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 Posted:   Apr 18, 2011 - 12:12 PM   
 By:   L BENDER   (Member)

Great war epic. whats the holdup?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2011 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   L BENDER   (Member)

Great war epic. whats the holdup? sorry double post.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2011 - 12:37 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Great war epic. whats the holdup?

Stultifying film. More important: Jerry Goldsmith's best moments (Passacaglia and Bridge Duel) are mostly missing from the picture!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2011 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   L BENDER   (Member)

Great war epic. whats the holdup? Would also like to see VON RYANS EXPRESS on blu.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2011 - 11:24 PM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

I'm still waiting for the Blu-ray of TORA! TORA! TORA! to be teleased in the US. It's been released in Europe and Japan.

 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2013 - 7:08 PM   
 By:   Valiant65   (Member)

Twilight Time's new Blu Ray of Blue Max is out Feb. 11th 2014.

TT has just dropped a hint about the isolated score (on its Facebook page for BM on Dec. 26th). That "perhaps two iso scores" will be on the disc. "...the one in the film, and the one JG intended for the film..."

Any JG experts care to shed some light on this?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 8:45 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

And it's a brand new HD transfer from Fox, so hopefully should look great.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

Great war epic. whats the holdup?

Stultifying film. More important: Jerry Goldsmith's best moments (Passacaglia and Bridge Duel) are mostly missing from the picture!



Very surprised by your comment, John. I think that as a piece of entertainment it works very well indeed. Moreover, it is well-directed, well-acted (or, at least has some well-remembered performances from well-known actors) and extremely well-photographed. As for the music scoring, it is exceptional, regardless of the odd cut or low recording-level. I would say it's one of the best-scored films of all time!

Stultifying it is not. Apart from the "action" entertainment, it's probably one of the few films to refer to the "class-system" that existed in Germany at the time. Give it another look - it's something to enjoy on more than one level.

- James.

 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 2:49 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

I think that as a piece of entertainment it works very well indeed. Moreover, it is well-directed, well-acted (or, at least has some well-remembered performances from well-known actors) and extremely well-photographed. As for the music scoring, it is exceptional, regardless of the odd cut or low recording-level. I would say it's one of the best-scored films of all time!

Stultifying it is not. Apart from the "action" entertainment, it's probably one of the few films to refer to the "class-system" that existed in Germany at the time. Give it another look - it's something to enjoy on more than one level.

- James.


I think the drama in this movie is rather absurd (more like soap opera melodrama), and George Peppard lacks the charisma to make you forget what an uninteresting shit his character really is. But, it's one of my favorites and I'll be pre-ordering the Blu-ray as soon as it's up.

 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 3:43 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Twilight Time's new Blu Ray of Blue Max is out Feb. 11th 2014.

TT has just dropped a hint about the isolated score (on its Facebook page for BM on Dec. 26th). That "perhaps two iso scores" will be on the disc. "...the one in the film, and the one JG intended for the film..."

Any JG experts care to shed some light on this?


Stachel would never have exited the trenches, would he? The film is just a snazzy, bloated "what if" Hollywood scenario. Peppard speaks plain American while Kemp putz some gusto into his accent - class distinction Hollywood style.

The Intrada liner notes say (if I can only remember correctly) that the 'retreat' cues were meant to be back-to-back as JG 'intended,' so their disc has them playing without pause. But it could be some of the 'romantic' cues are alternated - at a guess.

Just how many hours does it take to make a JG expert?

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2013 - 10:17 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

I think the drama in this movie is rather absurd (more like soap opera melodrama), and George Peppard lacks the charisma to make you forget what an uninteresting shit his character really is. But, it's one of my favorites and I'll be pre-ordering the Blu-ray as soon as it's up.


How absurd is rather absurd? Can one be slightly absurd?


The film is one of those 'myth template' films that have since become very popular, and the myth is Icarus. He flies higher and higher in his ambition until his wings fall off... literally. The aerial stuff is real, from an Irish WWI flying circus (alas, no longer in operation after some accidents and a disbandment) and the period feel is good. And I love the actors, including Peppard. And it has that 1960s 'class struggle and exploitative powers-that-be' thing that's in all those '60s serious war films, like 'Lawrence of Arabia'. It's a story about class struggle, and the aristo way of making heroes and then dismantling them when they've trodden on sacred heights. Again, like Lawrence and Bolt.

Probably something Americans don't get. Thoough they should. There are classes there too.

The original novel ... now THAT's a honker, and that's why they needed to remake it with the Icarus thing as a better backbone to hold it all together.

And it's the jewel in Jerry's crown.




 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2013 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Stultifying it is not. Apart from the "action" entertainment, it's probably one of the few films to refer to the "class-system" that existed in Germany at the time. Give it another look - it's something to enjoy on more than one level.




Exactly. There were quite a few war films like this at the time, including Tony Richardson's 'Charge of the Light Brigade', which flopped in America, God only knows why.

The use of Peppard against the others with their Prussian and high German accents is for that very reason too. Peppard was actually doing a very slight 'halfway to German' accent, if you listen, but as you say, the class distinction had to be made.

It's funny. No offence to the Americans, but when they come to Europe, they do tend to adopt all sorts of reverential attitudes to royalty and aristocracy and what they think of as 'style', but never stay long enough to find out the sting in the tail of the old aristo culture and its use of heroes. (That's partly because aristos tolerate what they think of as 'rich' Americans who love 'culture'... note the word 'rich' there....).

Oh, if culture were only as easy as 'culture' ...

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2013 - 10:29 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

And it's the jewel in Jerry's crown.

That is why, with a bit of luck, I obtained the Intrada. The first time I saw JG in concert (Barbican, 1987), the track called "Battle" on the original album ("The Attack" - 2nd part on the Intrada) was part of the programme. To hear that one 'live' is really something.

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2013 - 10:55 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

I think the drama in this movie is rather absurd (more like soap opera melodrama), and George Peppard lacks the charisma to make you forget what an uninteresting shit his character really is. But, it's one of my favorites and I'll be pre-ordering the Blu-ray as soon as it's up.


How absurd is rather absurd? Can one be slightly absurd?


Well then, highly unlikely is probably the better term. I just think it improbable that a character like Stachel would have actually arisen in the way he did during that time, much less get it on with the general's wife, especially one from the German aristocracy. Let's just say my "suspension of disbelief" is rather tested.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 30, 2013 - 2:09 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)



I think the drama in this movie is rather absurd (more like soap opera melodrama),


Ha, that could describe 90% of all movies! I can't remember seeing this since I saw it in the cinema all those years ago. There's been a Blu-ray out in Germany for a while, but from from the reports I've read it doesn't look that good. The thing is, I'd buy a good looking Blu (I like to buy Blu's of films that I saw & enjoyed in the sixties), but I don't want to own it enough to pay the TT price, a regular release yep. I do have a couple of TT's, The Egyptian, Mysterious Island & In Like Flint, but $40 (with p&p), it has to be a film I really must have.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 30, 2013 - 5:15 AM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

The original novel is much different from the movie, and appears to be more interesting:

from Wikipedia:

The film differs from the book on which it is based both in the plot and the portrayal of the characters. Some of the differences are:

Stachel: The movie portrays Stachel initially as an idealistic, humble, and naive man who evolves into someone willing to do whatever it takes to get his way. He is also depicted as being insecure about his lower-class background and desires to prove himself an equal aviator and man to the aristocrats by earning the Blue Max. The vain attempt by Stachel to confirm his first kill is only found in the film. There is also no confrontation with Heidemann who takes a swift dislike to Stachel over claiming aircraft that Willi had shot down.

Stachel was played by a 37-year-old George Peppard, in stark contrast to the 19-year-old character of the novel. From the beginning of the novel, Stachel is a deeply troubled alcoholic with a penchant for lying. Obsessed with earning the last of the new Fokker D.VIIs, he kills Willi to obtain it. In the novel Heidemann exhibits an immediate favouritism toward the newcomer, and credits Stachel with his first victories while Kettering, the squadron adjutant, refuses to comply until Heidemann orders him to do so.

At the end of the novel, Heidemann reveals that he has been secretly boosting Stachel's achievements as part of an experiment in publicity management. Stachel earns his Blue Max not from 20 victories, but by destroying three aircraft and capturing one after Heidemann's guns jam. (Stachel is so drunk, he cannot even recall the engagement.) He is also honoured for saving the life of a French girl who falls into a river. Stachel does not die in the book, and in fact meets the future commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, then-Hauptmann Hermann Göring. Stachel marries Kaeti von Klugermann after the death of Graf von Klugermann, as noted at the beginning of The Blood Order, the second book in Jack Hunter's Stachel series.

 
 Posted:   Dec 30, 2013 - 9:05 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Well, the book sounds much more interesting than the film, but I've never been interested enough to try and get a copy -- and still not that interested. Still, it's often interesting as a cinefile to go back and try to figure out why a movie adaptation of a novel is the way it is. I think what distinguishes good film adaptations is if the makers simply retain the core of what the novel is, rather than slavishly stick to its plot and characterizations. Most of my favorite movies are based on novels, so I've thought about it a lot over the years, and I try not to beat up a film because it's not the book. They're two entirely different things. Movies are mass entertainment -- they're show business --, so all kinds of compromises are made, and being faithful to the book in certain ways can be deadly for the business the movie is made to attract. I doubt very much that in 1966 a film about a 19-year-old German alcoholic obsessive during WWI would have been big boxoffice, but who knows? The people behind THE BLUE MAX, though, must have felt they made all the right choices, because the movie did make money, whereas a more faithful adaptation of a novel (which I've read), made into a movie by Fox around the same time (and also scored by Jerry Goldsmith), THE SAND PEBBLES, lost money for Fox. Go figure.

Just wondering, but now nearly fifty years later, which do you think is the better movie, THE BLUE MAX or THE SAND PEBBLES? (Sorry if this takes this thread in a different direction, but I'm curious.)

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 30, 2013 - 12:47 PM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

Well, the book sounds much more interesting than the film, but I've never been interested enough to try and get a copy -- and still not that interested. Still, it's often interesting as a cinefile to go back and try to figure out why a movie adaptation of a novel is the way it is. I think what distinguishes good film adaptations is if the makers simply retain the core of what the novel is, rather than slavishly stick to its plot and characterizations. Most of my favorite movies are based on novels, so I've thought about it a lot over the years, and I try not to beat up a film because it's not the book. They're two entirely different things. Movies are mass entertainment -- they're show business --, so all kinds of compromises are made, and being faithful to the book in certain ways can be deadly for the business the movie is made to attract. I doubt very much that in 1966 a film about a 19-year-old German alcoholic obsessive during WWI would have been big boxoffice, but who knows? The people behind THE BLUE MAX, though, must have felt they made all the right choices, because the movie did make money, whereas a more faithful adaptation of a novel (which I've read), made into a movie by Fox around the same time (and also scored by Jerry Goldsmith), THE SAND PEBBLES, lost money for Fox. Go figure.

Just wondering, but now nearly fifty years later, which do you think is the better movie, THE BLUE MAX or THE SAND PEBBLES? (Sorry if this takes this thread in a different direction, but I'm curious.)


I read THE SAND PEBBLES several years after I saw the film version. In this case, the movie plot is very faithful to the book. I enjoyed both the book and the film. I thinck THE SAND PEBBLES is a much better movie than BLUE MAX, athough both have their individiual merits. BTW, I think SAND PEBBLES was very successful. The original roadshows ran almost a full year, along with achieving numerous Oscar nominations, something BLUE MAX did not do. Although, I must admit, in recent viewings I am finding PEBBLES a bit slow going.
I never had the opportunity to read THE BLUE MAX, but it is something I occasionally considered.

 
 Posted:   Dec 30, 2013 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

I didn't mean just you, JoeC, but anyone who happens to read the posting. Of course, I think THE SAND PEBBLES is a better movie than THE BLUE MAX, for reasons already covered, but TSP is a long movie and if you've seen it already, it can get trying.

As far as which did better at the box office, I'm going by what I've found in the book "The Fox That Got Away" by Stephen Silverman.

In thousands, THE SAND PEBBLES needed $21,200 in rentals to break even. It did $20,600. I believe this is the total for just the first initial release, which in the case of TSP, released on December 20, 1966, would have been mostly in the winter of 1967. On the other hand, THE BLUE MAX, released on June 21, 1966, needed to make only $14,200 in rentals to break even. It did $16,850. Perhaps the summer season helped it at the box office. (No information could be found for either of these titles at Box Office Mojo.)

Of course, TSP would eventually make money for Fox, and very much needed to, which is probably why it was in theatres for so long. I never saw THE BLUE MAX theatrically (I turned seven on June 22, 1966), but I saw THE SAND PEBBLES theatrically, on a double-bill with CHE!, in either late 1969 or early 1970.

 
 Posted:   Dec 31, 2013 - 1:44 AM   
 By:   No Respectable Gentleman   (Member)

THE BLUE MAX and THE SAND PEBBLES represent two films in a venerable sub-genre of that era (SPOILERS AHEAD!): the hero dies at the end.

The trend may actually have begun with THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. It continued through SPARTACUS, VON RYAN'S EXPRESS, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, BONNIE AND CLYDE, COOL HAND LUKE, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, EASY RIDER, THE OMEGA MAN and EARTHQUAKE. Plus you can probably throw in THE WILD BUNCH, THE DIRTY DOZEN, RYAN'S DAUGHTER and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (where the hero does at the beginning). Maybe 2001 and KING OF KINGS, too. And many others I've forgotten about.

Anyway, it's always been baffling to see the kudos thrown on CHINATOWN for its bleak ending ... when just about every serious-minded film from that era had a bleak ending. Including films where the hero doesn't die, like PLANET OF THE APES and DELIVERANCE.

Looking forward to that sort of ending becoming fashionable again.

 
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