Inglourious Basterds 2009 Movie Scene Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa smoking a cigarette

Inglourious Basterds [2009]

I know, I know, you’re probably already talking to all your friends saying just how great this movie is. And since I’m one of those people, I want to amplify that praise. Inglourious Basterds is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time driven by intense atmosphere, excellent direction, and stellar performances. Although it’s almost two and a half hours long, you won’t feel that. Since the storytelling is highly engaging, time will simply fly. It would appear that anything Quentin Tarantino touches turns into gold. So, you can’t help wondering what other stories he could tell in the future.

Inglourious Basterds is a movie taking place during World War II, following a fictional plot about two separate attempts to take out the Nazi leadership. However, towards the end of the war, the very real Operation Greenup tried to do something similar. In that sense, you could say it’s drawing inspiration from old-school classics like Dirty Dozen and Guns of Navarone. Quentin also uses a lot of tricks and concepts from Spaghetti Westerns, giving the movie that juicy aspect. He started working on the script in the late nineties and kept adding new characters and subplots over the years turning it into a fucking masterpiece. 

You can feel the incredible attention to detail in almost every scene. However, the opening one is a work of art. An ordinary French family living on a remote farm sees a group of Nazis quickly descending upon them. Since France was under German control they often conducted these raids, looking for resistance movement fighters and Jews. What happens next is one of the most intense and brutal scenes in the entire movie. It perfectly sets up the viewer for everything that’s about to come. And it also shines a light on Christoph Waltz, a German actor who deserves a fucking Academy Award for his performance here. And right behind him are the rest of the cast members.

This is what’s so great about Inglourious Basterds, it seamlessly blends classic action adventure war movies with Spaghetti Westerns and even Grindhouse movies of the seventies. Using WWII as its playground it tells tales of valor, bravery, and unspeakable evil offering the viewer an exciting and satisfying journey. What maximizes its impact is the reality of the situations that actually did happen in some form or another during this bloody period of our history. You have to remember that this was a World War that left more than 85 million people dead.

So, you can truly enjoy these scenes where the Allied forces are killing Nazis and trying to end the war as soon as possible. On that note, Inglourious Basterds is not a movie for kids. There will be brutal and very graphic scenes of both murder and mutilation. They start relatively early on with a group of soldiers removing the scalps of dead Nazis.

I mean, just a few moments after that, Sgt. Donny Donowitz AKA The Bear Jew bashes the head of a Nazi General with a baseball bat. However, you should know that this isn’t an action movie but more of a slow-burning thriller. It focuses on superbly written dialogue and an intense atmosphere.

Moving on, although this is technically an American movie, only a third of the dialogue is in English. This gives it a distinct European vibe and helps with its authenticity. I think that now is the perfect time to talk about the title of this movie which was inspired by the Italian copy of The Dirty Dozen, The Inglorious Bastards. Quentin Tarantino’s movie Inglourious Basterds is not a remake or a sequel.

He refuses to elaborate on the spelling errors in the title saying that: “Here’s the thing. I’m never going to explain that. You do an artistic flourish like that, and to explain it would just take the piss out of it, and invalidate the whole stroke in the first place.” If I had to guess, he just took the whole Italian exploitation cinema vibe and took it to another level.

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger

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