Inglourious Basterds

Thursday, Apr 2, 2009
Release date: August 29, 2009
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Produced by: Lawrence Bender
Genre: Adventure, drama
Running time: 2h 33min
Box Office: $120,540,719 (USA), $321,455,689 (worldwide)

In German-occupied France, Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own.

Cast & Characters

Brad Pitt (Lt. Aldo Raine), Mélanie Laurent (Shosanna), Christoph Waltz (Col. Hans Landa), Michael Fassbender (Lt. Archie Hicox), Diane Kruger (Bridget von Hammersmark), Daniel Brühl (Fredrick Zoller), Eli Roth (Sgt. Donny Donowitz)

Production Stills

Production Notes

Brad Pitt became the first actor to join the ensemble cast as Lieutenant Aldo Raine. Tarantino flew to France during pre-production to meet with the actor. Tarantino says of Pitt: “He’s wonderful. We’ve wanted to work together for a long time and this was just the right one, completely. I really didn’t consider anybody else.”

Once casting was complete, Quentin got the cast together for a large table read. He explained to the room that all WWII films fall into two categories-war-as-tragedy films and men-on-the-move films. “He said we’d all definitely be making a men-on-the-move movie,” says “Basterd” B.J. Novak.

Novak continues, “Maybe the coolest night for me filming we shot in this truck, a scene where Brad and I were kidnapped, in handcuffs with bags over our heads. It was just an establishing shot. I showed up and all I had to do was be handcuffed and have this bag over my head. Brad Pitt is there in his white tuxedo jacket, and Quentin Tarantino, my all time hero is there behind the camera, and I realized there’s no way I can mess this up. I have a bag over my head, I’m handcuffed, I have no lines, there’s nothing I can do to mess this scene up. I just kinda looked around between every take and just marveled at my good luck. It was the most glamorous thing. I mean not only Brad Pitt, but like in a white tuxedo, and a moustache, and an accent, hamming it up and absolutely convincing, and taking you back to the 40’s. It was the most transformative film experience that I couldn’t mess up. I kept thinking `I can’t believe I’m here.’”

The director and Pitt had a certain rapport with each other as well. “They were like two peas in a pod,” producer Lawrence Bender recalls. “The thing that was great about Brad was he always played Aldo Raine. He was always playing that character on the set. It was fun to watch. He’s a terrific guy. You could see that Quentin really respected and enjoyed directing him and working with him. They made a great combination.” Tarantino agreed. He loved working with Brad, offering, “He doesn’t really break character. When you talk to him about other stuff, he talks in Aldo’s voice. And because I created the character, it’s great to have the guy around all the time.”

Awards and Nominations for Brad Pitt

Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award – Best Ensemble
CinEuphoria Award – Best Actor, International Competition
CinEuphoria Award – Best Ensemble, International Competition
Gold Derby Award – Ensemble Cast
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award – Best Acting Ensemble
San Diego Film Critics Society Award – Best Ensemble Performance
Screen Actors Guild Award – Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Awards Circuit Community Award – Best Cast Ensemble
Italian Online Movie Award – Best Supporting Actor