John Guillerman's The Blue Max (1966) appeared on laserdisc twice, once from Japan in a dual audio version (the Japanese get actors who sound like the actors in whose place they're dubbing, and the results are interesting) and then in a letterboxed American release that looked pretty good. Both are supplanted and then some by the FoxVideo DVD edition, which features a gorgeous new digital transfer, showing exquisite visual detail either in the air or on the ground and glittering clarity on the audio, from the strains of Jerry Goldsmith's soaring music score to the impact of every explosion and crash. As part of the Fox War Classics collection, the disc is low priced and comes without any insert or other frills, apart from trailers in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and a selection trailers from five of the other films in the May 2003 Fox War Classics release cycle (SInk The Bismarck, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, The Enemy Below, 13 Rue Madeleine, and The Desert Fox). Audio tracks in Spanish (mono) and French (mono) are also accessible, along with English captions and Spanish subtitles. The layer transition in the 156 minute movie is seamless, and the 44 chapters are up to the task of breaking the plot up for the viewer, principally based on the combat episodes in the script. The three-layer menu is straightforward in its design and very easy to maneuver around.
Side #1 -- 1. The Western Front 2. Main Titles 3. Behind German Lines 4. The New Replacement 5. The Squadron 6. A Pretty Medal 7. First Mission 8. Dogfight 9. An Unconfirmed Kill 10. Stachel's New Partner 11. A Confirmed Kill 12. The Official Story 13. Something of the Cobra 14. General Von Klugermann 15. The General's Approval 16. 7000 Guns 17. The Wrong Room 18. Battleground 19. Shot Down 20. A Small Celebration 21. Von Richthofen 22. The General's Expert 23. The Wounded Hero 24. Countess Von Klugermann's Guest 25. Similar Tastes 26. Intermission 27. Entr'acte 28. At a Standstill 29. Two Against Five 30. The Bridge 31. The Better Man 32. A Hero's Funeral 33. Indiscreet 34. An Army in Retreat 35. Air Strike 36. Allied Attack 37. Twenty's Not Enough 38. Ordered to Berlin 39. Good Military Reasons 40. Kaeti's Offer 41. The Blue Max 42. A Change in Plan 43. The Hero's Last Flight 44. End Titles
Side #1 -- Play Language Selection Language English Dolby Surround French Mono Spanish Mono Subtitles English Spanish None Scene Selection Special Features Theatrical Trailer Spanish Theatrical Trailer Portuguese Theatrical Trailer Fox War Classics 13 Rue Madeleine The Desert Fox The Enemy Below Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison Sink the Bismarck
The Blue Max is a story of 2 kinds of obsession.One is for the highest honor that is bestowed upon anyone who can shoot down a maximum number of enemy aircraft-The Blue Max.Another is his squadrons relative-An Aunt by marriage,The Countess-who happens to be the wife of a German General(played by James Mason)-played by Ursula Andress.George Peppard gets the Blue Max,however in the end loses the girl and his life as he pilots an unsafe experimental aircraft.
More than 1 year ago
John Guillermin's 1966 film about Bruno Stachel (George Peppard), a common German soldier during WWI who leaves the trenches to join the elite Luftwaffe. Socially out-of-league with his aristocratic companions and eager for respect, Stachel will stop at nothing in pursuing honor in the form of the Blue Max, the most prestigious aviation medal. The recurrent theme is hubris/arrogance and how it affects the human condition. All of the characters are driven by ambition and are amoral to a certain degree. Bruno Stachel has the most humble of origins (a peasant who first served in the trenches) and so is the most arrogant of the characters. He knows he's an ace pilot but is unable to earn the respect of his fellow officers because of his low social status. In his mind, he can earn the social respect he covets by earning the medal: then, he feels, people will have no choice but to respect him. Ironically, the respect he obtains is nothing more than the arrogance of others. Arrogance from his superior (James Mason) who needs to create a hero to look good himself as a commanding officer. Mason is quite the pragmatist in creating a hero to the point of letting Stachel sleep with his wife (Ursula Andress)to boost his confidence. The countess needs the fire of a young hot-head like Stachel to fulfill her desires: she only needs her husband to preserve her lofty title of Countess. Unfortunately for Stachel, there's a price for being the hero, and the greatest heroes are often those who die in battle. Quite aware of this and tired of being cheated on, Mason's character realizes all too well the value of having the glory of a dead war hero illuminate his stale command. Alltogether a great film with good cinematography. The film quality is excellent for this almost 40-year old film: so good, one would think it was filmed recently but for the actors in it. The dog-fight scenes are some of the finest ever to be filmed. The film is well balanced between the combat scenes and the personal drama: the theme is well carried by the plot. All of the actors perform quite well. George Peppard performed his role competently as Stachel: his being out-of-place or uncomfortable enhanced his performance instead of limiting it. Bruno Stachel is a character who is supposed to feel out-of-place and uncomfortable in his social surroundings: he exceeds in skill and arrogance to compensate for his insecurity. Peppard was perhaps a little too reserved when his character demanded more arrogance but that is forgivable. The only actor who would have done better than him in that role would have been Marlon Brando in a similar role as in 'Young Lions'. In sum though, the acting is top-knotch with great direction. It's a film not to be missed.
More than 1 year ago
I have seen this film many times and to this present day never tire of watching it, a most inspiring film of courage and gallantry
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