The Inglorious Bastards


1h 39m 1977

Brief Synopsis

Set in Europe during WWII, a group of American soldiers are in the process of being shipped off to military prison for a variety of infractions, ranging from desertion to murder. While they're being transported, a German artillery attack hits the convoy, killing the MPs and enabling four of the prisoners to escape. The group decides their best bet is to head to neutral Switzerland where they can avoid the fighting and prison. As they make their way to what they think will be freedom, they end up volunteering for a commando mission to steal a V2 warhead for the French Underground. Somehow, the team must sneak into the most heavily guarded base in German territory, steal the Nazi's most precious military hardware, and bring it back to the allies without getting arrested again by their own side.

Film Details

Also Known As
Counterfeit Commandos, G.I. Bro, Inglorious Bastards
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1977

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Color
Color (Telecolor)

Synopsis

Set in Europe during WWII, a group of American soldiers are in the process of being shipped off to military prison for a variety of infractions, ranging from desertion to murder. While they're being transported, a German artillery attack hits the convoy, killing the MPs and enabling four of the prisoners to escape. The group decides their best bet is to head to neutral Switzerland where they can avoid the fighting and prison. As they make their way to what they think will be freedom, they end up volunteering for a commando mission to steal a V2 warhead for the French Underground. Somehow, the team must sneak into the most heavily guarded base in German territory, steal the Nazi's most precious military hardware, and bring it back to the allies without getting arrested again by their own side.

Film Details

Also Known As
Counterfeit Commandos, G.I. Bro, Inglorious Bastards
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1977

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Color
Color (Telecolor)

Articles

The Inglorious Bastards - Enzo G. Castellari's THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS - The 1978 Cult Italian War Drama that Quentin Tarantino is Remaking


Quentin Tarantino has for years been saying his next film will be a massive WWII action epic entitled The Inglorious Bastards. He's been saying this for so long, he has managed to actually make a couple of other "next" films while Bastards remained seemingly forever on the horizon. With the recent leak of what is alleged to be Tarantino's screenplay for the thing (long enough for two films, and riddled with spelling errors some claim are signs of its authenticity), it is fascinating to return to the inspirational source text: Enzo Castellari's 1978 original. Never released theatrically in the United States and given the recut-n-rename treatment on low-end VHS (Counterfeit Commandos, Deadly Mission, and G.I. Bro), this Italian-issue Dirty Dozen knock-off is one of the sharpest and most entertaining exploitation actioner of its era.

It is easy to see what drew Tarantino's interest-the thing already plays like one of his. The story involves a ragtag bunch of convicts and deserters in WWII who manage to evade discipline only to find themselves behind enemy lines, stumbling from calamity to calamity in their efforts to slip across the Swiss border to freedom. Along the way they are mistaken for a skilled commando squad on a suicide mission (whom they mistakenly killed), and sent in to finish the job. Bo Svenson and blaxploitation megastar Fred Williamson topline, supported by a colorful ensemble cast that includes Tom Savini lookalike Michael Pergolani and Peter Hooten as a racist gangster-the closest thing this movie has a to a romantic hero. Not only is this a study of bad guys redeemed by violence, but the plot is little more than a framework on which to hang a series of outlandish set pieces and dense patches of character-building dialogue. If Tarantino had never seen this movie, he certainly would have dreamed it.

Like loftier predecessors like Catch 22, , and Apocalypse Now, The Inglorious Bastards revels in the absurdity of war and the futility of separating "heroes" from "villains" in such circumstances. There are flashes of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and reflected under the surface, as well, not to mention more overt influences like The Dirty Dozen. Enzo Castellari has a track record of reconfiguring pop cultural standouts in his own stylishly grotty manner: 1967's Any Gun Play revamps while 1968's Johnny Hamlet is as its title suggests a Shakespearean Western. The Inglorious Bastards is solid filmmaking, free of the pretensions that often hang over movies this well made.

Severin's DVD clearly hungers for the arrival of the Tarantino remake-as a bonus feature the disc presents an extended and warm encounter between Tarantino and Castellari. As is to be expected, Tarantino dominates their conversation but it is surprising how much of that conversation is given over Tarantino's version, especially since it hasn't been made yet. It is probably a DVD first, to have the presentation of one film heap such praise on its own remake, a remake that has yet to even exist. For most consumers, this platter will suffice, but serious Bastards will happily note the indulgent 3 disc special edition that includes an entire additional disc of extras and a third disc of the soundtrack in CD format. Severin has given a Criterion-standard treatment to a nearly forgotten Eurocult obscurity, whose reputation is surely, and deservedly, on the rise.

For more information about The Inglorious Bastards, visit Severin Films. To order The Inglorious Bastards, go to TCM Shopping

by David Kalat
The Inglorious Bastards - Enzo G. Castellari's The Inglorious Bastards - The 1978 Cult Italian War Drama That Quentin Tarantino Is Remaking

The Inglorious Bastards - Enzo G. Castellari's THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS - The 1978 Cult Italian War Drama that Quentin Tarantino is Remaking

Quentin Tarantino has for years been saying his next film will be a massive WWII action epic entitled The Inglorious Bastards. He's been saying this for so long, he has managed to actually make a couple of other "next" films while Bastards remained seemingly forever on the horizon. With the recent leak of what is alleged to be Tarantino's screenplay for the thing (long enough for two films, and riddled with spelling errors some claim are signs of its authenticity), it is fascinating to return to the inspirational source text: Enzo Castellari's 1978 original. Never released theatrically in the United States and given the recut-n-rename treatment on low-end VHS (Counterfeit Commandos, Deadly Mission, and G.I. Bro), this Italian-issue Dirty Dozen knock-off is one of the sharpest and most entertaining exploitation actioner of its era. It is easy to see what drew Tarantino's interest-the thing already plays like one of his. The story involves a ragtag bunch of convicts and deserters in WWII who manage to evade discipline only to find themselves behind enemy lines, stumbling from calamity to calamity in their efforts to slip across the Swiss border to freedom. Along the way they are mistaken for a skilled commando squad on a suicide mission (whom they mistakenly killed), and sent in to finish the job. Bo Svenson and blaxploitation megastar Fred Williamson topline, supported by a colorful ensemble cast that includes Tom Savini lookalike Michael Pergolani and Peter Hooten as a racist gangster-the closest thing this movie has a to a romantic hero. Not only is this a study of bad guys redeemed by violence, but the plot is little more than a framework on which to hang a series of outlandish set pieces and dense patches of character-building dialogue. If Tarantino had never seen this movie, he certainly would have dreamed it. Like loftier predecessors like Catch 22,

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