in nazi occupied france during world war ii, a group of jewish-american soldiers known as “the basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the third reich by scalping and brutally killing nazis.
dir.: quentin tarantino
thriller / war
- quentin tarantino worked on the script for almost a decade.
- quentin 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.
- 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 the mexican b-movie actor hugo stiglitz.
- on german advertisement materials, all swastikas were removed or covered up as it was unclear to the distributor if they violated german law (which prohibits the exhibition of nazi symbols except for purposes such as historical accuracy).
- when asked about the misspelled title, 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.”
- eli roth and omar doom were nearly incinerated filming the fire sequence in the theater. during tests the flame temperatures reached 400 degrees centigrade, and during the take the set burned out of control and the temperature of the ceiling above them reached 1,200 degrees centigrade (2,000 degrees fahrenheit.) quentin tarantino was seated on a crane operating the camera in a fireproof suit, and none of them wanted to back down and ruin the shot. fire marshalls said that another fifteen seconds of filming and the steel structure would have collapsed, incinerating the actors. roth and doom were treated for minor burns.
- the pipe col. landa smokes at the lapadite farm is a calabash meerschaum, a.k.a. the sherlock holmes pipe.
- one of the jewish names carved on the bear jew’s bat is anne frank.
- 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.
- christoph waltz’s character speaks the most different languages in the movie out of anyone else in the cast, he speaks fluent english, french and german; and he learned a little bit of italian specially for this movie.