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Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato

Inglorious Bastards
Deadly Mission / Hell's Heroes / Counterfeit Commandos / G.I. Bro / The Dirty Bastard / Bastardi senza Gloria

Italy 1978
produced by
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

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 miles away.

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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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