Monday, January 3, 2022

#2,688. The Inglorious Bastards (1978) - Spotlight on Italy


Enzo Castellari’s highly entertaining World War II film stars Bo Svenson as Lt. Robert Yeager, who, as the movie opens, is awaiting court martial for disobeying orders.

While on their way to the stockade, Yeager and several other military prisoners, including Pvt. Canfield (Fred Williamson), Tony (Peter Hooten), Nick (Michael Pergolani), and Berle (Jackie Basehart), manage to escape when their convoy is attacked by the Germans. Now on their own, Yeager assumes command of this ragtag group of misfits, promising to get them safely to Switzerland.

But when they inadvertently disrupt a crucial mission organized by Col. Charles Buckner (Ian Bannen), Yeager and the others have no alternative but to “rejoin” the army and volunteer for an assignment that, if successful, could spell the end of Nazi Germany once and for all!

Much like Castellari’s Eagles Over London, The Inglorious Bastards features plenty of action; along with the many battle scenes, there’s a thrilling sequence in which Yeager, Buckner, and the others escape from the Gestapo, and the final third of the movie, set on a moving train, will have you on the edge of your seat.

Svenson, Williamson, and Hooten are in fine form as the criminals-turned-heroes, and Castellari also manages to slip in a rushed but nonetheless effective romantic subplot, with Tony falling head over heels for French resistance fighter Nicole, played by Debra Berger.

Quentin Tarantino himself is a big fan of The Inglorious Bastards, and “borrowed” its title (though not its story) for his 2009 war film starring Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz. Watching the original again, it’s easy to see why Tarantino and so many others continue to sing this movie’s praises. An action-packed “guys on a mission” film in the same vein as The Dirty Dozen, The Inglorious Bastards is flat-out fun!
Rating: 9 out of 10

No comments: