

Although not greatly successful as a war film, lovers of action should be happy with 'The Inglorious Bastards.' The film is a must-see for Italian war fans and deserves at least one sit-down from those interested in Second World War epics. Tarantino's new version of 'Bastards' helped with an impressive DVD release from Severin Films, which is available in a three-disc set. The film is solidly presented in widescreen (1.85:1) with Dolby enhancement of the original mono track. Subtitles are given for all non-English dialogue.

Disc 1 offers a commentary track with Castellari and writer David Gregory, an excerpt from the theatrical trailer, and a 38-minute conversation between Castellari and Tarantino. On disc 2 are 'Train Kept A-Rollin',' a 75-minute documentary on the making of 'Bastards,' and 'Back To The War Zone,' a 13-minute featurette with Castellari revisiting locations. The third disc is a CD with 18 minutes of the film's original soundtrack, including its main titles. Several minutes were erased by De Masi when he needed a tape to record his son's school play (how about a featurette called 'The Inglorious Brats?'). Another spaghetti war tale for the ages.

** out of 4

Roving Reviewer -
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Surprisingly enjoyable war film from pizza man Castellari.
emm20 February 1999
We can't deny the fact that some of our American actors travelled overseas to appear in foreign-produced motion pictures. HELL'S HEROES (the video title) stars Fred Williamson and Bo Svenson, who were notably cast together in DELTA FORCE COMMANDO. Italy is by no means similar to Hollywood, and this won't appeal to war film buffs who watch THE GREEN BERETS on TNT. This one gets a lot of credit for actually willing to deliver a good amount of action right until the explosive finish. The violence is rather graphic, noticing soldiers falling out of trains and hitting landfall, but that heightens the reality of the war experience. It isn't rare to find Italian movies sleazy no matter how serious a situation is, and it's best kept that way. Fred Williamson, known for BLACK CAESAR and other "blaction" films, isn't at all a complete waste here, as long as naked broads in the water gain some vengeance in return for him stepping into the party. Well done for an actor known to possess the "mean" image, but he's fair enough as a guy smoking a cigar out to do battle. Enzo Castellari's direction comes to as a surprise for a few "trash" fanatics, just when realizing how he would soon manage to go full force on 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS and GREAT WHITE. A pretty good war flick from Pizzaland. Remember to take it with caution if you've seen Oscar-winning war battles.
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The Original "The Inglorious Bastards"
Claudio Carvalho11 June 2011
In 1944, in France, the rogue American soldiers Lieutenant Robert Yeager (Bo Svenson), Private Fred Canfield (Fred Williamson), the murderer Tony (Peter Hooten), the thief Nick (Michael Pergolani) and the coward Berle (Jackie Basehart) are transported to a military prison. However, the convoy is attacked by the Germans and they survive and flee with the intention of cross the border of Switzerland.

Along their journey, they fight against a German platoon and capture the German prisoner Adolf Sachs (Raimund Harmstorf) that offers to guide them to the Swiss border. When they meet a German troop, they kill them but sooner they discover that they actually were and American commando in a mission headed by Colonel Buckner (Ian Bannen) to steal a German V2 warhead. Lt. Yeager, Fred, Tony and Nick offer to risk their lives to accomplish the mission.

"Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato" is the original "The Inglorious Bastards" that Quentin Tarantino repeated the title in his film. The story is a sort of rip-off of "The Dirty Dozen", with delightful characters and non-stop action and hilarious sequences. This B-movie is entertaining parody of movies of war. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Expresso Blindado S.S." ("The Armored S.S. Express")
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Extremely enjoyable and entertaining war "guys on a mission" flick
Danny-Rodriguez19 August 2007
To be honest, after hearing a few things about this film and that it's being compared to The Dirty Dozen, I was not surprised at how funny, light and enjoyable this film was. It starts off on a very light and 70's style mood type opening credit sequence with Sergio Leone western-style graphics and a theme song worthy of A Bridge Too Far. And it continues throughout to be a fun filled movie with likable characters and those good old war film shootouts with a guy shooting at a German and the German grabbing his gut and falling to the ground. Let's face it, we love that stuff.

It also has a few twists to the plot and a few memorable scenes and lines, you seriously need to watch this if you're any kind of a movie buff.
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Gloriously unhinged Exploitation from Castellari.
Coventry10 May 2009
I wonder if a movie can possibly offer more adrenalin-rushing entertainment and genuine thrills than "The Inglorious Bastards" does. It's very, very doubtful. This movie – basically a blunt imitation of "The Dirty Dozen" but who really cares – is an unceasingly exciting and outrageously badass gem of an exploitation flick, with a tremendous ensemble cast and explosive testosterone-laden action. My mate and I watched this movie in a series of War movies but deliberately saved it for last because we presumed it would turn out the most fun one to behold. And we were right, too! "The Inglorious Bastards" centers on a handful of American misfit soldiers who are gathered together to get shipped off and face court martial for a variety of crimes and desertion. During a German Luftwaffe attack, however, the quintet escapes and together they decide to flee to neutral Switzerland on foot. They encounter a series of obstacles along the way, but then they accidentally kill a squadron of American soldiers dressed in Nazi uniforms for a specific mission. Tired of running away, the crazed band of bastard brothers decide to take over the mission that exists of preventing a train, with destructive of missile and a whole bunch of Nazis on board, from reaching its destination. The action in "The Inglorious Bastards" is plentiful and far out! Straight from the beginning, with the fabulously energetic music playing throughout the opening credits, you just know this will become a non-stop smörgåsbord of violence, excitation and sheer kicks! This is Z-Grade/exploitation heaven, with specialist director Castellari shamelessly borrowing elements from the greatest war movies ever made (the motorcycle stunt near the end seem to come straight out of "The Great Escape") but also adding a lot of his very own and creative ideas and humorist elements. The main characters are stupendous and impossible not to cheer for. Bo Svenson as the ultra-cool leader, Fred Williamson as the cigar-chewing killing machine and Michael Pergolani as the kleptomaniac hippie … You hate to love them all, and vice versa! The film is fast-paced from start to finish and actually an unbreakable chain of extravagant and impressively staged action stunts. Particularly the entire climax in and near the train station and the escape from the Nazi occupied château are brilliant; period! In spite of the reasonably low budget, the film contains some very adequate special effects and detailed miniature sets that explode into little pieces quite wondrously! And just when you think the movie you are watching have practically everything except gratuitous female nudity, the characters stumble upon an assemblage of skinny-dipping German chicks with machine guns! Is this movie the total definition of perfection, or what? No wonder Quinten Tarantino is an avid fan and even working on some sort of remake/tribute.
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Beautifully shot but...
edwardrevans21 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I viewed this film as i'm a great fan of the 2009 Quinten T version so I thought i would check of this as a reference. The two films are two different pieces of work except for one thing which is they are beautifully shot. This version really can't make up its mind what it wants to be as the plot somewhat changes as it goes along and is quiet boring in parts as there are sub plots and an abrupt clumsy ending however as a B movie its one of the better ones you could see. The acting is fine its just the script that lets it down. The Dirty Dozen has a start middle and end so does Inglourious 2009, still worth watching once.
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One of Castellari's better films; very enjoyable
Michael A. Martinez3 January 1999
The great Enzo G. Castellari made (in 1977) a war movie in the style of The Dirty Dozen or The Longest Day. Of course, Castellari had to add his usual tons of slapdash violence and action. This is the kind of war movie they stopped making after Vietnam, so it really has a distinct nostalgic feeling to it. QUEL MALEDETTO TRENO BLINDATO makes war out to seem really fun and exiting, contrary to other war flicks of that period such as THE DEER HUNTER or APOCALYPSE NOW. Instead, it is a harmless, exciting, even ludicrous action film. I challenge anyone to count the number of deaths in this film and send me a rough estimate! The cast was great, the acting pretty good, the action scenes well done (as usual for my man Enzo), and the music was appropriately nostalgic as well. The only thing this film doesn't have working for it, is the fact that many scenes featured the same actors dying over and over again. I found it kinda funny but some of you critics out there might just find it cheesy.
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A censored gem!
soulassassinx27 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Inglorious bastards, released in 1977/78, became one of those films banned in Sweden. Had I grown up watching it as a kid, this would be the war movie to remember, instead the Swedish audience had to stick with rather cheap takes on world war II.

A rag tag bunch of (U.S. soldiers) misfits escapes the death penalty by firing squad and journeys into German occupied France in an attempt to find refuge in Switzerland. In doing so they accidentally kill a German squad who turns out to be Yankee special forces and now they're forced to undertake a "mission impossible", by blowing up a mobile research faculty, a train lab if you will and demolish a mobile V2 rocket system.

The story is original although in features all the commando raid ingredients, like sneaking into a SS-Castle, blowing up a bridge and stab German sentries from behind. It might sound like a cliché filled, typical classic, and in someways it is, but here is where the similarities stops in comparison with all other vintage war flicks.

Some examples: The movie is European so you don't get to see Hollywood-ish standard crap, with Stars and stripes in slow motion, dying soldiers telling how much they love their wives and so on and so forth. Even, though many scenes are shot against animated backgrounds, it contains one of the best of it's kind, take notice of the huge field of scrap metal after the Americans have dropped a plethora of nasty bombs.

To be this a old, it's a movie that sometimes is breathtaking and I got flabbergasted by the fact how detailed and accurate the German army is portrayed; they wear Zeltbahn camouflage tunics, all German dialog is in German and it surpasses the standard phrases like: "Achtung!" and "Granate!".

Some scenes are in the same league as Cross of Iron and Sergio Leones spaghetti westerns. The french resistance are though and they all speak french and are not clowns.

You don't get to see Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers style violence, instead the action sequences are very stylized and rather gritty.

You don't get to know the main characters and the dialog seems deliberately directed in the course of being over the top unsentimental and cold.

It's very noir-ish in the way the dialog is spoken and those who long for a really crappy, laughable B-movie will be disappointed. It's 30 years old and contains many scenes seen in many movies made after Inglorious Bastards; the air of the movie is filled with scenes, seen in other movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Enemy at the Gates, Stalingrad, Das Boot.

Furthermore: Take notice of the color of blood. Back then you could only watch bloodbaths in orange, here the blood is really realistic. The scenery reminds me of scale model dioramas and train sets in combination with European country side.

1977 the Vietnam war marched into to the history books as a sadistic conflict and social democratic Sweden were a nation banning all sorts of military conflicts worlds wide. I suppose this was the reason why the Swedish public never got to see this. A true classic gone missing.

The not so cool parts are few but stands out. The scene (although Wehrmacht did "loan" enemy vehicles) where a huge convoy passes through is a bit over the top containing just a tad much American half tracks although most other vehicles are accurate and the T & A scene with naked Valkyries firing MP-40's are a bit to sleazy for my taste.

Summary: The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare, Guns of Navarone are pretty bad in comparison and I almost hold a tearful respect towards this movie in the course of being so obscured. Quentin Tarantino is the last person to re-write and direct a movie like this if he don't get a grip after his total fiasco Grindhouse: Deathproof.

Had this movie been made before Ryan and Brothers this would be the movie to set the standard with todays technique.

I enjoyed this movie very much, it's good to be positively surprised! This is a boy adventure well made and with the heart in the right place.

Good craftsmanship.
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The best World War II action adventure
obatuyio22 July 2000
This movie was really excellent I couldn't stop watching it, the action was great and all the shooting was terrific. Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson were two of my favorite action heroes of the 70s. My favorite part in the movie was when Svenson was in the train and he set the bomb to blow up the train station where the Germans were waiting for him. If you are a 70s action fan then watch this movie.
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The "Dirty Dozen" of Italian Exploitation cinema
"Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato" aka. "Inglorious Bastards" of 1978 is a highly entertaining little piece of War/action exploitation cinema brought to you by no one else than cult-director Enzo G. Castellari. This has many similarities to Robert Aldtrich's classic "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), only that this one is pure, awesome late 70s Italian exploitation. The prolific Hollywood stars of "The Dirty Dozen" are replaced with exploitation regulars like Bo Svenson and, most memorably, the great Fred Williamson. In France of 1944, a bunch of WW2 US-Army soldiers are about to be brought to a POW prison for different offenses, when the Military Police truck they are being transported in is suddenly attacked by Germans. Five of them take the opportunity to escape, among them an officer (Bo Svenson) and the super-tough black Pvt. Fred Canfield (Fred Williamson). They decide to flee to Switzerland, which is not easy, since they have both the Military Police and the Germans against them... Basically, the five unite all the characteristics that the twelve members of the "Dirty Dozen" had. Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson basically are the heroes of the pack, Williamson being the tough and super-cool black dude and Svenson the clever Strategist. The rest of the bunch include a trickster with an affinity to jokes and theft, basically the guy responsible for the fun-part, a young wuss who almost wets his pants throughout the film, and a sinister and racist jerk. The supporting cast includes a bunch of familiar faces for exploitation fans, I was especially delighted to see the great Donal O'Brien in a small role. Still, the main reason to watch this is Fred Williamson, who is, once again, coolness personified. The film does not have the great storyline or character-drawing of "The Dirty Dozen", but it makes up for this with lots of action, explosions, bloody battle and occasional female nudity. Even so, the film is not nearly as outrageously violent as I had expected it to be (and neither is it very sleazy). Yet, this is a highly entertaining and great fun to watch War/Action flick that I highly recommend to all my fellow exploitation-buffs!
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Great and plentiful action in this Italian B-movie
Leofwine_draca5 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
When Enzo G. Castellari – acclaimed Italian director of polizia flicks – took the helm of this DIRTY DOZEN rip-off Italian war movie, you could be forgiven for expecting clichéd slow-motion shoot-outs and machine guns aplenty. You'd be right, because that's exactly what the film delivers – and great stuff it is too! The thin plot sees a bunch of disparate soldiers deep behind enemy lines, fighting both the Allies and the Germans as they wreak havoc across a lush green landscape. Essentially, this is a string of spectacular set-pieces, from bombing raids to ambushes, vehicle chases, and more besides.

The film has a great B-movie cast with many stalwart veterans popping up. Whether it's Dr Butcher himself, Donald O'Brien, as a nasty Nazi officer or Ian Bannen as a stiff-upper-lip British officer, this is a film of familiar faces. The leading roles are taken by Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson, both playing exceptionally cool hero types who it's fun to root for.

But Castellari is the real star here. The director has a knack of injecting his action sequences with a kind of limitless energy that others – even Tarantino – just can't reach. There's not a great deal of slow motion here, but lots of cheesy machine gun battles of the kind that became popular when Stallone and Schwarzenegger did it in the 1980s. The low budget is evident in the use of repeated locations and lack of squib hits, but even so the greenery provides an attractive backdrop for the war-time hijinks. The best bit is at the end, in which our heroes attack a train, but a sequence in which they storm a Nazi-occupied castle is also a highlight. Generally this is a fun-filled and entertaining movie that aims and hits the B-movie mark.
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The Quintessential Italian War Movie!
TankGuy1 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
France 1944. Five U.S army convicts, Lieutenant Yeager, Fred Canfield, Tony, Nick and Bearle are being transported to a military prison when their convoy is ambushed by the Germans. The condemned men use this opportunity to escape and plan on heading to neutral Switzerland. As the men make their way towards the border, they mistakenly kill a platoon of American commandos disguised as Nazis and subsequently fall into the hands of the free French. Lieutenant Yeager is now obligated to aid the French in a secret commando mission, to steal the detonator of the latest V2 rocket...

This latter day Macaroni Combat actioner from Enzo G. Castellari is a rip roaring ride in warsploitation. Quentin Tarantino, an avid lover of Italian cinema, borrowed the title and altered it for his spectacular 2009 wartime saga(his Inglourious Basterds is not directly linked to this movie, although it is a homage to Macaroni Combat movies). Castellari is something of a god where Italian cinema is concerned and this film is a fantastic example of why this is the case. Explosive action sequences with crazy stunts, an immense bodycount and spectacular amounts of chaos on show are the order of the day here!. The aforementioned solid action scenes could only be achieved under the helm of Castellari himself and this movie is a firm example of why he is truly adept at directing action. The performances were excellent and the characters likable. Bo Svenson was cool and Fred Williamson and Peter Hooten were also superb. The film is almost comic book-like and I got a laugh out of it's humorous aspects. It couldn't have had a better score from Francesco Di Masi and the title/end credit sequences were awesome in their own right!.

This is really everything I want a war movie to be, simple and action packed with decent characters. If you want a session of solid escapism, then this is the movie for you. In fact it's the best the Macaroni Combat subgenre has ever looked!. 9/10
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Too many misfires in this fantasy war flick
SimonJack20 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Other reviewers have commented about this being a takeoff from "The Dirty Dozen" of 1967. Hollywood has copied, borrowed or hijacked themes and plots that have worked well ever since it's beginning. The movie- going public doesn't mind at all – if the new films are good. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren't. So, it's not a surprise that the makers of this 1978 Italian film, "The Inglorious Bastards," would try to copy the highly successful and entertaining earlier film. But many things were missing from this attempt, and other things were added that took away from the film.

It lacks an all-star cast, and the cast it has is low on talent. The technical and other aspects of the film suffer from lack of talent as well. The script is weak and choppy in places; the direction is sloppy; and the film editing is weak. The camera work is good, but the special effects, props and sets in places are almost laughable and tend to reduce the otherwise good camera work. Other reviewers have noted the poor effects – when grenades goes off and bodies fly through the air, etc. All of the GIs have submachine guns (Tommy guns or grease guns) that appear to be fed by box magazines. They would hold about 30-rounds and the guns could fire 450 rounds per minute. We see the "heroes" mowing down the mostly inept German soldiers for most of the film, without ever changing magazines. Of course most of the Germans are stuck with plain old rifles and are terrible shots until the end of the film.

Two scenes were particularly unbelievable and diminished in my eyes any interest on the part of the makers of "The Inglorious Bastards" to show a semblance of realistic combat action. The first was early in the film, when a German plane strafes the American forces on the ground. The MPs don't allow the prisoners to get out of the deuce and a half (truck). Everyone knows you abandon vehicles in a strafing because the planes try to blow up the vehicles. In real life, the prisoners would have been ordered to hit the ground. But this film takes it a step further and the MPs shoot and kill several of the prisoners who try to jump out of the truck to safety. That was totally unbelievable and unreal, and set the stage for the rest of the phoniness of this film. The second was the escapee group being able to kill all of the specially trained Americans who were in German uniforms, without the commandos being able to take down any of the renegade group.

Most of the battle scenes appear stagy. At times they reminded me of a video war game. The stereotyping of characters like these in outfits had pretty much ended in the war films produced after 1960; but the producers of this film brought the practice back. Except for Bo Svenson's Lt. Yeager and Fred Williamson's Pvt. Canfield, the characters were mostly crude. I can imagine that someone with no combat experience or knowledge of the military and its equipment, and who others can suspend any thoughts about reality, or who just likes fantasy actioners might enjoy this film somewhat for its action. But most, I think, would find this a disappointment. There are many better ways to waste one's time.
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Fantastic wartime exploitation!
The_Void12 July 2009
I don't usually like war films, but I've really got to hand it to Enzo G. Castellari for this one; what we have is a true balls to the wall, gritty and violent exploitation masterpiece from the time when a bastard was called a bastard (and not a 'basterd'). The film works principally because rather than focusing on the war itself, it focuses on a group of people thrown into the war; and their personal experiences, which principally consist of blowing German heads off German shoulders. The film begins with a convoy taking a group of American soldiers off to prison for their various crimes against the army. En route to the prison, they are attacked by the Germans; and a group of five men manages to escape. They plan to head for Switzerland; the only neutral land around. However, on their way there; they are again attacked by Germans and forced to find their way on foot through the woods. The film then follows the group as they negotiate their way to Switzerland, and end up becoming involved with a plan to steal a valuable weapon from a German train.

The main reason this film works so well is simply down to the fact that it's such a blast! The film is entertaining from the first minute to the very end; and this is achieved by a bunch of interesting characters, some well worked humour; and best of all, a plethora of violence. I'd really love to know what the body count for this movie is as it must be astronomical! The film is Italian; but really you'd never guess unless you're familiar with Enzo G. Castellari's work (which includes crime films and Jaws rip-offs) as the main cast are all American and the film was shot in English. The film is often said to be a rip off of The Dirty Dozen (and indeed, the tagline nods to this) although having (unbelievably) not seen The Dirty Dozen myself, I can't really comment on that. The plot flows very well throughout and there's always plenty going on to keep the interest high. It's a surprisingly high quality film too; very well made and the special effects are good. Overall, this is an absolutely great war movie Quentin Tarantino is going to have to work hard if his "reimaging" is going to top it!
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Quentin Tarantino is what you get when a genius grows up watching this kind of garbage
MBunge23 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This cheap and shoddily made rip off of The Dirty Dozen has only one thing in common with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Both films are set in Nazi-occupied France. Beyond that, they have as much in common as a chicken does with an antelope.

The story concerns a group of military criminals on their way to be court martialed who manage to escape after a single German fighter strafes their convoy and then magically disappears like many other things do in this movie. The Bastards consist of a cowardly kid who of course proves himself in the end, a twitchy bon vivant who starts out the film as a racist and borderline psychotic but (in what is either satire, parody or the result of some profound emotional problems among the writing crew) ends the movie as the dashing young hero who gets the girl, a kooky counter culture type that really wouldn't have existed for another couple a decades, a black guy who doesn't take any crap and a leader who's so traditionally heroic he fits in with the other misfits as well as Hannibal Lecter would in a boy scout troop.

The Bastards decide to try and sneak through France and into Switzerland but get caught up in a plan to attack a train and steal the experimental gyroscope out of V2 rocket. Along the way they manage to kill more German soldiers than Patton, frolic with some naked German ladies, keep trying the same dumb plan that never works and prove they can run faster than a locomotive, even when they're fatally injured.

This film is crap. It's certainly energetically vulgar and enthusiastically violent crap, which probably explains why socially underdeveloped young men like Quentin Tarantino fell in love with this type of movie, but it's crap all the same. The plot is like someone telling a bad joke and forgetting how it goes halfway through. The dialog is about half step above monosyllabic grunting. The cast performs like they were picked up along the side of the road holding cardboard signs that all read "Will Overact For Food". Even the plentiful action scene are laughable, resembling nothing so much as a bunch of kids going "Bang! Bang!" with their fingers and then falling down when somebody says "I got you!"

The only reason this dreck made it onto DVD is because Tarantino decided to appropriate and misspell the title for his latest work. If you liked Inglourious Basterds, you won't like this movie. If you hated Inglourious Basterds…you still won't like this movie. It's only possible value could be in helping folks understand that Tarantino makes the kids of films he makes because he grew up idolizing cinematic trash like this.
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'Inglorious' it is...
Billyjhobbs-117 July 2010
Oh my. "A cult classic," I'm told. Oh my. Where does one begin? The acting? The directing? The screenplay? The cinematography? Basically, this looks like a film out of Film 101. Unconvincing, not funny (when it's supposed to be), unrealistic (when it's supposed to be), melodramatic (who WROTE these scenes?). It is easy to see Brad Pitt and gang (and Pitt probably belonged in this version anyway--sigh. What's with the bogus Hollywood accents of Southern folks!) But in this version, verisimilitude is out the window (does ANYBODY believe this is "France, about 50 miles from Switzerland? Pul-eeze. It's a Sergio Leone setting for a World War II "scene"! One could go on and on. Back to the "cult classic" label--always identified by the "literary" and "intellectual" crowd--like they do with the book "Finnegans Wake"! ONe can see where Bo Svenson's career didn't leap forward after this film and can anyone identify anyone else, save Ian Bannon, with another dreadful British "version" of American lingo. But I won't keep beating a dead horse. My time would have been better spent trying to read "Finnegan's Wake"!
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