Inglourious Basterds (2009) Poster


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  • According to Wikipedia, the first recorded use of a squib in motion pictures was in 1955, so it's unlikely the technology existed in 1944 (or before) for Nation's Pride. However, since Quentin Tarantino is known for anachronistic aspects in his films, this shouldn't come as such a surprise. Edit

  • Hicox (Michael Fassbender) already learned about Operation Kino from Fenech (Mike Myers). The Basterds had the guns and dynamite ready. Later, von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) tells Raine (Brad Pitt) that she had arranged for a tailor to get Hicox, Stiglitz (Til Schweiger) and Wicki (Gedeon Burkhard) fitted for tuxedos. They could have taken care of this, and hashed out any further details of Operation Kino in a private setting (even at the tailor's shop).

    Fenech and von Hamersmark mentioned that the area around the tavern would be clear of Nazis. Also, meeting at a private place such as a hotel room may have been inconvenient for all parties, and von Hammersmark could have drawn attention as she is a famous actress in Germany. The guise of a couple German soldiers meeting a famous German actress for a drink at a tavern is much less suspect then each of them sneaking off somewhere secretive. Especially in case von Hammersmark was being followed. Edit

  • A group of Jewish American soldiers plot the assassination of Nazis while, in another storyline, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), a French Jewish cinema owner who narrowly escaped the massacre of her family and who is now being forced to host a propaganda film attended by several high-ranking Nazi officers, including Adolf Hitler (Martin Wuttke), is also plotting their assassination. The two separate storylines come together at the end of the movie. Edit

  • Inglourious Basterds was developed and produced from a script by director Quentin Tarantino. Edit

  • No, but the title of the film was inspired by The Inglorious Bastards (Quel maledetto treno blindato (1978)) (1978). While Tarantino is a huge fan of this macaroni combat classic, his Inglourious Basterds has evolved from being a similar men-on-a-mission war film to something very different. Edit

  • Tarantino commented on The Late Show that Inglourious Basterds is the "Tarantino way of spelling it," but he hasn't commented on where the idea for the misspelling arose, nor is he likely to. "I'm never going to explain that," Tarantino was quoted at the Cannes Film Festival (as widely reported). Three theories have been offered by viewers. (1) Basterd may be derived from the word Baster, a word derived from Dutch bastaard (bastard). The original Basters were mainly persons of mixed descent between the Cape Colony Dutch and indigenous African women who at one time would have been absorbed in the white community. In the movie, the Basterds are American/Jewish, and their plan was very similar: to be "civilians absorbed" in France, walking among the Nazis. (2) The misspelling may connote that Lt Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), who grew up in a family of backwoods bootleggers and moonshiners, has had little in the way of schooling. The words are briefly shown in their misspelled form on his rifle. (3) Tarantino misspelled the title on the cover of the script, which then leaked onto the internet before production began. Rather than admit his mistake, Tarantino chose to maintain the spelling. Edit

  • It is in the chapter where the Basterds are in a ditch, interrogating their Nazi prisoners, and one refuses to give up the Nazi position in a nearby forest—basically asking for death at the hands of the "Bear Jew". Aldo Raine walks into the scene and you can see his Karabiner 98k rifle with the words "INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS" carved into the stock. Edit

  • Technically, yes. Their mission was to create havoc and fear among the ranks of the Nazis, by killing and mutilating them. However, a good portion of the men they killed weren't Nazis but were German soldiers and not necessarily members of the Nazi Party, Gestapo or SS. During the time of war, any German soldier who was fighting for Adolf Hitler was considered a Nazi by the Allies. Edit

  • It is never explained in the movie, as it was Tarantino's intention to leave it unknown. Several theories have come up about it, one such being that it resulted from his punishment for being a bootlegger in the Southern United States. There is a rumor that Tarantino said in an interview that Raine was lynched by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) for defending African Americans in the South. It is also been suggested that someone slit or tried to slit his throat but didn't go as deeply as intended or that Aldo fought them off quickly enough, although the scar does not look like that caused by a knife, and the screenplay refers to it as a "rope burn". Edit

  • Though not explicitly stated in the movie, it is strongly implied in the film that he is not. He mentions that he is part Apache and that he was born and raised in Maynardville, Tennessee. He tells his troops that he was a direct descendant of Jim Bridger the mountain man, suggesting he is the hillbilly type (there were not many Jewish hillbillies). He was in charge of leading the actual Jewish American soldiers (with the exception of Hugo Stiglitz, who was not Jewish) into enemy territory. In all likelihood, Raine received/asked for command of the Basterds purely so he could have a crack at the Nazis. Edit

  • Powdered snuff, which is a type of tobacco that you can inhale through your nose. He'd gotten it from one of the dead German soldiers right before Donny kills the officer with his bat. Edit

  • The Sergeant from the baseball bat scene (Sgt. Werner Rachtman) said that "Everyone in the German Army has heard of Hugo Stiglitz." that doesn't mean that he was so famous everyone would instantly recognize him. His picture was in the paper, yes. But the rumours and stories about Stiglitz would likely mainly travel by word-of-mouth throughout the ranks of the German Army. Even if a good portion of the army saw Hugo's picture in the newspaper, he doesn't have any real distinct features that make him stand out in a crowd. Also it was said that instead of being executed he was to be sent to Berlin to be made an example of. Once the Basterds rescued him, Hitler's propaganda probably wouldn't want this to be found out (Keep in mind that is just theorizing) so they kept it quiet so most German Soldiers probably assumed he was back in Berlin. So when they see a man that looks much like Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz, but is in a Lieutenant's uniform, they may just think "hey he looks familiar" or "Hey he looks like Stiglitz" All the soldiers in the Tavern were very drunk and paid little or no attention to him as he also sat with his back to them. Hellstrom on the other hand, would likely know who Stiglitz was, as he was a Gestapo officer. But once again, may have assumed this man just looked like Stiglitz or paid little or no attention to him as he was focusing his suspicions on Hicox and his "bizarre accent". Edit

  • Because a basement tavern like the one the scene takes place in might only have one entrance/exit and no windows. Such a layout offers very little opportunity, if a gunfight breaks out, for anyone to escape the ensuing melee. A basement bar like this one will likely have no windows, or windows that are too small to see anything happening downstairs which would prevent Aldo and the rest of the Basterds the opportunity to spy on the meeting and maybe see an attack coming. In short, Aldo is bothered that he wouldn't be able to see the meeting's progress. The chances of him actually hearing the conversation between Hicox's small team and Hammersmark would have been increased if the tavern were above ground—they'd be able to spy on the meeting from another room or outside. As things turn out, Aldo was perfectly justified in his assumption. Also, the men are merely meeting Hammersmark in the basement bar—that doesn't mean that they'd intended to stay there & continue their conversation. As commander of the mission, Raine might have instructed Hicox to get Hammersmark & the rest of their team out of there ASAP but in such a way as to appear less suspicious. Wicki even tried to tell her that they needed to leave the place but she insisted they stay because her leaving so soon after she'd arrived would look suspicious. Plus, there's the factor of plain bad luck: Hammersmark never expected that the young Sergeant who'd just become a father and his friends would be celebrating in that very bar. Edit

  • YES. The below sounds like a typical film major kid studying movies thinking he's gonna make it. S'tut mir leid. Anyway, Landa INSTANTLY knows as soon as he touches her hand. Its the TOUCH. Rewatch the movie and notice that EVERY time he figures out the truth, it's just after he touhes the hand.

    ***************************** It's possible. He never saw her face while she was running away from him, so there is no way he could have known that she was the girl, although we don't know how detailed were the files Landa had on the Dreyfus family. It is possible he had a very good description of her or even a photo. Being a very skilled detective and interrogator, he acts as polite and respectful as possible and never shows all his cards until he is certain about the outcome. The beginning of the film showed Landa having a friendly conversation with Monsieur LaPadite whom he suspected of hiding the Dreyfus family, but asked for certain details about them to see how Mr. LaPadite responded, pretending to not really be sure about the details of the Dreyfus family was hint enough for Landa to know he was lying and confirm that LaPadite was hiding the Dreyfuses. Keep in mind that Landa also knew who Aldo, Donny and Omar were simply by interrogating the swastika marked soldiers. So he could very easily have known or suspected that Madame Mimieux was in fact Shosanna Dreyfus, simply by height, hair colour, eye colour and descriptions he had gathered from interrogations of other Dairy Farmers in the area. Perhaps the reason he ordered the milk and the cream was that he suspected she was Jewish, but as she kept her calm and even tried the strudel, cream and all, he either dismissed his theory or chose to ignore it. It's also possible, going with the assumption that Landa did indeed know who she was, that Landa was just testing her nerves. The more he prolonged the stress of him sitting there with her, the more uncomfortable she'd likely become. Not to mention she probably didn't have much of an appetite with him sitting there. While she kept her calm, it was also obvious she was still nervous. Perhaps when he said he had something else to ask her-then he paused-and gave her an intense stare was just to gauge her reaction. As a cat toys with a mouse. Either for his own amusement or to see if she would try running at which point he could apprehend her. He may have chosen not to act on his suspicions because he was planning on betraying Hitler at the theater, and could have used Shosanna as a scapegoat had it not gone as planned. Though that is just a theory. Edit

  • We have no way of knowing, as he never asked the question. It's entirely possible he was suspicious and simply toying with her. It's also possible he was considering confronting her about his suspicions but at the last moment decided not to act on them. Edit

  • At the beginning of the film, Shosanna doesn't speak or understand English, but the rest of the film takes place three to four years later which is more than enough time for her to learn English, possibly to avoid another situation like the beginning of the film. Also, it has been mentioned in many books that Adolf Hitler may have known a little bit of English (probably not French), so Shosanna might have wanted Hitler to understand the words she spoke (as shown when Hitler stands up and angrily shouts out "Enough! Stop (the film)!" after her film announces all the Nazis in the theater are going to die). Lastly, Shosanna's use of English is a simple continuity choice, as it is meant as a direct response to Frederick Zoller's line "Who wants to send a message to Germany?", which is spoken in English. The technical answer is that the scene was originally supposed to be in French, but Mélanie Laurent suggested to Quentin Tarantino that it be done in English. Most likely because it would be hard to read subtitles during all the chaos. Edit

  • Marcel isn't seen after lighting the fire in the theater, but it is assumed he escaped through the exit behind the screen as he had to go outside the theater to enter through this door behind the screen likely to meet up with Shosanna outside. He may also have died, as the bittersweet last kiss between Shosanna and himself could imply that they were on a suicide mission. This is unlikely, however, as both of them had access to the outside (Marcel only locked the theater doors to the auditorium, not the doors leading to the outside), and Shoshanna could have left the projector room and escaped through the front door. Edit

  • The first soldier to be branded wasn't shown, simply the scar that was left. Although Aldo usually went just deep enough to leave a visible scar, he felt that Landa deserved a little more than the usual, considering the atrocities he committed. He also wanted to make sure anyone who met Landa would see the "brand" and recognize him for what he was. Consequently, Aldo dug his knife so deeply into Landa's forehead that it was basically carved into the skull, which is why Landa was in such agony. Aldo also seemed to do it a bit slower in order to maximize Landa's agony. This is probably why Aldo believes it to be his "masterpiece." Alternatively, it's also possible that Landa is just a sniveling coward. He is more than happy to dish out torment and death on others and is "brave" enough to kill a defenseless woman with his bare hands, but when it comes to actually receiving a taste of pain himself, it's more than he could take. Edit

  • This may be part of Tarantino's message: that all people, regardless of labels and categories, are capable of intense cruelty. Indeed, the Basterds are fully aware of this and relatively proud of it. Aldo's opening speech to his unit was essentially saying that they plan to give the Nazis a taste of their own medicine:

    Nazi ain't got no humanity. They're the foot soldiers of a Jew-hatin', mass murderin' maniac and they need to be dee-stroyed. That's why any and every sumbitch we find wearin' a Nazi uniform, they're gonna die.... We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are. And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us. And the German won't not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives. And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us. And when the German closes their eyes at night and they're tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with. Sound good?

    Nazis had a very similar outlook on Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, and anyone else deemed imperfect or untrustworthy. So Aldo and the Basterds took the opportunity to strike a blow at the heart of the German ranks by treating them no different than the Reich treated Jews. Not distinguishing between a Nazi and a German soldier was part of a prejudice necessary to their mission to wreak havoc. Edit

  • Yes. Tarantino keeps his tradition of giving himself a small role in his films. In fact, he appears twice. First, he appears as one of the scalped German bodies when the Basterds are introduced, and later appears as a soldier in "Nation's Pride," (the one that says Colonel, I implore you, we must destroy that tower!") the movie being shown at the theater at the end. Nation's Pride was directed by Eli Roth, who appears as Donnie. When Landa chokes Hammersmark, the POV of Landa's hands around her neck is actually Tarantino's hands. Edit

  • Quentin Tarantino seems to like playing around with his movies. Like he did with the two Kill Bill movies he created a longer German Version of Inglourious Basterds as well. Here, two dialogue scenes were extended during the "Who am I?" game dealing with Winnetou who is a very famous literary character in Germany. These scenes can be found in the bonus material of the international version, though. Edit

  • Yes. For example...

    • We see a victim's attackers from their point of view. There are many point of view shots in Tarantino's work, including Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.

    • Tarantino continues to display his foot fetish when Landa holds Bridget's bare foot.

    • During a long conversation, the camera will circle around the table. The same technique is used in Reservoir Dogs and Death Proof.

    • Julie Dreyfus portrays a German to French translator in this film. She plays a similar role in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 as a French and English to Japanese translator.

    • A character says a line in verse (Landa tells Raine and Utvich "You get all four, you win the war.") An example of this in another Tarantino film is in Pulp Fiction, when Paul tells Vincent, "My name's Paul, and this shit's between y'all."

    • Samuel L Jackson participates in his 4th Tarantino film as film's voice-over narrator. Harvey Keitel makes his 3rd as the voice of the commander that Raine and Landa talk to over radio.

    • In the bar scene, Michael Fassbender, Til Schweiger, and August Diehl are involved in a Mexican standoff, much like the endings of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

    • In the opening scene, Landa drinks his entire glass of milk in one gulp before massacring an entire group of people. This is similar to an early scene in Pulp Fiction where Jules drinks an entire cup of Sprite in one gulp before he commits a massacre.

    • The scene between Aldo and Wilhelm after the shootout is similar to one between The Bride and the assassin Karen Kim in Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

    • Just after F. Zoller has shot Shoshanna, there is a shot, straight on, of him holding the gun on her, hesitating, moving it up and down. In Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Orange performs the same action, in a similar shot.

    • The only black man in this film (a Frenchman) is named "Marcel". Marcellus was the name of the African-American crime boss in Pulp Fiction.

    • Sgt. Donny Donowitz shares a last name with Lee Donowitz, who was a film producer character in the Tarantino-written film True Romance, and Tarantino has confirmed that the two are father and son. Also, in True Romance, the character Lee Donowitz produced a war film called Comin' Home in a Body Bag.

    • The Basterds always leave one behind to tell the tale, much like Mickey and Mallory in the Tarantino scripted Natural Born Killers and Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill: Vol. 1. The confessions by the swastika marked Nazi's are also much like Sophie Fatale's confession to Bill in Kill Bill.

    • The same excerpt from the song, Crane/White Lightning by RZA is used in both Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill: Vol. 1

    • Shosanna's message to the Nazi's being in English after Marcel says, "Remember, in English," is similar to O-Ren Ishii's message to the Tokyo Yakuza in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, which is delivered in English after she says in Japanese, "So you all will know the seriousness of my warning, I shall say this in English."

  • Probably the best person to recommend movies that inspired Inglourious Basterds is director Quentin Tarantino himself. In an interview with the Associated Press, Tarantino picks five of his favorite "story-oriented" versions of World War II. The five include (1) The Great Escape (1963) (1963) about a mass escape of Allied POWs from a Nazi prison camp,(2) The Dirty Dozen (1967) (1967) in which 12 convicted murderers lead a mass assassination mission of German officers, (3) Five Graves to Cairo (1943) (1943) in which a British officer seeks to penetrate the secrets of the "Desert Fox" (German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel), (4) Tonight We Raid Calais (1943) (1943) in which a British intelligence officer plots to destroy a Nazi munitions plant in France, and (5) Action in Arabia (1944) (1944) featuring a reporter in the Middle East who becomes caught up in the Allied-Nazi struggle for the sympathies of the Arab world. Tarantino also named Where Eagles Dare (1968) (1968), a Clint Eastwood film set in World War II, as his favorite "men-on-a-mission" movie. If you enjoyed Inglourious Basterds, you may wish to see other films by Quentin Tarantino, e.g., Reservoir Dogs (1992) (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994) (1994), True Romance (1993) (1993) (scripted by Tarantino but directed by Tony Scott), Jackie Brown (1997) (1997), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) (2004), Death Proof (2007) (2007), and Django Unchained (2012) (2012). Edit

  • The Green Leaves Of Summer, composed by Dimitri Tiomkin & Paul Francis Webster and arranged & performed by Nick Perito, from The Alamo (1960): The opening credits.

    La Condanna (The Verdict), by Ennio Morricone, from La resa dei conti (1966): The arrival of the Nazis at the LaPadite farm.

    L'incontro Con La Figlia, by Ennio Morricone, from Il ritorno di Ringo (1965): The assassination of Shosanna's family and her subsequent escape.

    White Lightning (Main Theme), by Charles Bernstein, from White Lightning (1973): Pvt. Butz's introduction and Basterds aftermath / Lt. Aldo carving a swastika into Butz / Introduction of Shosanna and the theater in 1944.

    Il Mercenario (Ripresa), by Ennio Morricone, from Il mercenario (1968): Aftermath of the Basterds attack / Sgt. Rachtman approaches and salutes Lt. Aldo.

    Slaughter (Main Theme), by Billy Preston, from Slaughter (1972): Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz's theme.

    Algeri: 1 November 1954, by Ennio Morricone & Gillo Pontecorvo, from La battaglia di Algeri (1966): The Basterds springing Stiglitz from jail.

    La Resa (The Surrender), by Ennio Morricone, from La resa dei conti (1966): Sgt. Donowitz's introduction.

    Un Dollaro Bucato (Main Theme) (One Silver Dollar), by Gianni Ferrio, from Un dollaro bucato (1965): Bistro music during Shosanna's and Zoller's conversation.

    Hound Chase (Intro), by Charles Bernstein, from White Lightning (1973): Major Hellstrom informs Shosanna that she must come with him.

    The Saloon, by Riz Ortolani, from Al di là della legge (1968): Piano music at Maxim's during Shosanna's lunch with Goebbels, Francesca, Zoller and Hellstrom.

    Bath Attack, by Charles Bernstein, from The Entity (1982): Shosanna sees Col. Landa again for the first time since he killed her family.

    Claire's First Appearance, by Jacques Loussier, from The Mercenaries (1968): Shosanna decides to burn the theatre down on the night of the premiere of Stolz der Nation.

    The Fight, by Jacques Loussier, from The Mercenaries (1968): Stiglitz sharpens his knife in front of Lt. Hicox.

    Davon Geht Die Welt Nicht Unter, composed by Bruno Balz & Michael Jary and performed by Zarah Leander, from Die große Liebe (1942): The first song playing in La Louisiane (while the first card game is going on).

    The Man with the Big Sombrero, composed by Phil Boutelje & Foster Carling and performed by The Michael Andrew Orchestra, from Hi Diddle Diddle (1943): The second song playing in La Louisiane (while Bridget is attempting to inform the Basterds of the recent changes in Operation Kino).

    Ich Wollt Ich Wär Ein Huhn, composed by Hans Fritz Beckmann & Peter Kreuder and performed by Lilian Harvey, Willy Fritsch & Paul Kemp, from Glückskinder (1936): The third song playing in La Louisiane (while Sgt. Wilhelm interrupts the conversation to talk to Bridget).

    Dark of the Sun (Main Theme), by Jacques Loussier, from The Mercenaries (1968): Lt. Aldo and Bridget start coming up with Plan B for Operation Kino.

    Cat People (Putting Out The Fire), composed by David Bowie & Giorgio Moroder and performed by David Bowie, from Cat People (1982): Shosanna's preparation montage for her revenge.

    Mistico e Severo (Mystic and Severe), by Ennio Morricone, from Da uomo a uomo (1967): Col. Landa studies the lobby and finds Bridget and the Basterds.

    The Devil's Rumble, composed by Davie Allan & Mike Curb and performed by Davie Allan & Davie Allan and The Arrows, from Devil's Angels (1967): Sgt. Donowitz and PFC Ulmer study the opera boxes and take their seats among the Nazi officers.

    What'd I Say, composed by Ray Charles and performed by Rare Earth: Sgt. Donowitz and PFC Ulmer study the area outside Hitler's opera box.

    Zulus, composed by Elmer Bernstein and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, from Zulu Dawn (1979): Marcel bars the doors and takes his place behind the screen with the nitrate film prints.

    Tiger Tank, by Lalo Schifrin, from Kelly's Heroes (1970): Zoller leaves the opera box to see Shosanna / Shosanna switches reels.

    Un Amico, by Ennio Morricone, from Revolver (1973): Shosanna ruefully watches Stolz der Nation.

    Eastern Condors (Main Theme), by Danny Chung, from Dung fong tuk ying (1987): Sgt. Donowitz and PFC Omar kill Hitler's guards.

    Rabbia e Tarantella, by Ennio Morricone, from Allonsanfàn (1974): Lt. Aldo carves his masterpiece / The closing credits. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Viewers have suggested that (1) Landa (Christoph Waltz) admired Shosanna's will for survival, (2) the distance between them was too great for an accurate shot, (3) Landa wanted her to spread the rumors of him being "the Jew Hunter", (4) he had no doubt that he could track her down at a later time, and (5) he didn't want to shoot her in the back (mentioned in the script, but left out of the movie). In the "Cannes cut", he informs his soldiers that she will freeze to death anyway in the coming winter. Edit

  • Likely not. While Landa is a bit of a sociopath, he also seems to keep his word when he promises LaPadite he won't kill him if he turns over the Dreyfuses. Landa was a brilliant detective, while at the beginning of the film, he says he loves his unofficial title of "The Jew Hunter" because he has earned it. Yet late in the film, when Aldo refers to Landa by this name, Landa is disgusted by it, because at this point, he was no longer "hunting Jews" so to speak and could be honest with Raine (though given his opportunistic nature, it could also be the possibility he claims to dislike his title as to appear a better person in front of the Allied Forces). So, at the beginning, he already knew that Mr. LaPadite was hiding the Jews beneath his floorboards, but Landa promised him that if he were to make Landa's job easier and admit it, that the German army would never bother him or his family again. LaPadite, put in an impossible position, reluctantly confesses and Landa has the Dreyfus family hidden beneath the floorboards executed, with the exception of Shosanna. Landa would likely want LaPadite to spread the story of what happened, so he would let him and his family live. Also, if one gains a reputation for being true to their word, it's more likely someone in the future would give up information easier upon promise of their life. If Landa went around killing everyone who was helping Jews, he would gain a reputation as such, therefore eventually someone would know that they were dead either way and likely try and kill Landa in the process. Also, Tarantino has a recurring theme of honour in his movies. When a character, even a villain, gives their word, they tend to keep it. Edit

  • While Tarantino has made it pretty clear that in his film's world, Hitler was gunned down in the movie theater and didn't meet his real life fate, thus helping to end the war, fans have nevertheless put forth a theory that perhaps it was a double that was killed in the theater, or perhaps the actual Hitler was killed but a double "assumed the throne" and continued until committing suicide in the bunker in 1945. However, this would not account for the other members of Hitler's inner circle who were killed in the theater, such as Bormann, Göring and Goebbels. It would be a little too convenient for them to have doubles, as well. In historical reality, Hitler visited Paris only one time for a single day, when he traveled there to accept the French surrender in June 1940. Edit

  • The following people are involved in the shoot out: Bridget Von Hammersmark, Hugo Stiglitz, Wilhelm Wicki, Archie Hicox, Major Hellstrom, Wilhelm, the German soldiers identified by their game cards on their foreheads; Winnetou, Mata Hari, Edgar Wallace, Beethoven (Female Soldier), Eric the Bartender, and Eric's daughter Mathilda the waitress. Things are very confusing given that the events of the main shootout all happen in under 35 seconds:

    1. Stiglitz starts things off by telling Hellstrom to say "auf Wiedersehen" to his Nazi balls, then shoots him in his groin.

    2. Hellstrom then shoots Hicox in turn and hits Bridget in the leg, who falls backward in her chair, while Hicox falls backward and returns fire at Hellstrom.

    3. Stiglitz then stands up and repeatedly stabs Hellstrom in the back of the head, pinning his head to the table.

    4. Wicki stands up and shoots Winnetou in the back at least twice.

    5. Beethoven shoots Stiglitz in the back.

    6. Mata Hari shoots Wicki in the stomach.

    7. Stiglitz turns and shoots Beethoven four times in the torso and then also shoots Edgar Wallace in the heart, killing them both.

    8. Wicki shoots Mata Hari in the heart.

    9. Eric shoots Stiglitz with a double-barreled shotgun, killing him. (Note: this is the only shot that isn't definitive as there is an extreme close-up of Eric while he takes aim, but when there is a wide shot of him, he appears to be aiming in Stiglitz' direction. It was theorized he was shooting at the Germans, but Wicki wouldn't have shot him if that was so).

    10. Wicki shoots Eric in the head.

    11. Wilhelm blindly guns down Wicki and Mathilda with his MP40 submachine gun. (The way the final shot is filmed, it's possible Wilhelm also shot Mata Hari in the back, or it could have just been editing of Wicki finishing him off.)

    12. After Wilhelm agrees to surrender to the Basterds, Bridget retrieves Hicox's pistol and fires four shots at Wilhelm, hitting him at least twice in the chest, killing him. Edit

  • Being a member of the Gestapo, Hellstrom was suspicious of Hicox after overhearing his "bizarre accent". Hicox explains why he has an accent pretty smoothly (that he was from a different part of Germany from a small rural village at the foot of the Piz Palü mountain in the Bernina Range of the Alps, located between Switzerland and Italy). Since people in Germany indeed speak in various "high German" (southern Bavaria accents) and "low German" (northern German accents) as well as have strong accents and dialects in neighboring German-speaking countries such as Austria and Switzerland, Hicox may have convinced Hellstrom he was truly a German. So, Hellstrom joins them for a conversation and for a card game. Hellstrom likely picked up something on Hicox again for not really wanting to play the game, then asking Hellstrom to leave the table after one round. When Hellstrom acts offended, Hicox clams up. Hellstrom then starts laughing and says he was joking and says that he would like to buy them all one round of drinks and then he would leave them alone. When Eric the bartender asks how much whisky, Hicox says, "Drei Gläser" (three glasses), and holds three fingers up. He holds his index, middle and ring finger up. Both Hellstrom and Von Hammersmark notice this immediately. Notice how Hellstrom's facial expression and cheerful demeanor quickly goes stiff and silent, and Von Hammersmark looks mortified. Hicox inadvertently gave himself away by ordering "three glasses" with those particular fingers. A German would order "three" with the index, middle finger and the thumb extended. The other way looks odd, and a German would indeed notice it as Von Hammersmark later comments. Edit

  • While Aldo struck a deal with Wilhelm, (we are shown Aldo to be a man of his word) Bridget Von Hammersmark did not. Hicox had also warned Aldo earlier, If we get into trouble, we can handle it. But if trouble does happen, we need you to make damn sure that no Germans or French for that matter escape from that basement. If Frau Von Hammersmark's cover is compromised; the mission is kaput. While not explicitly stated, it's likely Hicox meant kill anyone trying to escape so as not to risk them reporting Von Hammersmark as an Allied spy. He could have just meant capture them (which is likely what Aldo was going to do with Wilhelm). However holding an enemy prisoner when in an area heavily populated by the enemy is extremely risky. So it's likely Bridget knew she had the drop on Wilhelm and decided to take him out so she didn't have to worry about Aldo taking him alive, especially after Wilhelm insulted her and called her a "traitor". Bridget was probably also a tad upset that he just aided in killing her allies and even an innocent waitress. Edit

  • Sgt Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth) and Pfc Omar Ulmer (Omar Doom) wanted to make sure they were the ones who killed Hitler and his staff. When they quickly became aware that the theater was on fire, they may have also realized that all the exits were blocked so they decided to go out in a blaze of glory, taking as many Nazis with them before they all died. A second explanation is that they may have gotten so caught up in the moment and were so focused on the killing that they probably forgot about the time left on the bombs strapped to their legs as all three bombs exploded simultaneously. Edit

  • At first it would seem he did this because she betrayed her country, yet Landa was already planning to do the same thing, so it's likely he didn't want to share the credit and reward with someone. Had he let her live, she would receive credit for getting the Basterds into the premier and Landa would only have gotten credit for not stopping them. But if the person who got them into the premier was dead, then how they got in was a moot point and Landa would receive all the credit for helping the Basterds carry out their mission. Alternatively; perhaps it would be one last cold-blooded murder he could get away with before "surrendering" to the Allies. Edit

  • The Basterds, although cruel and brutal, still had their honesty. Not only that, but they were given orders by a higher authority. Raine was heard saying that what Landa was going to do would make up for the atrocities he has committed. "Death and nature illuminate, elevate; love ventures under, the rest all never" implies something in which Raine highly believes: giving the Nazis/German soldiers what they deserve. Landa did follow through on his side of the deal. Thus, it is not surprising when Raine and company decide to follow orders and not break their word/honor by taking Landa's life. On the other hand, you could also say that Raine wanted to brand Landa a Nazi, a memento he would have to shamefully carry on his forehead for the rest of his life, a stark contrast to the war hero who caused Hitler's reign to end. Edit

  • By the end of the film, Landa could see that in the situation where Hitler was inevitably going to die, and hence the Nazis were not going to win the war, he made the decision to betray Hitler. He goes to Raine to seek out a way to make him look like a hero. Landa traded Raine's life to hopefully be a permanent part of the history books, as the man who killed Hitler and ended the war singlehandedly. Had Germany continued winning the war and the history books been written by the Third Reich, Landa would be famous as "the Jew Hunter" and held in high regard for the future generations of people brought up with the ideals of the Nazis. Simply put, Landa didn't care which side he was on, as long as it was the winning side. Edit

  • No, this film is entirely fictional and essentially fantasy. In reality, the generally accepted cause of Hitler's death on 30 April 1945 is suicide by gunshot and cyanide poisoning. Although the UK employed Jewish commandos in a group called X-Troop, those fighters committed none of the acts shown in this film. Christoph Waltz has stated that the film is "a piece of art. Not a history lesson." Edit

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