Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato
Deadly Mission / Hell's Heroes / Counterfeit Commandos / G.I. Bro / The Dirty Bastard / Bastardi senza Gloria
Roberto Sbarigia (executive) for Films Concorde
directed by Enzo G. Castellari
starring Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Peter Hooten, Michael Pergolani, Jackie Basehart, Raimund Harmstorf, Ian Bannen, Michel Constantin, Debra Berger, Flavio Andreini, Peter Boom, Vito Fornari, Manfred Freyberger, Joshua Sinclair (as John Loffredo), Mike Morris, Donald O'Brien, Gerard Schwarz, Bryan Rostron, Massimo Vanni, Bill Vanders, Mauro Vestri, Pietro Plinio Quinzi, Enzo G. Castellari, Rocco Lerro, Franco Ukmar
written by Sandro Continenza, Sergio Grieco, Franco Marotta, Romano Migliorini, Laura Toscano, music by Francesco De Masi, special effects by Gino De Rossi
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World War II, somewhere in France: Allied deserters Sergeant Yeager (Bo
Svenson), playboy Tony (Peter Hooten), hulking black man Camfield (Fred
Williamson), master forger and thief Nick (Michael Pergolani) and cowardly
and shell-shocked Berle (Jackie Basehart) are taken to be court-martialed
and possibly shot - when their prisoners' transport runs into a German
ambush and somehow the five of them manage to seize the opportunity, steal
a truck and escape, planning to go to Switzerland which is a mere 160
However, during their journey they run into many a patrol and many a
shoot-out and airplane attack, and they have to use all their wits to get
through it all alive. But they also stumble into Adolf (Raimund
Harmstorf), like them a deserter, only he is a German. He agrees to help
them get to Switzerland since they are all in the same boat, but when they
run into a German patrol, they think Adolf betrays them and shoot him and
the whole patrol dead - only to then find out the Germans were actually
Americans undercover and Adolf didn't in the least betray them.
Furthermore, they were Americans on a secret mission - and soon the French
Resistance arrives on scene, and to not run into any more trouble, Yeager
and his men assume the identity of those they shot - and soon they learn
they are supposed to blow up a highly guarded German train carrying a new
V2 rockethead which simply mustn't reach its destination.
Of course, the whole charade is eventually found out by Colonel Buckner
(Ian Bannen), who is to command the mission, but somehow Yeager, overcome
by sudden patriotism, can convince Yeager that his men are just as capable
of doing the job as those they've killed.
With the mission going forward, our gang of accidental heroes run into
problem after problem, but somehow they can master everything thrown at
them, even if that means at one point attacking a German fortress with
their numbers counting no more than six.
Finally, Yeager and Buckner manage to smuggle themselves onto the train
in question by dressing up as German officers, and causing havoc aboard
the train, while the others and the Resistance see to it that all tracks
are suitably blown up so the train has to take a certain route where they
can launch an attack. Need I say that everything ultimately amounts to a
happy ending, even if the Sergeant and Nick the thief and forger have to
die hero's deaths.
Quite often, Inglorious Bastards is dismissed as a direct
rip-off of The Dirty Dozen, even if the similarities are at best
fleeting. In fact, Inglorious Bastards is a rather light-hearted
war-movie that even has some room for a bit of (unintrusive) comedy, but
that however excels in its many action scenes (as would be expected from
action-auteur Enzo G.Castellari). Add to this production values that are
up to the film's demands, a fast pace throughout, a well-written script
featuring likeable characters, good actors and great direction and
camerawork and you've got a very entertaining war film.
No masterpiece perhaps, but definitely recommended.
By the way, director Quentin Tarantino has announced a remake of this
movie for 2009 - which is only good news because the film might finally
get the recognition it deserves, but bad news because the film is simply
put good enough to need no remake.