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The Blue Max (1966) Poster

(1966)

Trivia

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'George Peppard' flew one of the Pfalz replicas off-screen, but did not fly in any of the scenes in the movie.
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One of the stunt pilots was Joan Hughes MBE who had been Britain's youngest female pilot at age 17. In WW2, she ferried aircraft with the Air Transport Auxiliary and was the first female flying instructor qualified to instruct on all military plane types at the time. She became one of Britian's first female test pilots.
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The serial number for Richthofen's red triplane was 425/17 and was correctly depicted in the movie.
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Stunt pilot, Derek Piggott, flew both Stachel's and Von Klugermann's planes for the bridge storming scene. With multiple camera angles (including one from a trailing helicopter) Piggott actually flew under the bridge over twenty times. To prove that the sequence was real, sheep were placed in the field next to the bridge so that they would scatter as the plane approached. However, as can be seen in the continuity, by the 20th take the sheep had become blasé and didn't scatter any more.
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The monoplane back story was based on the events regarding the historical Fokker D.VIII which also suffered from structural weakness and caused at least one death. The aircraft eventually entered service on the 24th October 1918.
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With the exception of the two-seater recon-plane, all the British aircraft featured in the movie, were of the "Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5" model, or "S.E.5" in short. It was introduced in early 1917 and proved to be an excellent fighter that helped the Allies regaining air superiority in the summer of 1917. It remained in production throughout the war.
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On a blackboard in Kettering's office in the film you can see the squadron's name and number, Jasta 11. This was actually the name and number of Von Richthofen's Circus.
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One of the stunt pilots was Peter Hillwood, who had flown Hurricanes with 56 squadron in the Battle of Britain. He was killed in an air accident in 1966.
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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."
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Karl Michael Vogler - Hauptmann (Captain) Heidemann - and James Mason - General Klugermann - both played World War II Germany's Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: Vogler in Patton (1970), and Mason in The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951) and again in The Desert Rats (1953).
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"Stachel" is the German word for sting.
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Ursula Andress was dubbed by Nikki Van der Zyl, who previously dubbed her in Dr. No (1962).
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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.
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Technical advice for the film was provided by a group of WW1 plane buffs from Los Angeles.
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Hauptmann (Captain) Heidermann cautions pilots Stachel and Klugerman (Peppard and Kemp respectively) to take care of the two triplane's (Fokker Dr.1 aircraft) as they "are the last ones they are likely to get". This has actually not to do with the fact that Germany is losing the war and the industry cannot keep up with demand. In reality only 320 aircraft of this model was made during the war, as compared to the Fokker D.VII (the main anachronistic aircraft of Stachel's squadron) of which around 3 300 was built during it's brief six month operational history between may 1918 to November 1918.
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Though Willi Von Klugermann (Kemp) looks older than Bruno Stachel (Peppard), in real life Peppard is 6½ years older than Kemp.
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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.
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At around 50 minutes into the movie, immediately after George Peppard's character goes to get "pink champagne," a courier enters briefly, wearing a gray trench coat. He is of average height and has straight, dark brown hair parted to one side. He turns to his left to hand a message to someone. His toothbrush mustache is very briefly visible. This is a reference to Adolf Hitler, who was a courier in WWI. He did not, at that time, wear a toothbrush mustache, but the uncredited actor portraying this courier looks extremely similar to him.
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The majority of Stachel's Squadrons aircraft comprises of the "Fokker D.VII", though Stachel himself is first assigned an "out-of-date" Pfalz D.IIIa aircraft and later a Fokker Dr.1 (triplane).
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The Irish Air Corps also lent their facilities at Casement Aerodrome (Baldonnel) to filming, however after filming, many of the aircraft replicas remained in storage between Casement and Powerscourt House, County Wicklow until the 1980's and were to be seen flying occasionally in the area.
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Three years after this film was released, Karl Michael Vogler and Harry Towb appeared together again in the movie "Patton;" Vogler as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Towb as the cook whom Patton chews out for leaving the mess hall open too long.
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As already mentioned in the "Goofs" section: The German soldiers are seen inaccurately armed with the British SMLE (Short Magazine Lee Enfield) rifle. (The Anachronistic SMLE No. 4 Mk I rifle including the equally anachronistic No. 9 Bayonet, the latter which was not available until 1947.)

By contrast, the British troops in the movie are (correctly) seen armed with the "SMLE Mk III" which was used by the British Army from 1907 and beyond, including the First World War. The rifle is also armed with the P1907 "sword" bayonet which was standard at the time.
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Both the British and the German recon-planes were played by the same French "Caudron Luciole" from the 1930's.
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Malcolm Arnold was asked to write the score.
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James Mason is a German commander faced with the scandal of an officer taking credit for the heroic actions of a dead fellow officer. He faces the same scenario in Cross Of Iron (1977).
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The aircraft test flown by Lt. Bruno Stachel at the end of the film, which kills him, is actually a french 1930's Morane-Saulnier MS.230 trainer. The Morane-Saulnier MS.230 aircraft was the main elementary trainer for the French Armée de l'Air throughout the 1930s. Almost all French pilots flying for the Armée de l'Air at the outbreak of World War II had had their earliest flight training in this machine. It was the equivalent of the Stearman trainer in the United States air services and the de Havilland Tiger Moth in the British Royal Air Force.
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See also

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

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