The Inglorious Bastards

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The Inglorious Bastards
The Inglorious Bastards.jpg
DVD cover with theatrical poster
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari
Screenplay by Sandro Continenza
Sergio Grieco
Romano Migliorini
Laura Toscano
Franco Marotta
Story by Sandro Continenza
Sergio Grieco
Romano Migliorini
Laura Toscano
Franco Marotta
Starring Bo Svenson
Fred Williamson
Peter Hooten
Music by Francesco De Masi
Cinematography Giovanni Bergamini
Editing by Gianfranco Amicucci
Studio Film Concorde S.R.L.
Distributed by Capitol International
Release dates
  • February 8, 1978 (1978-02-08) (Italy)
Running time 99 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian
German
French
English

The Inglorious Bastards (Italian: Quel maledetto treno blindato, literally: "That damned armored train") is a 1978 Italian war film[1] directed by Enzo G. Castellari, written by Sandro Continenza, Sergio Grieco, Franco Marotta, Romano Migliorini, and Laura Toscano, and starring Bo Svenson, Peter Hooten, Fred Williamson, Michael Pergolani, and Jackie Basehart. The film score was written by Francesco De Masi.

The film attracted critics' attention again after the release of Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds due to the similarity of the two films' titles. However, Tarantino's film is not a remake of Inglorious Bastards and contains only a few references to it.

Plot[edit]

The plot is set in 1944 in France. American soldiers Berle (Jackie Basehart), a deserter, Nick Colasanti (Michael Pergolani), a petty thief, Fred(Fred Williamson), nicknamed "Assassin", Tony (Peter Hooten), a mutineer, and lieutenant Yeager (Bo Svenson), arrested for refusing to execute orders to kill, among others, women and children, are sentenced to death for their crimes and are shipped to a prisoners' camp near Ardennes.

During the journey to the camp, the convoy stops because of a flat tyre, and Fred and Berle are ordered to change it. Their work is interrupted by Nazis' air raid. The five criminals take advantage of the attack and escape. Yeager takes command of the group and decides to find the way to the neutral Switzerland.

On their way, they stop at a abandoned factory in the French countryside to rest and refill their supplies. While they eat, the upper floor of the building collapses, and a German soldier appears from between the hay bundles. Captured by Yeager's group, he tells them that he is in fact an escaped prisoner sentenced to death just like them. Although Tony and Fred want to kill him, Yeager prefers to take him along in case the Nazis attack again.

Later, the group runs into a German patrol, and the captured Nazi soldier proves very helpful. He convinces the patrol that the Americans are his prisoners, and they manage to kill part of the patrol and escape. After this, the group see a group of beautiful German nurses washing taking a bath naked in a river. Nick suggests the AMericans pretend to be Nazi soldiers, and they are able to get on friendly terms with the girls. However, after they see Fred, who is black, the nurses realize the men are Americans and start shooting at them. Tony, Nick, Berle and Fred run away to a camp.

But the situation does not get any better. Some German soldiers arrive at the camp, and Yeager sends the captured Nazi to talk to them. After discussing something with them, the German soldier realizes that the newly arrived are in fact Americans and shouts: "Americans! Americans!" Yeager, thinking that the he is telling the Nazis who the fugitives really are, starts shooting at the Germans. He, however, makes a huge mistake as colonel Buckner (Ian Bannen) tells him that the squad he shots at actually consisted of Americans dressed in Nazi uniform who were supposed to accomplish an important mission. At this point, the only solution is to trust the group led by Yeager with this task.

Meanwhile, Berle meets Nicole, a French nurse of the Resistance movement (Debra Berger). He falls in love with her but it is Tony who she is crazy about. Another problem arises as Fred falls into the enemy's hands. Yeager, Tony, Berle and Nick attack the Nazis' fortifications and free their friend. After the group is reunited, colonel Buckner explains to them the plan, according to which they are to assault an armored train shipping a prototype of the V2 missile.

According to the plan, the train is supposed to pass a mined bridge. But there are unexpected problems as Nick is unable to contact his comrades due to a broken transmitter and is killed in an attempt to warn them. Berle is killed by the train driver, and when all hope seems to be lost, lieutenant Yeager decides the outcome of the battle in a heroic act, in which he blows up the train with the missiles and himself on board, destroying the station assaulted by the Nazis.

The only ones to survive in the end are Fred, who is wounded but escapes in the French fields, colonel Buckner and Tony, who manages to returns to Nicole.

Cast[edit]

Releases[edit]

The original working title was Bastardi senza gloria (literally: "Bastards Without Glory"). The first attempt to make this movie took place in 1976 in the United States and involved an approach proposed by Bo Richards to filmmaker Ted V. Mikels. Mikels rejected it on the grounds that a movie pitched as a Dirty Dozen follow-up was a decade late, and any insistence on preserving a title containing the word "bastard" would spell box office failure in the 1970s.[2] The film was released in the United States as The Inglorious Bastards; it was also issued as Hell's Heroes and as Deadly Mission on home video.

The American success of the blaxploitation genre led distributors to reedit this film and distribute it as G.I. Bro—in this version, scenes were cut to make Fred Williamson the lead character. The tagline on this version was: "If you're a kraut, he'll take you out!"

The reissue title for this film was Counterfeit Commandos. Severin Films released a three-disc set that features a newly remastered transfer of the film, an interview with Quentin Tarantino (the director of the similarly titled but unrelated film Inglourious Basterds) and director Enzo G. Castellari, trailers, a tour of shooting locations, a documentary on the making of the film with interviews with Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, and Enzo G. Castellari, and a CD with the soundtrack. Both spellings appear on the DVDs: one says the full word "Bastards" and the other, "Basterds".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal. "The Inglorious Bastards". Allmovie. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Inglourious Basterds Has Inglorious Beginnings". FlickDirect. 

External links[edit]