Twilight Time Blu-ray: The Blue Max (1966)

The Blue Max (1966)

Blu-ray Company Release: Twilight Time

Starring: George Peppard, James Mason, Ursula Andress, Jeremy Kemp, Karl Michael Vogler, Anton Diffring, Carl Schell

Plot: A young pilot in the German air force of 1918, disliked as lower-class and unchivalrous, tries ambitiously to earn the medal offered for 20 kills.

My Review and Thoughts:

Film (5/5)

This is directed by a true Master John Guillermin. He is an extraordinary, visionary, talented and brilliant in capturing cinema. This movie is an entertaining and is amazingly beautiful.  A stunning World War I saga. I think it's possibly one of the best flying war cinematography movies ever done.

He directed some of the great films throughout cinema history like Guns at Batasi (1964), Rapture (1965), Death on the Nile (1978) and he also would move on to direct some of the great B-movies in the 1970s and 80's. He always graced cinema with his own talent and his own interesting film vision. The Blue Max I feel is his crowning achievement.

This is one of those memorable films that you would continue to go back to, just for its stunning grace, drama, action and thrilling suspense. The flying is stunningly real. The realism of the movie showcases it's truth and makes the viewer succumb to the historical part of history that is showcased on screen.

The visionary visuals and special-effects is amazing. The visuals are just one part of the movie, even though it is a key part of the film the stunning acting and performances that are done is what makes this film shine. The acting is something worthy to discuss. This brings out some of the best actions, reactions to situations that the majority of society could never truthfully realize. This movie is so detailed and extraordinarily done that it makes you become a part of what is taking place on screen. The movie feels real. The situations feel real. The realism is what brings this film such stark visuals and pulse pounding moments for the viewer. This brings out amazing discussion, amazing memorable reality and an extraordinarily brilliant feeling, that it's happening; taking place around the viewer.

This stars one of the greatest actors that really never got the push in my view point. Or as I call it the main push, he deserved. Even though he has been in some great cinema he still really was not a household name. George Peppard, many will remember him from A-Team, but he is so much more then television pop culture. I felt he deserved the fandom, the reality of a household name like other actors from his era received. I feel he deserved to be in the likes of Charlton Heston, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and so many others.

This was put out as the Twilight Time limited edition series Blu-ray of 3000 units. I love the Twilight Time series, it's one of my favorite companies to put out films to watch. One of my favorite things to review is Twilight Time Blu-rays. They are truly a gifted company that knows how to bring out films for the fans. This comes spectacularly done and the grace and beauty that it deserved was given to it.

What makes The Blue Max so different is this was not about an American hero or a British hero but the focal point was about the other side. The main character Bruno was a German and fighting for Germany. 

The aerial fights in the sky is what brought to life its memorable history. You have to remember this was before CGI and all the great modern computer animation. This was done in a reality setting. George Lucas stated that the aerial fights in this was his inspiration for the spaceship fights in Star Wars. 

The Blue Max is the film to go to for World War I aerial war fight scenes. This movie brought out all the amazing wonderful beauty and underlining horror of aerial war. The aerial fight shots, the airplane wonderment of this movie was done through highly coordinated stunt pilots, Irish Air Crops and yes George Peppard also did some of his own flying in the film. 

The characterization and the reality of each characters persona in this film rival and basically step over the beauty of the ariel fights even though the special-effects stand out as being what this movie details, the persona and acting of these horrible characters, in a sense is what makes this movie a masterpiece. There is no good guy in this. This is not about heroes. This is about greedy, evil, gun toting horrible maniacs in the sky and on land. This brings greed and lust to conquer and destroy.

World War I is the landmark war that would lead to the realization of Nazism. This in reality brings the stepping stones to Nazis leading to World War II. This is about the horrible aspects of war. This is about the death and ultimate ariel warfare that can cause ultimate destruction. The Blue Max captures the spark of historical reality that war is a hellacious part of warfare. War is not only on land but in the air. There are more people that die through aerial warfare then land warfare. Air warfare is the aspect of a non-personal war. You don't see the victim you just kill them with blindness. The starting of aerial warfare in World War I would lead to the climactic bombs and detonation of un-relenting murder.

The music score done for The Blue Max is extraordinary in itself. The music score was done by Jerry Goldsmith the one and only beauty of music himself. An amazing musical god that captures inside the cinema the very fabric of emotions and creates a masterpiece in itself. This Special Edition Twilight Time Blu-ray also gives you an isolated track of the score. You can hear the music by itself which is beauty beyond words to listen to the stunning emotional music that captures what is happening on screen.

This also stars the amazing James Mason. I am a huge fan of Mr. Mason. He acted in some of my favorite films of all time such as Lolita, North by Northwest. He was a Prolific actor that started gracing Cinema in the 1930s and acted all the way up into the 1980s. He was an extraordinary performer and created each persona in a reality and believable setting in every film or television performance he ever did.

This also stars the striking, stunning, sexy and beautiful goddess of cinema Ursula Andress. Many know her for the visual moment and stunning reality of her beauty when she exits the water in a white bikini in the original James Bond Dr. No, playing the character of Honey Ryder. In The Blue Max she plays the seductress, the slutty persona, the woman at the focal point of Bruno's sexual desire and ultimate conclusion. 

The Blue Max is written and based on the book by the wonderful American author and artist Jack D. Hunter. The Blue Max was his first novel. It was written in 1964 and for all you trivia buffs there is actually two other books staring the character of Bruno. The Bruno Stachel series is what it is known as. 

What's amazing about Mr. Hunter is he became a part of history himself. In reality he was 24 years old and worked for the US government after the war of Nazi Germany. After World War II he was sent over because he spoke German. Some Nazis had hidden their persona in hopes that wants the new German government established itself they would infiltrate their Nazism back into the German government. What Mr. Hunter did was disguise himself as a Lithuanian marketeer. He infiltrated this Nazi hidden organization. The operation was called Operation Nursery. In one night Mr. Hunter helped capture close to 1000 Nazis. They were apprehended due to Mr. Hunters infiltration. He was awarded the bronze Star for his heroic actions.

The book is different from the movie like most books are to their movie's. It differs in many ways but still captures the basic premise of World War I, the aerial bombardment and the overall characterization and horrible realities of World War I.

Say what you will about Nazi Germany but during World War I and World War II they had some of the greatest pilots to ever grace the sky. 

An Interesting aftermath of the movie is director Peter Jackson owns three of the original planes from the film. He found the Pfalz and Fokker D.VII. They had been rotting away in a hanger. He bought them, fixed them up and now they are running again. Peter Jackson restored apart of cinema history and has given the amazing historical Blue Max to this generation. 

Watching this aerial bombardment of World War, yes there are inaccuracies and yes there are things changed on the planes that were not there or have been altered for the movie's sake, but overlooking that, it's still a landmark film. It's a movie that stands the test of time. This is the movie that deals with the ideas of the evil of war and the realities that take place during war time.

Audio/Video (5/5)

Crisp and very clear for the eyes. Beautiful restoration of an amazing film. It looks new. Looks fresh. Looks like it belongs on the screen today, sounds like it belongs on the screen today.

Video 1080P High-Definition 2.35:1 Audio English 5.1 DTS HD M Options: Subtitled English

Extras (5/5)

Isolated Score Track #1 (The Complete Score)
Isolated Score Track #2 (Alternate Music) with audio commentary by Film Historians Jon Burlingame, Julia  Kirgo, and Nick Redman
Original Theatrical Trailer

Overall Product Review: (5/5)

Truly a masterpiece of cinema. Yes I use the term masterpiece. Yes the movie has some inaccuracies. Yes there are a couple flaws but this is a film that knows what it wanted to do and what it did was create a landmark moment in cinema history. Not since the 1920's with the movie Wings had any other movie done the wonderment and awesome aviation aerial warfare that this movie captured. The stunts, special-effects, the amazing dialogue and persona of characters in the backdrop of evil during war is stunningly filmed and created.

This is a Must own, must see film. One that truly captures the historical value of time. This is a wonderful Blu-ray put out by Twilight Time Limited Edition. If you can find a copy of this grab it, it's well worth the beauty.


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