7.1/10
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93 user 37 critic

The Blue Max (1966)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 21 June 1966 (USA)
Trailer
3:08 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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 »

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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 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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der blaue Max See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,151,612, 31 December 1966
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hauptmann (Captain) Heidemann aircraft is a Fokker D.VII with the Construction Number 6796/18 printed on the side of the aircraft.

This number is also fitted on a captured Fokker D.VII currently on display at the "Le musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" (Air and Space Museum), in Le Bourget, Paris, France which is most likely not a coincidence. See more »

Goofs

While flying the Triplanes, when ever there is a close up of Bruno and Willi, the cabane struts and top wing are clearly visible. However, when there is a close up from about 45 degrees to the pilot's right, the cabane struts and top wing are missing. The lower mounting lug for the rear cabane strut is visible. Obviously the strut and the wing got in the way of the shot of the actor and had to be removed. See more »

Quotes

Holbach: To Leutnant Willhelm von Klugermann, for bravery of the highest order, in action against the enemies of the German Empire, and for exceptional services to the Fatherland, in that he has destroyed, singlehanded, 20 enemy aircraft, the Order of the Pour le Mé. By imperial decree, Wilhelm, Emperor.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Return to the Edge of the World (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

How a man with a dream, misuses it and falls from grace...
21 July 2004 | by jlpicard1701ESee all my reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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