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The Blue Max (1966)

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

The raiding squadrons of the Red Baron... 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

Fox wasn't able to rent any of he surviving WWI planes still extant, so they built their own. The aircraft were later used in "Darling Lily" and "You Can't Win Them All." See more »

Goofs

When Stachel and Willi attack five British fighters head-on, Willi shoots down two of them in the initial pass. Stachel's guns jam, and while he is trying to free them, he is jumped by one of the remaining British fighters. Willi comes to his aid and shoots it down, for a mission total of three, not two as was subsequently discussed in the following scene. See more »

Quotes

General Count von Klugermann: [Just after Kaeti's lover is killed in the crash] Stand up Kaeti!... We'll be late for lunch.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
I Still Like It
14 November 2004 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

This seemed a very strange choice to broadcast on Remembrance Sunday . If you're foreign let me explain Remembrance Sunday is a day in the British calender where people lay wreaths at their local war memorial and hold a two minute silence in honour of the British war dead who died in the First World War and in conflicts since then . It's an official national event and a very solemn one . Somewhat strange that the BBC broadcast a war film featuring Germans as lead characters !However THE BLUE MAX does contain some bloody sequences of First World War carnage so I guess it was an obvious candidate for broadcast

I first saw this on television in the early 1970s and was impressed with it then . I'm still impressed with it now though with reservations . As several people have pointed out the story drags when the story switches to the adultrous affair between Bruno Stachel and his Baroness lover . It should also be pointed out that George Peppard and Ursula Andress are rather unconvincing in these scenes and seem to be playing characters in a romantic drama set in the 1960s than in the early part of the century . I hated these scenes when I first saw the film and I hate them thirty years later . I also can't help thinking this sub plot makes the movie slightly over long . Was it included to make the movie more marketable to a female audience ? If a movie features thousands of men sticking bayonets into each other no woman will be going to the cinema to watch the movie full stop

That's my only real criticism though there are one or two other flaws regarding historical facts and planes used , but lets look at the positive points . This the best film I've seen featuring First World War dogfights , when you see a movie like ACES HIGH etc it's painfully obvious that actors are sitting in front of some back projection but with the exception of one rather poor scene you can believe the cast are indeed flying their own planes , the arial battles are superb as are the battles on the ground

The cast play up to their characters in thinking they are 20th century knights fighting in an honourable and elitist way and though they're the other side it's impossible to hate them in anyway , and it's interesting to see James Mason playing a morally upstanding army officer in a role almost identical to the one he played in CROSS OF IRON . I guess it doesn't matter whose side your on because politics will win out in the end


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