7.1/10
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The Blue Max (1966)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 21 June 1966 (USA)
Trailer
3:08 | Trailer
A young pilot in the German air force of 1918, disliked as lower-class and unchivalrous, tries ambitiously to earn the medal offered for 20 kills.

Director:

John Guillermin

Writers:

Jack Hunter (novel), Ben Barzman (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Peppard ... Lt. Bruno Stachel
James Mason ... General Count von Klugermann
Ursula Andress ... Kaeti
Jeremy Kemp ... Willi von Klugermann
Karl Michael Vogler ... Heidemann
Anton Diffring ... Holbach
Harry Towb ... Kettering
Peter Woodthorpe ... Corporal Rupp
Derek Newark Derek Newark ... Ziegel
Derren Nesbitt ... Fabian
Loni von Friedl ... Elfi Heidemann (as Loni Von Friedl)
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Feldmarschall von Lenndorf (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Carl Schell ... Von Richthofen aka The Red Baron
Hugo Schuster Hugo Schuster ... Hans. Elderly Servant
Alex Scott ... The Orator
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Storyline

The tactics of a German fighter pilot offend his aristocratic comrades but win him his country's most honored medal, the Blue Max. The General finds him useful as a hero even though his wife also finds him useful as a love object. In the end the General arranges for him to test-fly an untried fighter. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MIRACLES IN THE AIR! far from the mud and bayonets of no man's land... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie takes place mainly in 1918 as stated at the beginning but with no specific date beyond 1918. The historical major offensive featured in the movie, which Stachel and the squadron supported, started on the 21st of March 1918 and was called "Kaiserschlacht" by the Germans and "Spring Offensive" in the West. When Stachel was wounded he met the famous Baron Von Richthofen, the latter being killed in action on the 21st of April meaning the wounding and meeting took place between those two dates. See more »

Goofs

At approximately 1.35.33 Stachel and Heidemann are discussing the forthcoming flight. In the background a mechanic's hat flies off due to backwash from a propellor. He makes to grab it, looks at the camera, realises it is rolling, and stays in character. See more »

Quotes

Countess Kaeti von Klugermann: I hope the owner of this place is as discrete as he looks, darling.
Bruno Stachel: He should be. I paid him enough.
See more »

Alternate Versions

It is believed that this film was at one time released in a 70 mm version (because of its six channel soundtrack), but this has never been confirmed. See more »


Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
Played at Stachel's medal presentation
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Definition of Class
18 May 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

At the beginning of The Young Lions Marlon Brando tells Barbara Rush how difficult it is to rise in class in Europe as opposed to America. It's one of the reasons he's thinking that Adolph Hitler and the Nazis will be a good thing for Germany.

George Peppard plays a more ruthless version of the Brando character in the previous generation in The Blue Max. He's a survivor of the trenches who gets an opportunity to learn to fly and transfer in the Air Corps. What comes with it is a commission and while Peppard is now an officer he's no gentleman.

There's a whole different ethic operating in the Air Corps. The pilots see themselves as an updated version of the Teutonic Knights of old. A view by the way shared by both sides. The fliers on both sides see themselves as old fashioned chivalrous sorts who glory in single combat. They are also upper middle class and aristocratic types and Peppard doesn't quite fit in.

You can put him in a biplane and give him rank, but his outlook doesn't change. What Peppard does see is that if he makes 20 confirmed kills he gets awarded the Blue Max decoration and his future and respectability is secure.

James Mason who commands the Flying Corps takes an interest in Peppard's rise. His political instinct tells him revolution is in the body politic. Make heroes out of someone like Peppard who would be part of the proletarian masses will help give those masses a vested interest in the Wilhelmine regime and would forestall revolution. Of course wife Ursula Andress has some different ideas about Peppard.

I like The Blue Max because it is a film about more than aviation. It is about what was happening in Germany during those last days of World War I when Germany was desperately trying to break the stalemate on the western front and pull out a victory before American troops were in sufficient numbers. They almost pulled it out in fact. It's about attitudes, old, new and changing. All three of the leads suit their roles perfectly.

As a veteran of World War I if he didn't gain the respectability out of the war he craved, Peppard would have been ripe for the Nazi propaganda that filled Germany and was finally heeded during the Depression. The Nazis filled their ranks with Peppards up and down Germany.

Which is why The Blue Max should be seen and learned from because it is not just about World War I aviators as good as the aerial footage is here.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blue Max See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

6-Track Stereo | 4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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