Blue Max, The (1966)

The Blue Max (1966), directed by John Guillermin.

A German foot soldier of the lower classes gets out of the trenches and becomes an officer in the aristocratic flying corp. He'll do anything to prove himself. The Blue Max medal requires twenty "kills" in the air. For him: whatever it takes.

This plays better than I remember. We're moving into a period when war films also had to be anti-war films and this provides additional tension in story construction. WW1 is a good vehicle for that because no one ever pretended it was the Good War; rather a civilizational disaster for all involved.

Some the interwoven threads work better than others:

The director was an RAF flier in WW2.

Jerry Goldsmith score, of which he seemed very pleased.

Filmed in Ireland. When watching WW1 flying films I can't help thinking of The Stunt Man (1980).

Twilight Time Blu-ray. An isolated score gives a more complete edit of the music than used for the film itself. The usual commentators provide a fun track with quite a bit about Jerry Goldsmith, and pause to listen to alternative musical cuts not used in the final film.

The image is pretty fine, although sometimes looks "blue", as if adjusted to modern fashion. Maybe this was in the original, but the color contrast of the blue uniforms against the muddy brown fields looks too vivid to me.