Characters: Inglourious Basterds
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Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, B. J. Novak, Omar Doom, Samm Levine, Paul Rust, Michael Bacall
"We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are."
A group of soldiers who have set out to scalp Germans as a sort of revenge. Started as eight Jewish-Americans, but were later joined by the German Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz after he murders 13 Gestapo officers and the Basterds break him out of jail.
- Badass Crew: It's not even funny how much fear they put into the Nazi party, "butchering them like flies." Hitler even ponders them as "apparitions", able to appear and disappear at will. They're just that good.
- The Dreaded: Always leave a Sole Survivor with a swastika carved into their foreheads to spread the word that they are going around killing Nazis.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: All the members can classify.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Let's see, they hate the Nazis, yet they do several eerily similar actions onto the Nazis that the Nazis do onto Jews and other undesirables, even down to locking them in a room under false pretenses (in a manner of speaking). That fits the trope to a "t". But given that it's nine Jews versus the entirety of the Nazi Party, it just as much comes across as a darkly satisfying turning the tables.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Four Basterds disappear (Gerold Hirschberg, Andy Kagan, Michael Zimmerman, Simon Sakowitz) never to be shown on screen again. According to leaked versions of the script, whoever didn't show up by the tavern scene had died.
Lt. Aldo "The Apache" Raine
"You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'!"
A hilljack from the backwoods of Tennessee. Has a mysterious scar about his neck that is ultimately left to the viewers' imagination. Tasked with instilling God-induced fear
into the Germans before the Armada, he puts together the American-Jewish "Basterds" - all too happy to kill him some Nazis.
- American Accents: Of the Hillbilly/Appalachian type.
- Anti-Hero: Aldo seems truly dedicated to taking down Hitler and stopping the persecution of European Jews. The killing and torturing is just a bonus.
- Ax-Crazy: He does get off on carving swastikas into the heads of German prisoners-of-war.
- Laughably Evil: He is QUITE entertaining, probably the main reason why his blatant sociopathy is largely ignored by the fanbase. Another reason probably being Pay Evil unto Evil.
- Military Maverick: That fact he mentions having been 'chewed out' before and is still holding the rank of lieutenant probably goes some way to explaining why he is leading an irregular unit on what most people would consider a suicide mission.
- Noodle Incident:
- When he tweaks the deal Landa made with the Allied Command, Raine notes it's not the first time he went against orders.
- How Raine got that scar. He looks like a survivor of a failed hanging, although who hanged him and for what reason is never explained.
- Southern-Fried Private: He hails from Tennessee, although Raine mentions he's got Native American blood in him.
Sgt. Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz
"Teddy fuckin' Williams knocks it out of the park!"
More commonly known as "The Bear Jew
", his infamy and brutality is so widespread among German soldiers stationed in France that many actually believe that he is a golem summoned by a vengeful rabbi. In truth, he is a Jewish-American soldier who really likes baseball. Unfortunately, there are no baseballs in Nazi-Occupied France, so he and his bat make do with Nazi melons.
- Anti-Hero: Donny is truly dedicated to taking down Hitler and stopping the persecution of European Jews. The killing and torturing is just a bonus.
- American Accents: Boston.
- Batter Up: His weapon of choice. He's become infamous among the Nazis for it.
- Blood Knight: Donny loves to kill, and he cannot wait to smash his bat into another human being's face over and over.
- Nightmare Fetishist: His face whilst listening to Raine explain his intentions to the Nazis.
- Red Baron: He becomes knows as the "Bear Jew" among the Nazis.
- Psychotic Smirk: Donny Donowitz gives this off as he approaches the German Commanding Officer to execute him.
- Shrouded in Myth: Nazis believe he's a golem conjured by a Rabbi.
Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz
"Say "auf Wiedersehen" to your Nazi balls."
Played By: Til Schweiger
A psychotic serial killer who was, for a time, a German enlisted soldier. He gained infamy after brutally butchering thirteen Gestapo officers, and was promptly on his way to the gallows. But as it turns out, Aldo was a huge fan of his work and wanted him to play for his team. Hugo didn't even have to ponder on the possibility of killing more Nazis.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Out of the 13 Gestapo officers he killed we saw three. One was suffocated by stuffing a fist into his throat and another repeatedly stabbed in the face through a pillow. The third was just strangled with a piano wire.
- Defector from Decadence: Subverted in that the Basterds are nearly as decadent as their targets.
Cpl. Wilhelm Wicki
Played By: Gedeon Burkhard
An Austrian-born Jew, he quickly fled and became an American citizen right around the time when the Nazi party was coming into real prominence. Afterwards, he joined the Basterds to kick a little ass. Acts as the team's translator, cause the Germans are too shit-scared of Stiglitz.
Pfc. Omar Ulmer
Played By: Omar Doom
A Basterd who got roped into Aldo's insane plan of bombing the cinema following the Mexican Standoff
turned Blast Out
in the pub. He doesn't speak Italian, not that Aldo cares.
- Hidden Depths: He's the only one of the trio who satisfies Landa's ear for Italian despite being the only one who can't speak any.
Pfc. Smithson "The Little Man" Utvich,
"The Germans' nickname for me is "the Little Man"?"
Known to the Germans as the "Little Man" - even though he's not the smallest of the Basterds - , Utvich is a Basterd who, for some reason, was captured by Landa along with Aldo in the hopes of his scheme succeeding. Despite coming off as timid, he is all too happy to follow Aldo.
Pfc. Gerold Hirschberg
Played By: Samm Levine
A Basterd with a minor role. He's the shortest member of the Basterds
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Doesn't show up again after the scene in which the Basterds and Hicox prepare for the meeting with Von Hammermark
- In the Back: Shoots Private Ludwig when he tries to escape.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In interviews, Samm Levine confirms that Hirschberg survives to the story's end, and written-but-not-filmed closing scenes had himself and other unspecified Basterds meeting up with Lt. Raine and PFC Utivich after they settled things with Col. Hans Landa.
Pfc. Andy Kagan
Played By: Paul Rust
Pfc. Michael Zimmerman
Played By: Michel Bacall
German High Command
The German High Command (Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goring, and Martin Bormann)
Played By: Martin Wuttke & Sylvester Groth
Dr. Joseph Goebbels
Played By: Sylvester Groth
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, he sees himself as the next (less Jewish) Fritz Lang
. He...really isn't.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: As if being the Nazi Minister of Propaganda didn't make him evil enough, he also has a creepy, passive-aggressive handshake.
- Fan Disservice: Thanks for the Goebbels sex scene, Quentin.
Col. Hans ‘The Jew Hunter’ Landa
"I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing."
A Nazi colonel who is a damn good detective (in his words). Very good at rooting out Jewish families in hiding. This is how he makes the acquaintance of Shoshanna Dreyfus, whose family's death he is responsible for. As fate would have it, he is responsible for the security detail for the film premiere...at Shoshanna's cinema.
- Appropriated Appellation: As seen in the beginning, when he mentions having been given the title of "Jew Hunter," which he finds to be rather catch. Subverted in the final act, several years later, when he has come to loathe the accolade.
- Awesome by Analysis: He is essentially a Nazi Sherlock Holmes, and may actually see himself as such (he insists that he's a "detective", and a damn good one; and he even has a gavel).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: With a predilection for dairy products, idioms involving shoes, languages, rumours and elaborate conversation Landa is a very odd fish but he counterbalances this with his brilliance as a detective.
- Drink Order: He sure does like his milk.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Let's just say that despite promise of becoming a complete American citizen and hailed as a hero, he couldn't eliminate his ties to the Nazis afterwards thanks to the surviving members of the Basterds deciding to do one of their usual methods with surviving Nazis. Though he can probably get plastic surgery with all those goodies he extorted.
- Karma Houdini: He attempts to invoke this trope in combination with Written by the Winners. He betrays Hitler with the intention of being viewed by the public as being an unwilling ally of the Nazis, and he being the reason the allies win. It doesn't quite go the way he plans though with the Mark of Shame being carved into his forehead.
- Let no Crisis Go to Waste: He discovers the Basterds' plan and hijacks it in order to give himself a cushy retirement.
- Mark of Shame: Becomes the unfortunate recipient of Aldo's masterpiece.
- Pet the Dog: It's implied that he does honor his agreement to leave the farmer alone and he is clearly horrified when Aldo kills his driver after they've surrendered claiming that he made a deal for the man's life.
- Psycho for Hire: The Nazis are just convenient for him to act out his horrible impulses. Without them, it's likely he'd be off doing something just as monstrous.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In four languages no less.
- Too Clever by Half: His scheme doesn't go the way he envisions it; also, while he is responsible for the death of the German and Nazi High leadership, it's less because he sold them out to the Basterds, and more due to sparing a young Jewish girl (For the Evulz, mind; he'd just killed her entire family, and he spared her just because it amused him to do so) and not recognising her as a vengeful adult.
Played By: Daniel Bruhl
A charming German sniper who gained a hero status in Germany after mowing down nearly 300 American soldiers in a single day from a tower. He is now the centerpiece of Goebbels' latest propaganda film, Nation's Pride
. Has a serious case of puppy-love for Shoshanna.
- Cat Smile: A result of his nice guy persona and having Daniel Bruhl's face.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Up to a point. Shoshanna would definitely disagree, especially when he shows his true colours.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Finally snaps after Shoshanna snubs him yet again, even he expected his favors would warm her up to him.
- Entitled to Have You: When he drops the Nice Guy façade, he demands that Shoshanna submit herself to him.
- Humble Hero: Of a sort; he never reveals his celebrity status until fans appear to fawn over him and afterward doesn't flaunt it. It may be because he's not particularly proud of his claim to fame; see Punch Clock Villain below.
- One-Man Army: Why he's so famous, and why a movie is being made about him.
- Punch Clock Villain: He confesses to Shosanna that he does not want to watch his film, because he does not feel proud of killing so many men.
- Taking You with Me: Shoshanna shoots him to keep him from discovering her plan, but then gets curious when she hears him still alive. As she approaches him in sympathy, Zoller shoots her back.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He seems to think he's in a romance flick where he can defrost the ice queen. Not how it works out.
Major Dieter Hellstrom
Played By: August Diehl
Something of a repulsive Gestapo Major, he works directly under Goebbels. Not particularly savvy, but very difficult to fool.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: He is well versed into German accents and can recognize fake ones.
- Faux Affably Evil: An act he's not particularly accomplished at. "I must say, I grow weary of these monkeyshines."
- Groin Attack: Is shot to death by Hicox and Stiglitz firing their sidearms point-blank into his groin
- Smug Snake: Hellstrom sure thinks he's some kind of version of Landa. That's the kind of thinking that makes you say "auf wiedersehen" to your Nazi balls.
Staff Sgt. Wilhelm
Played By: Alexander Fehling
A German soldier under Hellstrom's command. He was given the night off to celebrate the birth of his son, Max, at a pub. Then it all goes to hell.
Sgt. Werner Rachtman
An honorable and loyal German soldier, who "respectfully refuses" Aldo's offer to rat out his comrades. He becomes The Bear Jew's first on-screen kill.
Played By: Sönke Möhring
A German solder serving under Sgt. Ratchmann.
Played By: Julie Dreyfus
Goebbels' mistress and French translator.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
General Ed Fenech
"We have all our rotten eggs in one basket. The objective of the operation: blow up the basket."
An English general under Churchill's command.
- The Cameo: For Mike Myers with an impeccable accent and heavy make-up.
- Cool Old Guy: He's an older gentleman who has enough of a sense of fun to have a drink with his subordinates.
Lt. Archie Hicox
A former film critic and journalist who now serves in Her Majesty's Royal Army. His immense knowledge of German cinema makes him invaluable for the upcoming operation in Fenech's and Churchill's eyes.
- Badass Bookworm: He is a film historian and film critic.
- Fatal Flaw: For all his knowledge of German cinema he doesn't know who to signal "3" with his fingers German-style, which is what confirms Major Hellstrom's suspicions that he's not German.
Bridget von Hammersmark
A beautiful German actress who has been secretly working for the Allies for quite some time, being Fenech's primary spy.
- Idiot Ball: Really, Bridget? You had to explain your broken leg by saying you were mountain climbing? Good old "fell down the stairs" isn't good enough for you?
- Opera Gloves: Her theater dress includes white gloves.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Her black theater dress has lots of beads, lace, and feather trim at the hem.
- Pretty in Mink: Her theater dress is topped by a blue fox fur wrap.
Le Gamaar Theater
Shoshanna Dreyfus / Emmannuelle Mimieux
A French Jew whose entire family was murdered by Hans Landa's men. She eventually inherits a cinema, which ironically becomes the state for the premiere of Nation's Pride
. Which ironically, Landa is providing security for.
- Broken Bird: Forced to watch the death of her family and then to essentially become a collaborateur
Played By: Jacky Ido
Shoshanna's boyfriend as well as the film projectionist at her cinema. He's the best.
- Anti-Hero: Type III.
- Flat Character: He has little characterization other than his loyalty to Shoshanna and that his demeanor is that of a...
- Nice Guy: See Flat Character
- One Last Smoke: He's smoking as he waits for the signal to set the film rolls on fire.
- Satellite Character: We never get to learn anything about him, other than that he's Shosanna's boyfriend and a very good projectionist.
- Undying Loyalty: To Shoshanna.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Since the final shot of Marcel is the moment when he tosses down his cigarette to ignite the film reels, his fate is unclear: he ought to have had ample time to escape the theater, but it appears that Shoshanna never had any intention of walking away from this one alive; if Marcel knew that, he might have preferred to stay and join in her Heroic Sacrifice rather than live on without her.
Perrier La Padite
Played By: Denis Ménochet
A French milk farmer with three daughters. Landa intimidates and pressures him into exposing the Dreyfus family hiding under his floorboard.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: The first one: aiding Jews to hide puts him and his family at risk. And then to protect his family he's forced to go along with Landa's game.
- Les Collaborateurs: A rare sympathetic example.
- Manly Tears: Breaks down for betraying the Dreyfus family to protect his own daughters.
- Sadistic Choice: Is given the choice of either selling out the Dreyfus family to the Nazis or having his own family killed for not cooperating.
- Of course, Hans already pretty much knew he was sheltering the Dreyfus family, so Perrier admitting he was hiding them was kind of a moot point anyway.
La Louisiane Tavern
Played By: Christian Berkel
The bartender of La Louisiane. Doesn't seem to care too much for the German occupation.
Played By: Anne-Sophie Franck
A waitress working at La Louisiane. Unlike Eric, she is deathly scared of the German soldiers.