Inglourious Basterds (2009) Poster


The scar on Aldo Raine's neck is never explained. The script hints that Raine survived a lynching, a common punishment in the 1920s and 1930s, but otherwise, it explicitly states that the scar will never be explained.
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Quentin Tarantino was considering abandoning the film while the casting search for someone to play Colonel Hans Landa took place, fearing he'd written a role that was unplayable. After Christoph Waltz auditioned however, both Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender agreed they had found the perfect actor for the role.
At the end of each take, actors would face the camera and say "Hello Sally", referring to Sally Menke, the film's editor. This practice has occurred since Quentin Tarantino's previous movies (such as Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Death Proof (2007)). Inglourious Basterds was the last film by Tarantino to be edited by Menke, whose work was honored in 2010 with her final Academy Award nomination for Best Editing, prior to her death later that year.
Quentin Tarantino's highest-grossing film since Pulp Fiction (1994).
Quentin Tarantino worked on the script for almost a decade.
Roughly only thirty percent of the film is spoken in English, the language which dominates the film is either French or German, with a little Italian. This is highly unusual for a Hollywood production.
This is the first Quentin Tarantino film to win an Oscar for acting: Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor. Waltz later won the same Oscar again for Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012).
Michael Fassbender's performance as Lieutenant Archie Hilcox is layered with irony, due to his real life. Fassbender was born in Germany to German and Irish parents and raised in Ireland. Now residing in London with fluency in German as his first language and English as his second, and a mastery of English accents and dialects. Here he plays an Englishman who goes undercover as a German, and who can speak German fluently, but has difficulty hiding his accent.
Christoph Waltz's character speaks the most different languages in the movie: Five (English, French, German, Italian, and Hebrew).
In a roundtable discussion with Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino, Tarantino said that Til Schweiger, being born and raised in Germany, had always refused to put on a Nazi uniform for a film role. The only reason he agreed to for this film, was because he got to kill Nazis.
One of the Jewish names carved on The Bear Jew's bat is Anne Frank.
Quentin Tarantino intended for this to be as much a war film as a spaghetti western, and considered titling the movie "Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France". He gave that title instead to the first chapter of the film.
Ironically, because Diane Kruger's best known performances were in English speaking films, Quentin Tarantino thought she was an American, and doubted whether she could master the German dialogue and accent. Upon audition, she quickly proved to him that she was a native speaking German.
When Brad Pitt's character, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, pretends to be an Italian actor near the end of the movie, he uses name "Enzo Gorlomi", which is the birth name of the director of The Inglorious Bastards (1978), Enzo G. Castellari.
In an interview with Top Gear (2002), Michael Fassbender claims that to this day, passersby on the street address him by simply holding up "The German 3".
To prepare for her role, Mélanie Laurent worked as a film projectionist for a few weeks at New Beverly Cinema, projecting mostly cartoons and trailers before shows. The real test set by Quentin Tarantino was for her to screen Reservoir Dogs (1992).
Leonardo DiCaprio was the first choice for Colonel Hans Landa, but Quentin Tarantino then decided that a German-speaking actor should play the part. DiCaprio would go on to play the primary antagonist in Tarantino's next film, Django Unchained (2012).
When asked about the misspelled title, director Quentin Tarantino gave the following answer: "Here's the thing. I'm never going to explain that. You do an artistic flourish like that, and to explain it would just take the piss out of it and invalidate the whole stroke in the first place."
As of 2010, this is Quentin Tarantino's film with the most Academy Award nominations (8).
Christoph Waltz dubbed his own performance in the German version.
The mock up posters for the propaganda film "Stolz der Nation" are historically accurate including a German censor approval stamp and they are rendered in the style of the actual film posters of that era, according to the book 'Film Posters of the Third Reich'.
When asked how he got into the violent, baseball bat-wielding mindset of "The Bear Jew", Eli Roth partially attributed his performance to the historically accurate costumes: "Being in wool underwear will make you want to kill anything." He also stated (in a separate interview) that his girlfriend had secretly added some Hannah Montana (2006) music onto his iPod; when he listened to it, it inexplicably made him able to tap into the violent nature of The Bear Jew.
Quentin Tarantino started writing this movie before Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) but could not decide on a good ending and decide to put it on hold to do "Kill Bill" with Uma Thurman, a project he had been mentally preparing since Pulp Fiction (1994).
Eli Roth directed the film-within-the-film, "Nation's Pride". Quentin Tarantino asked Roth to direct the short, and Roth requested his brother Gabriel Roth join him to direct behind a second camera, which Tarantino agreed to. In two days the brothers got 130 camera setups, and Tarantino was so pleased he gave Roth a third day that he was originally planning to shoot with actor Daniel Brühl. Roth got 50 more setups the third day, much to Tarantino's delight. The total running time of the short is 5:30, and was always intended to feel like pieces of a longer film, not a coherent short.
Simon Pegg was originally set to play Lieutenant Archie Hicox but was forced to pull out of the project because of scheduling conflicts with The Adventures of Tintin (2011). Michael Fassbender replaced him.
The role of Colonel Hans Landa is that of a notorious and merciless "Jew Hunter". In real-life, Christoph Waltz has a son who is a rabbi.
The role of Shosanna Dreyfus's father, Jakob (briefly seen hiding beneath the floorboards in Perrier LaPadite's farmhouse), was played by the Swiss actor Patrick Elias, whose father, Buddy Elias, is a first cousin of Anne Frank.
According to Brad Pitt, the film was shot sequentially.
When Francesca (Julie Dreyfus) mentions former UFA actress Lilian Harvey, Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) throws a tantrum and screams never to mention that name in his presence. Lilian Harvey had to flee Nazi Germany in 1939 after helping Jewish choreographer Jens Keith to escape to Switzerland.
In 'Quentin Tarantino's Universe', the character of Lieutenant Aldo Raine is Floyd's (the pothead on the couch from True Romance (1993)) great grandfather.
B.J. Novak had to take leave from appearing on The Office (2005) in order to play Private First Class Utivich. His absence on the show was explained by his character going to "Thailand with friends from high school".
When Major Hellstrom reasons out that his card says King Kong (1933), he is giving Quentin Tarantino's analysis of the movie as an allegory of the American slave trade. He explained this analysis in an interview on NPR with Terry Gross.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Quentin Tarantino): (Threesome): Tarantino typically has a trio of identical background characters moving together in unison. In this film, it is three German school girls in identical uniforms passing Colonel Hans Landa as he goes down the staircase in the theater.
The three girls getting an autograph from Zoller, in the theater, wear the distinctive brown jackets of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM), the girls branch of the Hitler Youth.
Colonel Hans Landa addresses all Germans of lower rank as "Hermann", a colloquialism for "soldier" or "army man". See Arminius.
On German advertisement materials, all swastikas were removed or covered up, as it was unclear to the distributor if the swastikas violated German law (which prohibits the exhibition of Nazi symbols except for purposes such as historical accuracy).
Donowitz talks about "Teddy Ballgame" in Chapter Two. This is one of the many nicknames for Ted Williams, who was a war hero, who interrupted his baseball career twice to serve in World War II and the Korean War.
Jean Reno turned down the role of Perrier LaPadite.
The final cut of the film ran three hours and ten minutes. Before its first public showing, Quentin Tarantino and Sally Menke cut it down to its final length in two days.
Stiglitz's knife has written on it "Meine Ehre heisst Treue", which means "Loyalty is my honor". (literally "My honor is named loyalty")
In a scene in the movie theater, Eli Roth's character Sergeant Donny Donowitz uses the alias "Antonio Margheriti". This alias is named after cult Italian director Antonio Margheriti (director of such films as Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)), one of Roth's and Quentin Tarantino's favorite directors.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Quentin Tarantino): (Deliberate errors): As with all his films, there are blatant mistakes and errors inserted on purpose. One example of this can be found in the English subtitles of characters speaking in a foreign language. Occasionally, the foreign word is inserted into the subtitle. For example, when Colonel Landa is speaking to the French farmer, he says "Oui" which is French for "Yes". Instead of the word "Yes" appearing in the subtitle, the word "Oui" appears, despite the fact that the rest of the French dialogue is translated to English.
The dialogue is in English for approximately 42 percent of the running time, in German for 28 percent, in French for 22 percent, and in Italian for 1 percent. There is a 54-minute stretch in which less than nine minutes of dialogue are in English, including 25 straight minutes in which no English is spoken.
Rod Taylor's last film. He had already retired from acting, but agreed to play Winston Churchill in one scene.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2008 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
The film displayed in the second marquee is Le Corbeau, a film produced during the Nazis' occupation of France and it features hidden anti-Nazi messages that slipped past the censors.
Quentin Tarantino met with Brad Pitt at Chateau Miraval in France, where he lived with Angelina Jolie. They talked about Brad playing the role of Aldo Raine over the course of a night and five bottles of the estate's own Pink Floyd rosé when he accepted the role.
At his audition in Berlin, Michael Fassbender inquired about playing Colonel Hans Landa. Quentin Tarantino replied, "Look, man, any guy that gets cast as Heathcliff is not fucking German enough to play my Landa, all right?"
Daniel Brühl dubbed himself for the Spanish version of the film.
When Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is introduced, he is shown wearing the insignia for the "Black Devils" the 1st Special Service Force, composed of both Canadian and American soldiers.
Quentin Tarantino called Rod Taylor personally to offer him the role of Sir Winston Churchill. When Taylor learned the movie was going to be shot in Germany, he pointed out that Albert Finney lived in England and had played Churchill to great acclaim in The Gathering Storm (2002). Tarantino replied, "If Rod Taylor turns me down, I'll call Albert Finney." Taylor accepted the part.
The giant swastika falling down in the final scene is real. It was a mistake that happened on the set.
The peculiar glove guns Donny and Omar use to breach Hitler's box are known as Sedgley OSS .38's. They were originally designed as a last-resort weapon for U.S. Navy construction crews in the South Pacific.
Eli Roth put on 35 pounds of muscle to play Donnie Donowitz, "The Bear Jew". Roth also learned to cut hair for the role from producer Pilar Savone's father Umberto at his salon in Beverly Hills.
During the final card game at the LaLouisiane tavern, the card that Hellstrom (the Gestapo Major) has to identify is King Kong. King Kong (1933) was one of Adolf Hitler's favorite movies.
The character of Kliest is only present as a telephone voice, spoken by the German actor Christian Brückner. Similarly, the character of the OSS Commander is only heard as a voice on the radio, played by Harvey Keitel. Christian Brückner provided the German dubbing voice for Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction (1994).
DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Quentin Tarantino): [Copyright Under Title]: As with almost all of Tarantino's directed and produced films, the Roman numerated copyright appears during the opening credits, directly under the title of the film. Displaying the copyright info in the opening credits is an homage to films produced in the 60s and 70s.
The name of Brad Pitt's character, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, is an homage to both the actor and World War II veteran Aldo Ray, and a character from Rolling Thunder (1977), Charles Rane (played by William Devane). One of the casting directors, Johanna Ray, is Aldo Ray's ex-wife.
Director Enzo G. Castellari of The Inglorious Bastards (1978) allowed Quentin Tarantino to use the title Inglourious Basterds (2009) in exchange for a cameo as a General yelling "Fire!" (as Castellari appears in his own film). Tarantino filmed Castellari as a General in the theater pointing out the burning screen, but the scene did not make the theatrical cut.
In the film, a group of German soldiers are playing a game where one has to guess what famous name is written on one's forehead. The note on the soldier played by Ken Duken reads Mata Hari, a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who became known for being a double agent for Germany during World War I. This mirrors the role played by Diane Kruger: a famous actress turned double agent for the Allies during World War II.
During his recruiting monologue near the beginning of the movie, Lieutenant Aldo Raine states that he's a descendant of "the mountain man Jim Bridger," who really did have Native American wives. Consequently, his nickname is "Aldo the Apache." In reality, none of Bridger's three Indian wives were Apache (they were, in order, Flathead, Ute, and Shoshone).
Kino, the name of the British operation to kill the German officers is the German word for cinema/movie theater.
One of the movie posters shows a bloody German helmet dangling from an equally bloody baseball bat. Typically, one would see the logo "Hillerich and Bradsby Louisville, Kentucky" branded on a bat. However, the city reads "Knoxville TN", which is Quentin Tarantino's hometown.
Cloris Leachman originally appeared in the film as Mrs. Himmelstein, an elderly Jewish woman living in Boston. Although filmed, the scenes featuring Mrs. Himmelstein drinking tea with Donny Donowitz (and signing his trademark baseball bat afterward) were cut from the final film. Quentin Tarantino says that he might use the footage in the prequel instead.
At the movie premiere, Joseph Goebbels introduces Frederick Zoller to Emil Jannings (played by Hilmar Eichhorn), whom Goebbels calls "the world's greatest actor." Emil Jannings was a German-born star of silent movies. During the 1920s, he starred in several silent classics of German cinema directed by F.W. Murnau, including The Last Laugh (1922), and Faust (1926). In 1927, Jannings moved to Hollywood to star in American movies. In 1928, he became the very first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor (and the first person to ever receive an Academy Award) for his work in The Way of All Flesh (1927), and The Last Command (1928). But his Hollywood career ended when talkies came in, as Jannings' thick German accent made him difficult to understand. Jannings returned to Germany, where he co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel (1930). During the Third Reich era, Jannings starred in numerous films intended to promote Nazism, including Der Herrscher (1937), Ohm Krüger (1941), and Die Entlassung (1942). Minister of Propoaganda Joseph Goebbels named Jannings as "Artist of the State." (In "Inglourious Basterds," Goebbels has Jannings show Zoller the ring given for this award, which Goebbels calls "the highest artistic honor that I give.") After the war, Jannings' film career was ended due to his association with the Nazis. He retired to a farm in Austria, where he died in 1950.
Despite being described as the one who "speaks the least Italian," of the three Basterds to enter the movie theater impersonating Italian film makers, it is Private First Class Ulmer who has the most believable Italian accent.
The name of Til Schweiger's character, Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz, is an homage to Mexican B-movie actor Hugo Stiglitz.
Quentin Tarantino approached Adam Sandler to play Sergeant Donny Donowitz, but Sandler had to turn it down because the schedule conflicted with the filming of Funny People (2009).
In Legends of the Fall (1994), Brad Pitt plays a man who scalps two German soldiers and gets involved with bootlegging. In this film, he plays the leader of a group that scalps German soldiers and mentions a past involvement in bootlegging.
Mike Myers (as General Ed Fenech), a fan of Quentin Tarantino, had inquired about being in the film since Myers' parents had been in the British Armed Forces. In terms of the character's dialect, Myers felt that it was a version of Received Pronunciation meeting the officer class, but mostly an attitude of "I'm fed up with this war and if this dude can end it, great, because my country is in ruins."
The title Inglourious Basterds (2009) was inspired by "The Inglorious Bastards", the English title of Enzo G. Castellari's The Inglorious Bastards (1978), which is also about a group of American G.I.s wreaking havoc behind enemy lines, although the stories are wholly different in all other respects. (English Title: "The Inglorious Bastards". The Italian title literally translates as "That Cursed Armored Train".). Castellari returned the favor by calling his new movie Caribbean Basterds (2010).
The role of Francesca Mondino was written especially for Julie Dreyfus, who played a similar character in Quentin Tarantino's previous movie, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).
The large Nazi eagle displayed in the theater lobby is based on a bronze eagle that was in the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin, by Kurt Schmid-Ehmen. The original Berlin eagle is now in the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
Til Schweiger was given a choice of roles - either Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz or Sergeant Wilhelm Wicki. He chose the former.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Quentin Tarantino): (name): Sergeant Donnie Donowitz, is part of the Tarantino-verse, sharing the last name of the film producer character, Lee Donowitz, in the Tarantino-written True Romance (1993), where Lee Donowitz produced a war film "Comin' Home in a Body Bag". According to an interview Tarantino conducted with Ron Bennington, Donny is Lee's father.
There was a real unit known as "Masters' Bastards" in World War II. Apart from the obvious rhyming, they earned the name due in part to their fearsome reputation against the Japanese, much like the fictional 'Basterds' in Europe.
Rumor had it that Harvey Weinstein was trying to force Quentin Tarantino to cut forty minutes of the movie (which ran 148 minutes) after getting feedback from the Cannes Film Festival. However, Harvey denied this rumor, stating that Tarantino was reorganizing some scenes since he didn't have enough time to completely finish editing the film before sending it to Cannes, since he was given only six weeks to edit, whereas other directors are given normally six months to a year. In fact, the theatrical cut runs one minute longer than the cut that was premiered at Cannes.
Christoph Waltz's first week on set was also his first scene in the film.
The paperback book Shoshanna is reading in the café before Zoller comes in is apparently a French edition of Leslie Charteris' "The Saint in New York" (first published in 1934). This novel is remarkable in the Saint canon for being extremely grim and violent: the debonair crime-fighter shows a cold and ruthless side as he executes a number of gangland killers in revenge for a murder - something like the mission which Lieutenant Raine explains at the start of the film.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Quentin Tarantino): (Mexican standoff): Twice during the scene in LaLouisiane. Once between Archie Hicox, Dieter Hellstrom, and Hugo Stiglitz, and just a few minutes later between Aldo Raine and Sergeant Wilhelm. Raine and Wilhelm also discuss the requirements for a "Mexican standoff".
Tom Tykwer translated the parts of the script that were to be in German.
The word inglorious is never said throughout the film. It is, however, scratched into the stock of Lieutenant Raine's gun.
This is the second film that Brad Pitt and Diane Kruger have appeared in together. However, it is the first in which they interact, as their respective characters never actually met in their first collaboration, Troy (2004).
Michael Madsen was originally announced to star as a character named Babe Buchinsky. This character was named for Charles Buchinsky, better known by his stage name Charles Bronson, who starred in The Dirty Dozen (1967), an inspiration for Inglourious Basterds (2009).
In preparation for playing Winston Churchill, Rod Taylor watched dozens of DVDs with footage of Churchill in order to get the Prime Minister's posture, body language, and voice, including a lisp, correct.
When Major Hellstrom is questioning Hicox's accent, he refers to Wicki as Lieutenant Munich and Stiglitz as Lieutenant Frankfurt, based on their dialects. The two actors that portray Wicki and Stiglitz are from Munich and the Frankfurt area in real life.
WILHELM SCREAM: The Scream appears during two deaths in the film. The first half-second of the sound clip appears about ninety minutes into the movie, and the remainder of the scream appears about twenty minutes later. In the film-within-the-film, "Nation's Pride", the Wilhelm Scream can be heard when a soldier is shot and falls from an upper window.
Tim Roth was in talks with Quentin Tarantino to play Lieutenant Archie Hicox.
Lieutenant Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) wears the insignia of the British Combined Operations Command, which included forces from all the British services as well as other allied forces as well as the famous Commandos.
Eli Roth, B.J. Novak, Til Schweiger, Paul Rust, and Michael Bacall, all actors playing Basterds, are all screenwriters as well as actors.
Names on the cards from the game played in the bar include: Winnetou, Genghis Khan, Mata Hari, Beethoven, Pola Negri, Edgar Wallace, G.W. Pabst, King Kong, Marco Polo, Brigitte Horney, and Brigitte Helm.
The literary character Sherlock Holmes is referred to at least twice in the film. The first reference is Landa's smoking pipe, which is a Calabash Meerschaum, the exact same one that Holmes used. The other is Landa's line, "A damn good detective. Finding people is my specialty."
This was Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino's first time working together, although Brad Pitt had co-starred in True Romance (1993), which was written by Tarantino.
Shosanna Dreyfus is named after actress Julie Dreyfus, who appears in the film as Francesca Mondino.
None of the weapons used by the Basterds are American, befitting their status as a clandestine group of military assassins in occupied enemy territory. B.J. Novak discussed in an interview how he and the rest of the cast received training in handling German weapons from a company in Berlin that specialized in technical presentation of German military hardware; the backstory was that the Basterds seized the guns and other armaments from every Nazi they killed and would be able to handle them flawlessly.
Although Quentin Tarantino wanted the film to be shown exclusively in 35mm, it ended up being shown in some digital locations.
The character Frederick Zoller was largely based on movie star Audie Murphy. After casting, Daniel Brühl was brought in for audition sessions for French actresses vying for the role of Shosanna.
Quentin Tarantino met Mélanie Laurent in three rounds and played all the characters on the first. On the second one, he shared the lines with her, and the third one, it was dinner face-to-face. During the dinner, he told Laurent, "Do you know something-there's just something I don't like. It's that you're famous in your country, and I'm really wanting to discover somebody." Laurent replied "No, no, no. ... I'm not so famous." And after four days he called and finalized her for the role of Shosanna.
The name of Dieter Hellstrom is a reference to the Marvel Comics character Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan (also known as Hellstorm).
Ennio Morricone was attached to score the film, before pulling out due to a scheduling conflict with Baarìa (2009). Several of Morricone's songs from other films were sampled in the film instead. He also felt that he would be unable to work efficiently within the amount of time given.
The name Wilhelm Wicki (played by Gedeon Burkhard) is an homage to directors Georg Wilhelm Pabst and Bernhard Wicki.
Despite playing father and daughter in this movie, Denis Ménochet is only nine years older than Léa Seydoux.
At the end of the movie, Lieutenant Raine shoots Landa's driver, Hermann, in the stomach, as evidenced by the angle of his pistol when he fires. When he falls, he orders Utivich to scalp him. Since it can take several minutes - up to hours, as evidenced in past Quentin Tarantino movies - to die from a gunshot wound to the stomach, it's entirely possible that Hermann was still alive while being scalped.
Daniel Brühl was offered the roles of Major Dieter Hellstrom or Staff Seargent Wilhelm Wicki before being cast as Private First Class Fredrick Zoller.
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Shosanna's theater was modeled after a few theaters in California, but it was the Vista Cinema Silverlake, and Los Angeles Theater, that were the main influences in its design.
The French village of Nadine depicted in the film doesn't really exist. However, on the map shown to Lieutenant Hicox, its location largely corresponds to the real-life town of Nanteuil-le-Haudouin. Moreover, the word "Haudouin" is still visible on the map, suggesting that it was accidentally left there, while the first part of the town name has been removed and replaced by "Nadine".
According to Eddie Murphy, he was in talks with Quentin Tarantino for a role in the film.
In the basement bar scene, one of the enlisted men refers to Karl May and says his character is Winnetou. This is a reference to the western-theme adventure books by German author Karl May (1842-1912). Winnetou was a Native American hero in several of the books. May was one of Adolf Hitler's favorite authors. However, the gesture of touching the heart, and greeting with three fingers, that the man makes, is an anachronism, as it was a signature gesture of Winnetou in the movies from the sixties.
Universal Pictures adjusted the film's German publicity website to the German penal law, as the display of Nazi iconography is restricted in Germany. The title has the swastika removed and the steel helmet has a bullet hole instead of the Nazi symbol. The German site's download section was revised to exclude wallpaper downloads that openly feature the swastika. Though the advertisement posters and wallpapers may not show Nazi iconography, this does not apply to "works of art" according to German law, so the film itself is not censored in Germany.
The film in which Fredrick Zoller appears as himself is hardly a novel concept. Karl von Müller, a naval captain aboard the S.M.S. Emden in World War I, starred as himself in a 1932 feature film about his war-time exploits.
At the premiere, Colonel Landa is wearing a golden medal around his neck which covers his tie. This is the Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross, in gold with swords, to recognize non-combat contributions to the Third Reich war effort. Only nine awards were made during the war, and it was actually instituted in October 1944, so it was impossible for Landa to be a recipient. Although, since this movie is a fictional story, set against the backdrop of World War II, the point is rendered moot, considering Tarantino's storytelling capabilities.
In the scene where Hicox is talking to Stiglitz, who is sharpening his knife on a belt, the theme from Dark of the Sun (1968) (a.k.a. Dark of the Sun) is playing. Rod Taylor, who portrays Winston Churchill in this film, played the lead in The Mercenaries.
Before Donnie Donowitz appears from under the bridge, he taps the bat against the walls of the tunnel a total of 27 times.
Nastassja Kinski was in talks for the role of Bridget Von Hammersmark; Quentin Tarantino even flew to Germany to meet the actress, but a deal wasn't reached.
The second time Sylvester Groth has played Joseph Goebbels (the first being My Führer (2007)). Martin Wuttke - who plays Adolf Hitler - previously played Goebbels in Rosenstrasse (2003).
For his performance in this film, Christoph Waltz became one of six performers to win an Oscar playing a character that mostly spoke in a foreign language (German, French and Italian). The others are Sophia Loren, Robert De Niro, Roberto Benigni, Benicio Del Toro, and Marion Cotillard.
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Denis Ménochet, who played Perrier LaPadite, was the first person to audition for the role.
Due to scheduling conflicts, David Krumholtz was not able to play the role of Private First Class Hirschberg. He was replaced by Samm Levine, who played his brother on Freaks and Geeks (1999).
Mike Myers' character General Ed Fenech is named after Giallo Scream Queen Edwige Fenech. She quit acting, but last appeared in Hostel: Part II (2007), directed by Eli Roth, who plays the Bear Jew.
In 2005, Quentin Tarantino was quoted as saying that he had written the script, a World War II story, but that he needed to convert it to a shooting script. He said that writing the script and preparing a shooting script were "two different things".
When the script's final draft was finished, it was leaked on the Internet, and several Quentin Tarantino fan sites began posting reviews and excerpts from the script.
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August Diehl, who plays Burger, a Jew in The Counterfeiters (2007), says the line "I would never put myself in the place of an S.S. criminal". He also plays Major Hellstrom, the S.S. officer in the bar.
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Christoph Waltz (Colonel Hans Landa) and Léa Seydoux (Charlotte LaPadite, one of the sisters in the beginning), go on to star in Spectre (2015) together. Sedoux is the Bond Girl, and Waltz is the Bond villian.
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In late 2009, legendary British actor Michael Caine praised Christoph Waltz's performance as Hans Landa, saying it was "the best performance of a villain I've seen in years." Caine even correctly predicted that Waltz would win Best Supporting Actor at the 2010 Academy Awards.
The opening scene in the farmer's cottage has been parodied into a 'Grammar Nazi' sketch, where Colonel Hans Landa corrects M. LaPadite's grammatical mistakes to his increasing frustration, while searching for Soshanna Dreyfus.
Archie Hicox's (Michael Fassbender) uniform: He wears the Commando Green Beret, the Combined Operations badge on his left arm, 'No.4 COMMANDO' flashes on his shoulders and an Intelligence Corps cap badge on his beret. This means he was an Intelligence Corps officer who passed the Commando Course at Achnacarry and was serving at the time as part of 'No.4 COMMANDO' (A Commando means both a commando trained individual and a battalion sized formation of commando troops). His 2 medals are the Military Cross (an award for bravery in the face of the enemy) and the Africa Star. This means he was in Africa 1942-43, during which time his conduct earned him the MC.
Quentin Tarantino originally cast Nick Shumaker as the member of the Basterds, later played by assistant director Carlos Fidel. Shumaker could not commit to the film, due to his own film being green-lit.
In the scene where Lieutenant Aldo Raine is being interrogated by Colonel Hans Landa. Brad Pitt mentions that prior to the war, while home in Tennessee, he had partaken in bootlegging. In Legends Of The Fall (1994), Pitt's character of Tristan Ludlow made a profit as a small time bootlegger.
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Isabelle Huppert was the first choice for Madame Mimieux, the former owner of the theater featured in the film. But scheduling conflicts got in the way, so Quentin Tarantino cast Maggie Cheung in the role. The role wound up being cut out of the finished film.
The surname of Omar Ulmer is a reference to German Expressionist filmmaker Edgar G. Ulmer.
The opening theme is taken from the pseudo-folk ballad "The Green Leaves of Summer", which was composed by Dimitri Tiomkin and Paul Francis Webster for the opening of The Alamo (1960).
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Christoph Waltz's Academy Award win in 2009 started a four-year run of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar going to an actor whose name begins with "Chris". Christian Bale won in 2010 for The Fighter (2010), Christopher Plummer took home the statuette in 2011 for Beginners (2010), and Waltz himself won again in 2012 for Django Unchained (2012).
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
General Ed Fenech's (Mike Myers') uniform: He wears the 'No. 2' dress of the British Army, an Officer's Sam Browne belt, the red collar Georgettes of a General, however the view of his buttons is not clear enough to discern his regiment or corps. His medal ribbons include: either an OBE, CBE or KBE (you cannot tell from the ribbon), Transport Medal 1903 (South Africa or China), 1914 Star (with mention in dispatches), The British War Medal (World War I), the Victory Medal (World War I, with mention in dispatches), The General Service Medal (cannot tell which campaign) and then four more medals that I am unable to trace.
Released theatrically in the U.S. on the same day as Shorts (2009) by Robert Rodriguez. Quentin Tarantino and Rodriguez's last film was their collaboration Grindhouse (2007).
Til Schweiger and Brad Pitt both acted alongside Shia LaBeouf in Fury (2015) and Charlie Countryman (2013).
Diane Kruger and Brad Pitt were both in Troy (2004).
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In 2008, Til Schweiger (Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz) appeared alongside Johannes Heester (better known as the favorite actor of Adolph Hitler) in the film 1 1/2 Knights: In Search of the Ravishing Princess Herzelinde (2008).
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Well known German actor Moritz Bleibtreu was originally cast as a part for the bar scene, but had to cancel, because of time scheduling problems.
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In the scene where Shoshanna films her part in Nation's Pride, Marcel films her at an angle upwards towards the top of a stairway. The exact same filming style is used in the saxophone solo for the music video for "One Step Beyond" by Madness.


Bela B.: The drummer of the German punk band Die Ärzte (The Doctors) appears as an usher at the movie premiere. He is known to be a huge fan of horror and Quentin Tarantino movies.
Samuel L. Jackson: The Narrator.
Harvey Keitel: The voice of the American officer negotiating on the wireless radio with Raine and Landa.
Samm Levine: One of the Basterds also plays the painter in the background of Adolf Hitler's introductory scene. (Levine admitted this, by posting a picture of himself as the character on his Twitter account at 4:03 P.M. on August 21, 2009.)
Bo Svenson: small cameo as an American Colonel. Svenson was the star of the 1978 film The Inglorious Bastards (1978).
Sönke Möhring: Besides playing Private Butz, Möhring also appeared as Gestapo officer Walter Frazer, with the French girlfriend at the bistro, with Fredrick and Shosanna.
Volker Michalowski: this German television comedian can be seen as one of the soldiers in the bar playing the card game.

Director Cameo 

Quentin Tarantino: In the German propaganda film-within-a-film, "Nation's Pride", directed by Eli Roth, Tarantino voices an American soldier, who says, "I implore you, we must destroy that tower!". A Tarantino dummy also appears as the first scalped German in the film.

Director Trademark 

Quentin Tarantino: [bare feet] Shoshanna is barefoot during the final scenes in the projection room.
Quentin Tarantino: [victim's viewpoint] Tarantino's trademark shot of actors from a trunk or engine compartment is replaced by shots from the viewpoint of post swastika-scarred victims.
Quentin Tarantino: [Long take] From Shosanna walking into the premiere to Landa approaching von Hammersmark.
Quentin Tarantino: [feet] Closeups of characters' feet are seen throughout the movie.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the scene where Colonel Landa (Christoph Waltz) strangles Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), the hands doing the strangling are those of Quentin Tarantino.
In the scene where Bridget von Hammersmark was choked to death after being discovered as a spy, Diane Kruger was almost accidentally really choked. Quentin Tarantino was unimpressed with choking scenes in other movies, in that actors are rarely in any considerable danger while shooting them, and convinced Kruger to be strangled for real in order to get the scene just right. Fearing that actor Christoph Waltz would choke her too much or too little, Tarantino decided to literally take matters into his own hands and did the scene himself. In an interview, Tarantino said, "What I said to her was, I'm gonna just strangle you, alright? Full on, I'm gonna cut off your air, for just a little bit of time. We're gonna see the reaction in your face and I'm gonna yell cut." Kruger decided this was reasonable and let Tarantino sit on top of her and choke her to the point of unconsciousness. Fortunately for Kruger, the shot was accomplished in one take.
Eli Roth and Omar Doom were nearly incinerated filming the fire sequence in the theater. During tests, the flame temperatures reached 400 degrees Celsius, and during the take, the set burned out of control and the temperature of the ceiling above them reached 1,200 degrees Celsius (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.) Quentin Tarantino was seated on a crane operating the camera in a fireproof suit, and none of them wanted to back down and ruin the shot. Fire Marshals said that another fifteen seconds of filming and the steel structure would have collapsed, incinerating the actors. Roth and Doom were treated for minor burns.
Quentin Tarantino had all of the actors playing the Basterds go through a day of "scalping training" in preparation for the movie, and told them that the three best practice scalpers would be rewarded with close-ups of them doing just that in the film. One of these moments comes in the very last scene, when Private First Class Utivich scalps Landa's driver after Aldo shoots him.
In the original ending, Shosanna's movie for the Nazis was supposed to be in French. Mélanie Laurent was the one who suggested to Quentin Tarantino it should be done in English to make the finale more powerful.
Despite his reputation and being leader of the Basterds, Aldo Raine is only seen killing one person on-screen (At the end when he shoots the radio operator).
The shooting script includes a scene where Raine and his men intimidate the veterinarian into treating Bridget Von Hammersmark's bullet wound by shooting two of the dogs inside their cages. This scene was apparently filmed but cut from the final print, as during the scene with Hammersmark on the table if you look behind her you can see two cages with holes in the wire mesh, blood stains, and dead dogs within.
In earlier drafts of the screenplay, Shosanna was a much more active member of the French resistance, sniping at soldiers from rooftops, and even compiling a death list of high ranking Nazi officials to cross off. But when Quentin Tarantino did his "Kill Bill" movies, he worked those plot details into that story, and decided it was redundant, so instead, he decided to make Shosanna a more realistic character, and have her keep a low profile.
Chapter Three is the only chapter throughout the movie where someone doesn't die, and the only chapter where English is not spoken.
In the original draft of the script, Wilhelm survives being shot by Bridget von Hammersmark, and it is his information provided to Colonel Hans Landa that blows her cover.
In the original script Samm Levine's role was much larger, with Private First Class Hirschberg being one of the primary members of the Basterds. However, in the film, Hirschberg only speaks one line, and he disappears before the closing scenes with his fate being left unresolved. In interviews, Samm Levine confirms that Hirschberg survives to the story's end, and written-but-not-filmed closing scenes had him, and other unspecified Basterds, meeting up with Lieutenant Raine and Private First Class Utivich after they settled things with Colonel Landa.
The scene with Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz ) placing the high-heeled shoe on Bridget von Hammersmark's (Diane Kruger ) foot is a twisted reference to the fairy tale "Cinderella". In the story, the prince identifies Cinderella by making her try on the glass slipper she lost at the ball. Here, Landa identifies von Hammersmark as the double-agent by making her try on the heel she lost in the bar-fight.
The standoff between Aldo and Sergeant Wilhelm during the LaLouisiane scene is similar to a scene in Quentin Tarantino's other movie Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) in which The Bride just finds out she is pregnant and is attacked by a hit woman. The two have a standoff in which she makes a deal with the hit woman to let her go as she is pregnant. Sergeant Wilhelm makes a deal with Aldo to let him go as he had become a father that night. The difference in the two scenarios is that The Bride honors the deal and the hitwoman escapes, while Aldo honors the deal but Bridget von Hammersmark shoots and kills Sergeant Wilhelm.
Quentin Tarantino continues his tradition of ripping on waiters in this film, by killing the French barmaid in the LaLouisiane tavern shoot-out. (Only two waiters are on screen in the film, the barmaid being the only one featured exclusively.)
Despite the similarity between the small role of Harvey Keitel in this film, and his role in Pulp Fiction (1994), Eli Roth confirmed that his character is not "The Wolf" in this film. He jokingly added that Samuel L. Jackson does not narrate under the guise of Jules Winfield.
Similarity between the movie and the movie-within-the-movie: Both have foreign language dialogues displayed as translated subtitles. In case of the movie-within-the-movie (Nation's Pride), this is seen when Private Fredrick Zoller's character speaks in English (subtitles displayed in German on the Cinema's screen) just before Shosanna Dreyfus overrides the movie with her message.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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