Inglourious Basterds theatrical poster
|Directed by||Quentin Tarantino|
|Produced by||Lawrence Bender|
|Written by||Quentin Tarantino|
|Narrated by||Samuel L. Jackson|
|Editing by||Sally Menke|
|Distributed by||United States:|
The Weinstein Company
|Release date(s)||May 20, 2009|
August 19, 2009
August 20, 2009
August 21, 2009
September 11, 2009
|Running time||148 min. (Cannes)|
149 min. (U.S.)
|Budget||$70 million |
Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender and Eli Roth. The film tells the fictional alternate history tale of the unwitting convergence of two independent plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's political leadership, one planned by a young French Jewish cinema proprietor, and the other by a team of Jewish-American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Goofs
- 6 Gallery
- 7 References
The film is set in an alternate history of the Second World War in which the entire top leadership of Nazi Germany, namely Hitler, Göring, Goebbels and Bormann attend a film premiere in Paris celebrating the exploits of a German sniper who had managed to kill 300 American soldiers in Italy. The time frame of the film is set in early June 1944, after the D-Day landings but before the liberation of Paris. The film tracks the separate attempts to kill Hitler by two disparate forces, one being "The Basterds", a motley crew of Jewish American soldiers out for revenge against the Nazis. The Basterds have a modus operandi whereby each man must cut off the scalp of a dead Nazi soldier, with orders to get 100 scalps each. The Basterds allow one German soldier to survive each incident so they can spread the news of the terror of their attacks. However, the Basterds carve a swastika into the forehead of that German. The other force concerns Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), the only Jewish survivor of an attack led by SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa, also known as the "Jew Hunter" that had killed all her family. The Basterds and Shosanna remain unaware of each other throughout the film.
Chapter One - Once upon a time... in Nazi-occupied France
The film opens in 1941 with Colonel (Standartenführer) Hans Landa, (Christoph Waltz), of the Waffen-SS, proudly known as the "Jew Hunter", interrogating Perrier LaPadite, a French dairy farmer, over rumors that he had been hiding a Jewish family, the Dreyfuses. Landa manages to break down LaPadite and locates the hiding place of the Jews underneath the floorboards. He orders his soldiers to fire into the floorboards in order to kill the Jews. Shosanna Dreyfus, manages to escape unharmed (but covered in blood) and runs in horror. Hans Landa spares her life and lets her flee.
Chapter Two - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
In the spring of 1944, 1st Special Service Force Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) recruits eight Jewish-American soldiers for a mission behind enemy lines, telling them they each owe him 100 Nazi scalps and will take no prisoners. The "Basterds" become so feared, Adolf Hitler (Martin Wuttke) personally interviews a soldier, Butz (Sönke Möhring). Butz relates how his squad was ambushed and how his Sergeant was beaten to death with a baseball bat by Staff Sergeant Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth), the "Bear Jew" (feared as Golem by the German soldiers), when the Sergeant refused to divulge information. Butz survived by providing the information, but Raine carved a swastika into his forehead with his knife.
Chapter Three - A GERMAN NIGHT IN PARIS
Shosanna is later seen in 1944, when she assumes the identity of "Emmanuelle Mimieux". She had also become the proprietress of a cinema, which is chosen by Frederick Zoller (Daniel Brühl) as a premiere for his film, a spotlight-hungry sniper-turned-actor whose exploits are celebrated in the Nazi propaganda film, "Stolz der Nation" ("A Nation's Pride"), as the setting for the film premiere. Since he feels attracted to Shosanna, he manages to convince Goebbels to hold the premiere in her cinema. Shosanna, however, does not reciprocate his feelings. Shosanna realizes that the presence of so many high ranking Nazi officials and officers provides an excellent opportunity for revenge. She resolves to burn down her cinema using the massive quantities of flammable nitrate film in her storage rooms during the premiere and makes a fourth reel in which she tells the Nazis present of her Jewish identity and revenge.
Chapter Four - OPERATION KINO
In the meantime, the British have also learned of the Nazi leadership's plan to attend the premiere and dispatch a British officer, Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender), to Paris to lead an attack on the cinema with the aid of "The Basterds" and a German double agent, an actress by the name of Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), the brain behind the operation.
Hammersmark arranges to meet Hicox and the Basterds in the basement of a French tavern. Unbeknown to her, however, the night of the rendezvous is also the occasion of a German Staff Sergeant celebrating the birth of his son with his soldier comrades. One of the German soldiers present strikes up a conversation with Hicox and notices that his accent is "odd". An SS officer, Major Dieter Hellstrom, who is in the tavern as well also notices that odd accent. When Hicox gives the wrong three fingered order for whiskies (without using his thumb, a traditional German gesture), the SS officer, confirms his suspicions that they are not German officers. A firefight breaks out in which the British officer and two of the "Basterds" are killed as is everyone in the tavern, except for Wilhelm. Hammersmark survives, but is wounded in her left leg.
Chapter Five - REVENGE OF THE GIANT FACE
Colonel Landa, now a SD officer, is able to retrieve one of Hammersmark's shoes from the scene of the firefight at the tavern and also an autographed napkin which Hammersmark had signed for the Staff Sergeant's son. He approaches Hammersmark and Raine in the cinema lobby and is able to easily see through their disguises, as none, even Raine, can speak any Italian or German. He questions Hammersmark alone and makes her try on the shoe he had retrieved from the tavern. He violently strangles her to death as a traitor and orders the arrest of Raine, and be put in a truck, along with Smithson Utivich.
In the closing stages of the film, Landa reveals himself to be a turncoat. He attempts to reach a deal with Raine's commanding officer via a two way radio in which he proposes to allow the assassination attempt against Hitler and the rest of the Nazi leadership to continue in return for safety, privileges, money, medals and a house for himself. He also reveals that he had planted Raine's stick of dynamite in Hitler's box at the cinema.
Zoller, uncomfortable with the way he is portrayed killing Americans in "Stolz der Nation" and showing regret because of his deeds, leaves the cinema auditorium and makes his way to the projectionist's room where Shosanna is planning her attack. Shosanna's assistant and lover, Marcel (Jacky Ido), is waiting behind the cinema screen ready to set alight nitrate film reels, which are highly combustible. Shosanna is unable to get rid of Zoller, who angrily confronts Shosanna about her behavior. Shosanna then tells Zoller that they don't have much time left and tells him to close the door, leaving him stunned. Zoller, then finally complies and heads to close the door. Shosanna then draws her pistol from her purse and shoots him multiple times in the back, mortally wounding him. Afterwards, in an apparent moment of pity, realizing that Zoller is alive, she rolls him over, and he in turn, mortally wounds her as well and then kills her before he dies himself.
When the fourth reel of the film starts with Shosanna's speech to the Nazis assembled in the auditorium reveals that she is a Jew and that the audience is about to die, Marcel sets the nitrate film alight thus causing a pandemonium in the auditorium. Meanwhile, Donny (Eli Roth) and Omar (Omar Doom) who had been seated amongst the Nazis in the auditorium, ambush Hitler's box and are able to gun down Hitler, Goebbels and the other Nazi leaders. As the cinema is engulfed in flames, Raine's men fire randomly into the crowd, who are attempting to flee. Escape is impossible, as Marcel had earlier locked and barred the auditorium doors. Additionally, the dynamite that was strapped to the Basterd's legs goes off. The cinema is destroyed in the subsequent inferno, killing all inside.
Landa sets off with Raine towards the American lines in Normandy where he intends to turn himself in, as part of the deal he had made with Raine's commanding officer. He surrenders to Raine and hands over his gun. Raine orders Landa to be handcuffed and shoots Landa's driver. The film ends with Raine carving a swastika into Landa's forehead and declaring that it may just be his greatest "masterpiece".
The Basterds (The Americans)
- Brad Pitt as 1st Lieutenant Aldo Raine aka "Aldo the Apache": A fast-talking, thickly accented, vengeance-driven hillbilly from Maynardville, Tennessee, who puts together a team of eight Jewish American soldiers. He bears a rope burn on his neck, which was never mentioned in the film (the script hints that once upon a time, he might have survived a lynching somewhere), though Tarantino later mentions he got it as a result of him fighting the KKK before the war, which also explains his hate of Nazis. One of the film's main protagonists: the character has been described as "a voluble, freewheeling outlaw" similar to Jules Winnfield from Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. His first appearance in the film is a subtle homage to George Carlin's The Indian Sergeant routine. The character's name is a tribute to the character actor Aldo Ray, who appeared as a tough soldier in many WWII films such as Battle Cry and What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?.
- Eli Roth as Staff Sergeant Donny Donowitz aka "The Bear Jew": A huge and obnoxious "baseball bat-swinging Nazi hunter" from Boston who is known as "The Bear Jew" among Nazis. Some of them seem to fear that Donowitz is in fact, a vengeful golem, summoned by an angry rabbi. The role was originally conceived for Sandler, who was in talks with Tarantino before declining due to schedule conflicts with the film People. Roth also directed the film-within-a-film, entitled "Nation's Pride" (Stolz der Nation) which is a homage to Leni Riefenstahl's wartime propaganda flicks.
- Til Schweiger as Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz: A strange and quiet German-born psychopath, former Feldwebel in the Wehrmacht who is recruited by Aldo to kill other Nazis. The character's name is a tribute to the famous 70s B-movie mexploitation actor Stiglitz.
- Gedeon Burkhard as Corporal Wilhelm Wicki: An Austro-German Jew who immigrated to the United States, becoming a US citizen as the Third Reich established itself in Europe.
- B. J. Novak as PFC Smithson Utivich aka "The Little Man": In an interview with Esquire Magazine, Novak theorizes that PFC Utivich came from a family that named their son Smithson in an attempt to integrate themselves into the WASP-y mainstream and that signing up to fight the Nazis is his attempt to reclaim his Jewish heritage.
- Omar Doom as PFC Omar Ulmer
- Samm Levine as PFC Gerold Hirschberg
- Paul Rust as PFC Andy Kagan: A character Tarantino added in after meeting Rust.
- Michael Bacall as PFC Michael Zimmerman.
- Carlos Fidel as PFC Simon Sakowitz.
- Michael Fassbender as Lt. Archie Hicox: A "snappy and handsome British lieutenant" and a film critic in his pre-war civilian life. He is described in the script as a "young George Sanders type". One of the film's main protagonists, albeit introduced later in the movie. The character was originally intended to be played by Tim Roth, then later by Simon Pegg.
- Mike Myers as General Ed Fenech: A "legendary British military mastermind" who provides a plot to kill Nazi leadership. Based on the older George Sanders.
- Rod Taylor as Winston Churchill: The then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus: A young French-Jewish girl, whose family was murdered by the Nazis before her eyes. One of the film's main protagonists, Tarantino states that Shosanna was "always a main character".
- Cloris Leachman as Mrs. Himmelstein: An elderly Jewish woman living in Boston. Although filmed, the scenes featuring Mrs. Himmelstein drinking tea with Donny Donowitz (and signing his trademark baseball bat afterwards) were cut from the final film. Tarantino says that he might use the footage in the prequel instead, though plans for said prequel have still not materialized.
The Axis Powers
- Christoph Waltz as Standartenführer Hans Landa aka "The Jew Hunter": A romantic, yet utterly sinister pipe-smoking Nazi Waffen-SS-turned-SD officer so nicknamed in reference to his keen ability to locate Jews hiding throughout France. Tarantino claims that if he had not found a perfect actor for the role, he "might have pulled the plug on the whole movie". Tarantino also remarked that this might be the greatest character he's ever written. A linguistic genius (it is obvious from the dialogue that he speaks perfect English, German, French and Italian) and a charming detective, Colonel Hans Landa is the primary antagonist of the film. For his performance, Christoph Waltz won the Best Actor Award in the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
- Daniel Brühl as Gefreiter Fredrick Zoller: A young arrogant German Wehrmacht war hero starring in Joseph Goebbels' newest propaganda film entitled "Stolz der Nation" (which is actually directed by Eli Roth who is Jewish). This character name shares similarities to producer Frederick Zollo for whom Eli Roth was an intern for while attending NYU.
- August Diehl as Sturmbannführer Dieter Hellstrom: A uniformed Gestapo officer.
- Sönke Möhring as Gefreiter Butz.
- Richard Sammel as Feldwebel Werner Rachtman.
- Sylvester Groth as Joseph Goebbels.
- Martin Wuttke as Adolf Hitler.
- Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark: A popular film star in Nazi Germany and a spy for the Allies, helping them win the war.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Narrator
- Bo Svenson as American colonel: Quentin Tarantino said he gave Svenson a small cameo that will be hard to recognize. He is the colonel in Nations Pride. He is seen briefly in in the movie but can be seen more close up in the Nations Pride trailer
- Julie Dreyfus as Francesca Mondino: Joseph Goebbels' mistress, French interpreter and favorite actress to appear in his films.
- Ludger Pistor as Wolfgang: A role Tarantino added specifically for him.
- Christian Berkel as Eric the Barkeeper.
- Maggie Cheung as Madame Ada Mimieux: Although her scenes were cut from the Cannes cut for length reasons, Cheung played Madame Mimieux, a beautiful French woman who owned the cinema marquee in Paris where most of the movie is set.
- Denis Ménochet as Perrier LaPadite.
- Jacky Ido as Marcel: Shosanna's beloved and a projectionist at Mimeux's cinema. A man of quiet dignity and devoted to Shosanna's cause.
- Jana Pallaske as Babette.
- Enzo G. Castellari as Obergruppenführer: A nameless Nazi General, although strangely credited as "himself" in the film. Castellari had done a Nazi cameo in his own Inglorious Bastards and reprized the role in this movie as well, but under a different rank and SS organization.
Harvey Keitel lends his voice as the Basterds' commanding officer, heard only over the radio in a call to Raine and Landa. According to IMDB, Tarantino is in the film as the voice of an American solider in Eli Roth's "Nation's Pride", and a dummy of him is the first dead nazi scalped in the film, and finally, he is also a fake shemp for Christoph Waltz's hands when he strangles Bridget von Hammersmark. Tarantino originally talked to Simon Pegg about portraying Lt. Archie Hicox, but the actor was forced to drop out due to scheduling difficulties  having already agreed to appear in Spielberg's Tintin adaptation. However, Pegg did make Tarantino promise to cast him in his next film. Also, Tarantino originally sought for Leonardo DiCaprio to be cast as Hans Landa,  a poetic Nazi colonel targeted by the resistance. The director then decided to instead have the character played by a German actor. The role ultimately went to Christoph Waltz, an Austrian actor who, according to Tarantino, "gave me my movie back." Jack White and Adam Sandler were both rumored to play a pair of the Basterds at one point.
- In 2005, Quentin Tarantino was quoted as saying that he had written the script, a World War II story, but that he needed to convert it to a shooting script. He said that writing the script and preparing a shooting script were "two different things".
- Tarantino started writing this movie before Kill Bill: Vol. 1 but could not decide on a good ending and decide to put it on hold to do "Kill Bill" with Uma Thurman, a project he had been mentally preparing since Pulp Fiction.
- Tarantino intended for this to be as much a war film as a spaghetti western, and considered titling the movie "Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France". He gave that title instead to the first chapter of the film, while the second chapter bears the name of the film.
- Quentin Tarantino worked on the script for almost a decade.
- The name of the film was inspired by a 1978 film, The Inglorious Bastards, and the misspelling is intentional to prevent confusion between the two films. The latter film is also about a group of American GIs wreaking havoc behind enemy lines, although the stories are wholly different in all other respects. (English Title: "The Inglorious Bastards"; the Italian title literally translates as "That Cursed Armored Train"). Castellari returned the favor by calling his new movie Caribbean Basterds.
- When asked about the misspelled title, director Quentin Tarantino gave the following answer: "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."
- The film’s title card is written in Tarantino’s handwriting and was actually taken from the cover page of Tarantino’s final draft from July 2008.
- One of the movie posters shows a bloody German helmet dangling from an equally bloody baseball bat. Typically, one would see the logo "Hillerich and Bradsby Louisville, Kentucky" branded on a bat. However, the city reads "Knoxville TN", which is Quentin Tarantino's hometown.
- On German advertisement materials all swastikas were removed or covered up, as it was unclear to the distributor if the swastikas violated German law (which prohibits the exhibition of Nazi symbols except for purposes such as historical accuracy).
- This was Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino's first time working together, although Brad Pitt had co-starred in True Romance, which was written by Tarantino.
- The maestro Ennio Morricone said he was available to compose the soundtrack of the film, but eventually chose to give up in order to concentrate only on the music of "Baaria" (2009) by Giuseppe Tornatore. Several of Morricone's songs from other films were sampled in the film instead.
- According to Brad Pitt, the film was shot sequentially.
- Although Quentin Tarantino wanted the film to be shown exclusively in 35mm, it ended up being shown in some digital locations.
- According to Eddie Murphy, he was in talks with Quentin Tarantino for a role in the film.
- Michael Madsen was originally announced to star as a character named Babe Buchinsky. This character was named for Charles Buchinsky, better known by his stage name Charles Bronson, who starred in The Dirty Dozen, an inspiration for Inglourious Basterds.
- Although the film is mostly in English, there are many scenes in other languages, such as French, German, Italian.
- Just like in Kill Bill, the events are divided by chapters.
- Roughly only 30% of the film is in spoken English, the language which dominates the film is either French or German, with a little Italian. Chapter Three of the film, 'German Night in Paris', is completely devoid of any English. This is highly unusual for a Hollywood production.
- The dialogue is in English for approximately 42% of the running time, in German for 28%, in French for 22%, and in Italian for 1%. There is a 54-minute stretch in which less than nine minutes of dialogue are in English, including 25 straight minutes in which no English is spoken.
- Although the film is mostly set in France, most of the scenes were filmed in Germany within the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam, near Berlin. This studio, built in 1917, was also used to film Goebbels's propaganda films.
- Released theatrically in the US on the same day as Shorts by Robert Rodriguez. Quentin Tarantino and Rodriguez' last film was their collaboration Grindhouse.
- Rumor had it that Harvey Weinstein was trying to force Quentin Tarantino to cut 40 minutes of the movie (which ran 148 minutes) after getting feedback from Cannes Film Festival. However, Harvey denied this rumor, stating that Tarantino was reorganizing some scenes since he didn't have enough time to completely finish editing the film before sending it to Cannes, since he was given only six weeks to edit, whereas other directors are given normally six months to a year. In fact, the theatrical cut runs one minute longer than the cut that was premiered at Cannes.
- Quentin Tarantino's highest-grossing film since Pulp Fiction.
- This is the first Quentin Tarantino film to win an Oscar for acting: Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor. Waltz later won the same Oscar again for Tarantino's Django unchained.
- As of 2013, this is Quentin Tarantino's film with the most Academy Award nominations, 8.
- The literary character Sherlock Holmes is referred to at least twice in the film. The first reference is Landa's smoking pipe, which is a Calabash Meerschaum, the exact same one that Holmes used. The other is Landa's line, "A damn good detective. Finding people is my specialty."
- Hermann Göring and Martin Bormann appeared in the film but they have no lines and are pointed out only by drawn lines.
- Sylvester Groth, who portrayed Goebbels, also portrayed him in the 2007 film Mein Führer – Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler.
- Leonardo DiCaprio was the first choice for Col. Hans Landa, but Quentin Tarantino then decided that a German-speaking actor should play the part.
- The name of Til Schweiger's character, Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz, is a homage to Mexican B-movie actor Hugo Stiglitz.
- Eli Roth directed the film-within-the-film, "Nation's Pride". Quentin Tarantino asked Roth to direct the short, and Roth requested his brother Gabriel Roth join him to direct behind a second camera, which Tarantino agreed to. In two days the brothers got 130 camera setups, and Tarantino was so pleased he gave Roth a third day that he was originally planning to shoot with actor Daniel Brühl. Roth got 50 more setups the third day, much to Tarantino's delight. The total running time of the short is 5:30, and was always intended to feel like pieces of a longer film, not a coherent short.
- WILHELM SCREAM: The Scream appears during two deaths in the film. The first half-second of the sound clip appears about 90 minutes into the movie, and the remainder of the scream appears about 20 minutes later. In the film-within-the-film, "Nation's Pride", the Wilhelm Scream can be heard when a soldier is shot and falls from an upper window.
- The final cut of the film ran three hours and ten minutes. Before its first public showing, Quentin Tarantino and Sally Menke cut it down to its final length in two days.
- At the end of each take, actors would face the camera and say "Hello Sally", referring to Sally Menke, the film's editor. This practice has occurred since Quentin Tarantino's previous movies (such as Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Death Proof). Inglourious Basterds was the last film by Tarantino to be edited by Menke, whose work was honored in 2010 with her final Academy Award nomination for Best Editing, prior to her death later that year.
- Tom Tykwer translated the parts of the script that were to be in German.
- Quentin Tarantino had all of the actors playing the Basterds go through a day of "scalping training" in preparation for the movie, and told them that the three best practice scalpers would be rewarded with close-ups of them doing just that in the film. One of these moments comes in the very last scene, when Pfc. Smithson Utivich scalps Landa's driver after Aldo shoots and kills him.
- Director Enzo G. Castellari of The Inglorious Bastards allowed Quentin Tarantino to use the title Inglourious Basterds in exchange for a cameo as a general yelling "Fire!" (as Castellari appears in his own film). Tarantino filmed Castellari as a general in the cinema pointing out the burning screen, but the scene did not make the theatrical cut.
- As with all his films, there are blatant mistakes and errors inserted on purpose. One example of this can be found in the English subtitles of characters speaking in a foreign language. Occasionally, the foreign word is inserted into the subtitle. Example: When Col. Landa is speaking to the French farmer, he says "Oui" which is French for "Yes". Instead of the word "Yes" appearing in the subtitle, the word "Oui" appears despite the fact that the rest of the French dialog is translated to English.
- Tarantino typically has a trio of identical background characters moving together in unison. In this film, it is three German school girls in identical uniforms, seen a few times, like in the lobby, when passing Col. Hans Landa as he goes down the staircase in the cinema and when receiving autographs from Zoller.
- Other trios from the film: Perrier LaPadite also has three daughters; Hitler ranting at two generals at the conference table; Butz is escorted to Hitler by two guards in a clip; after the woods ambush, there are only three German survivors; in the bistro, Zoller is with Frazer and Babatte in a shot; Shosanna, Hellstrom and his driver are in a car; there are three German speaking members of the Basterds (Stiglitz, Wicki, Hicox), entering the tavern disguised as German officers; after the tavern firefight, only three people remain in the tavern at the end of the scene; Hirschberg, Stiglitz and Donowitz disguised as German soldiers are seen gunning down three German soldiers in a car; three Basterds go undercover as Italian filmmakers; in the cinema opera box, there are Hitler, Goebbels and Francesca; in the other opera box, Bormann, Göring and Jannings; Landa interrogates Aldo and Utivich alone; at the end of the film, only Aldo, Utivich and Landa remain in the forest alive.
- Only five characters in the movie appear in more than two chapters (Hans Landa, Aldo Raine, Donny Donowitz, Shosanna, and Adolf Hitler). Hans Landa appears in four chapters, the most of any character throughout the movie.
- The movie "The tragedy of Piz Palu" from 1929 (original title: "Die Weisse Hölle vom Piz Palu") and its director, Georg Wilhelm Pabst, are mentioned several times in the course of the film.
- At the beginning of the film Perrier's daughter is hanging sheets on the line to dry; however, the sheet she is securing to the line is already dry (it isn't wet). In those days, however, people hang their sheets to air them so they didn't have to wash them so often. So dry sheets would be hung.
- Col. Hans Landa claims the Bubonic Plague was caused by rats. However, the plague was caused by fleas on the rats, not the rats themselves. In the 1940s it was believed that rats were the cause so it is correct for Landa's character to be mistaken.
- Many of the subtitling "errors", such as "Merci" instead of "Thank You", are intentional, given that these phrases are interchangeable and can be understood without English translation.
- Archie refers to Aldo as "lootenant." Normally, a British officer would pronounce it "leftenant" among fellow British officers. Out of professional courtesy, however, British officers typically use the American pronunciation when dealing with American officers.
- The Scotch beverage is written as "whiskey". Scots write "whisky", but this is an American movie which uses American spellings.
- Colonel Landa is seen in uniform and he is wearing a Nazi Party pin. The German military was specifically excluded from being party members.
- Colonel Landa is an SS officer. Although members of the Wehrmacht were always expected to be apolitical the SS was the military arm of the Nazi Party, they were NOT members of the Wehrmacht.
- Roth claimed that they "almost got incinerated", during the theater fire scene, as they projected the fire would burn at 400 °C (750 °F), but it instead burned at 1200 °C (2000 °F). He claimed the golden swastika above the movie screen was not supposed to fall either, as it was fastened with steel cables, but the steel softened and snapped.
- In the German version, the French dialogs referring to English language ("anglais") have been re-dubbed to refer to German ("allemand"), as English dialogs have been dubbed into German. Also, in the scene with Private Butz the translations from German into English and vice versa have been re-dubbed into ironic comments by Wilhelm Wicki (which would not make sense otherwise, as both Aldo Raine and Pvt. Butz are talking German in the German dub).
- In Russia, two versions of the movie exist. One for the general showings, which has all dialogs dubbed into Russian except for French and Italian; and another, so-called "director's cut" where only the English passages are dubbed into Russian and the rest is subtitled.
- In the German version the first "Who am I?" game in the tavern scene runs slightly (ca. 1 minute) longer. Specifically, 'Winnetou' gets to ask more questions on who he is. Later he orders Schnaps from Mathilda.
- The film displayed in the second marquee of the cinema is Le Corbeau, a film produced during the Nazi occupation of France and it features hidden anti-Nazi messages that slipped past the censors.
- None of the weapons used by the Basterds are American, befitting their status as a clandestine group of military assassins in occupied enemy territory. BJ Novak discussed in an interview how he and the rest of the cast received training in handling German weapons from a company in Berlin that specialized in technical presentation of German military hardware; the backstory was that the Basterds seized the guns and other armaments from every Nazi they killed and would be able to handle them flawlessly.
- Although the movie is fictional, it was partially inspired by "Operation Greenup", a real-life mission by the Office of Strategic Services. In February, 1945, three O.S.S. Agents, Frederick Mayer (a German-born American spy), Hans Wijnberg (a Dutch-born Agent, who, like Mayer, was Jewish), and Franz Weber (a former Austrian Wehrmacht Officer), were parachuted into Austria. For several months, Mayer gathered intelligence on the Germans' "Alpine Fortress", by posing as a Nazi Officer and as a French electrician. While staying with Weber's family in Innsbruck, Wijnberg and Weber radioed the intelligence back to O.S.S. operatives in Bari, Italy. When Mayer's cover was blown by a black marketer, he was captured and tortured by the Gestapo, but refused to give up the other two agents. However, General Franz Hofer, commander of the Nazi forces in western Austria, realized the war was lost, and was looking for a way to surrender his forces to the Allies, instead of to the Red Army. He had Mayer brought to his house, and offered to send a message for him to the O.S.S. offices in Bern, Switzerland, through a German Agent. Mayer helped negotiate the surrender of Germany's Austria forces, which took place in Innsbruck on May 3, 1945. Afterwards, Mayer and Wijnberg returned to America. In 2012, they were reunited via a webcam interview for the History Channel documentary, "The Real Inglourious Basterds". Wijnberg died the day after the webcam interview. Weber died in April 2016.
Behind the scenes