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Headscratchers: Inglourious Basterds
  • In the bar scene, how did the drunken card players know who to shoot? All they knew at that point was that an SS officer (who they may or may not have known personally) sat down with some officers and an actress that they love. Then a few shots are fired, and suddenly everyone in that bar knows which side everyone else is on - for all those soldiers knew, Hellstrom (the SS guy) was the traitor.
    • Maybe the Basterds shot at them first, and then they were just returning fire indiscriminately at the officer's table, because NOBODY was rational at that point.
    • Well, there were two groups in the room—the soldiers who were all drinking together and had known each other for a long time, and the "soldiers" who came in looking really shady, and who nobody knew and recognized. Suddenly, gunshots erupt from the table- of people who are shady and who you don't know, and the SS officer is dead, one guy is stabbing him repeatedly. There was no coordination that you're implying, either—everyone just shot at everyone else who they didn't know for sure was on their side—the waitress sure as hell didn't pick a side and was gunned down with everyone else.
    • Wicki opened fire first on the other table right after killing Hellstrom. And despite apparently an ally of von Hammersmark, the bartender opens fire on the Basterds and they return fire due to the confusion.
  • Why did Colonel Landa strangle von Hammersmark out of virtually nowhere, and for no reason? Wouldn't that be painfully out of character for him too (for someone who rather gets a good laugh out of other peoples' failing masquerades)? It seems that Tarantino just wanted to throw this into the script at the last minute to effectively kill off one other major character before the end of the movie.
    • i think Tarantino didn't want to risk having the most likable character in the movie be a Nazi responsible for a bunch of atrocities. Without this scene, Landa's insistence that it's no more than a job to him seems plausible, making Raine's betrayal at the end seem unwarranted
    • Maybe, but Landa's also got an impulsive streak (see letting Shoshanna go and betraying Hitler for his own gain). He's hardly above indulging in a little spirited fun (note his face during that scene) in the heat of the moment.
    • Probably to remind the audience that Landa is a sadistic psychopath with the well-earned nickname "Jew Hunter."
    • It also lets him insert himself into von Hammersmark's role in Operation Kino as the German double-agent.
  • Even though they were pretty sociopathic, I never really pictured the Basterds as being particularly suicidal - and if they are, then it just makes me feel bad for Omar, who was picked arbitrarily for the suicide mission. I find it much more fitting for the characters that they planned on planting the explosives, and THEN unleashing their assault on Hitler before escaping. My question is, was it really their plan all along to go down in a blaze of explosive glory, or do you think that was their Plan B after Aldo and Von Hammersmark failed to return?
    • Maybe not suicidal exactly, but definitely unafraid of death to the point where they would pull a Taking You with Me stunt if they had to. The suicide bombing probably wasn't the original plan, but it wasn't like Donny and Omar weren't ultimately fine with carrying it out.
  • By my count, there were originally nine Basterds. Wicki dies in the bar, Aldo and Utivich survive, and Donny and Omar die in the theater. This means there are four Basterds unaccounted for by the end of the film.
    • Stiglitz dies in the bar too.
    • True, but he wasn't an original Basterd. According to imdb the four AWOL Basterds are named Hirschberg, Sakowitz, Kagan, and Zimmerman.
      • I read the original script on IMDB and in the directions for the scene before the bar infiltration it states that anyone not present is dead.
  • Why is the Perrier LaPadite chopping a tree stump in the opening scene? Why would you chop a tree stump??
    • He was cutting a knotch that he could use to place the ax in when not in use?
    • Um... exercise maybe? This is a surprisingly good question...
    • He could be chopping it up to get some extra wood before he'd have to remove it.
    • He was chopping too much to make a notch. A friend of mine who has an almost Ron Swanson-esque knowledge of woodcrafting, etc said he thought LaPadite was splitting the stump in two so it would be easier to remove.
  • What's with Donowitz's nickname? He's not particularly large, not particularly hairy, and I don't think bears are really associated with baseball. Then again, I know nothing about baseball.
    • Well, there was a Yogi Berra, and Donowitz was slightly bulkier than the other Jewish Basterds.
    • It might've been more ferocity than size, hairiness, or relevance to baseball.
    • The joke is that any rational person would just call him 'fairly large'. But stories grow in the telling and what's more, any survivors with swastikas cut into their foreheads are motivated to tell the story even bigger still - to save their skins for not fighting back because it was clearly hopeless. Building a fearful legend is the whole point of the Basterds - who do it to magnify the effect of their small force. When Landa sees 'Little Man' he realizes this, "I thought you were some kind of trained killer circus midget; but now I see that you are just.. small." Hitler also references it, saying he's starting to hear reports that the Bear Jew is some kind of golem.
      • This makes sense, especially given his intro. I was lead to believe by the echoing coming out of the cavern that some kind of huge man was going to come out. Then the echoing stops and a second later Eli Roth walks out, just a normal guy with a bat. As soon as I saw that I thought "Oh shit, that little guy must be hardcore."
  • Why didn't they burn the tavern? Seems logical to me, in order to get rid of all the evidence and suspicion they wfere there, instead, they even leave the bodies of their team and the English agent so it's pretty obvious they planned something big.
    • There was no time, since they would need to get to the premiere before it started. In addition, no one investigating would know what the Basterds would look like (even with the very infamous and very widely known Stieglitz lying dead on the floor, but that's another IJBM for another day). Even Landa didn't know who started the whole thing before he found von Hammersmark's shoe and autograph.
    • Stiglitz, though, had been in the German army. They sure as hell knew who he was. Plus, it's a BAR. It's full of inflammable liquids, only a gas station would be easier to burn. It would have taken, what, a minute to toss some liquor bottles around and toss some grenades down the stairwell.
    • Because it's a bar, not a hardware store. People tend to notice when you burn down their source of alcohol. If the initial explosion didn't knock them out, they would still be caught before they made it a block.
    • Also it was underground, meaning it was made of stone, mostly. Stone doesn't burn too well and if you try to blow it up, you might take the building along with it. That would have been even more suspicious.
    • But the point would not be to avoid suspicion, it would be to destroy (or conceal) evidence. After all, nothing could have raised more suspicion than what they already did—leave a basement full of shot-up corpses. A decent fire may have burned enough evidence (Von Hammersmark's note, for example) to slow German Army investigators enough to put Operation Kino back on track.
    • What is especially mind-boggling about this is that Lt. Rayne REFERRED SPECIFICALLY TO GRENADES THAT HIS MEN HAD ON-HAND JUST ABOVE. Grenades would've done at least a decent job at destroying evidence, especially if they'd tossed a good two or three of them.
      • You honestly think grenade explosions destroying an entire bar in a blaze of fire as a group of wanted vigilantes and a movie star hobble away is less suspicious than just them hobbling away?
      • It would have aroused suspicion, sure, but they still would have had enough time to pull of the mission. The Bastards are wanted, but they aren't thought to be in that specific area at that moment. A fire wouldn't make the Nazis say, "This looks like the work of the Bastards." It would have meant firemen working to put out the flames, arson investigators working to determine the cause of the fire and eventually what killed everyone inside. Only then would Nazi officers come and investigate. The bar was said to be on the outside of town. Why would a little fire at a small bar that's far removed from anything important be connected to the Nation's Pride premier?
      • ^ I'm pretty sure most people could tell the difference between "a little fire" and an explosion.
      • Except most grenades don't explode the way they do in movies. Shrapnel is usually the main concern, which wouldn't do much toward those ends. Then again, this IS a movie, so to hell with realism.
      • ^That sentence right there makes me realise this entire bit with the bar and Hammersmark being found out is just Tarantino fucking with the viewers. He introduced realism into a movie completely devoid of it.
  • How is it a random French peasant in the middle of nowhere speaks English in 1940, and what's more, why doesn't he teach it to the girls?
    • You think every parent is going to teach their kids a language that's practically useless in the country they're in?
    • He might have been old enough to have fought in World War I and thus served alongside British and American troops.
    • Plus Landa didn't assume that he spoke English. He already knew that going in.
    • Peasant who has a large hidden storage area under his house? he could be smuggling things to/from the UK.
      • Landa might even have known, as the reward for telling Landa about the Dreyfus family was to let him go undisturbed.
  • How did the tavern fight work? Besides the Basterds, the nazi officer and the barkeep all the other nazis were too drunk to either notice the start of the gunfight or shoot accurately, yet still they take a second to repond and the whole thing turns into a bloodbath.
    • It's called Suddenly Sober.
    • They're using mostly automatic weapons in a confined space. Their aim doesn't have to be that good.
  • Another thing, Landa's plan seems smart, but when you think about it, even if the allied nations will declare him a public hero, there are still lots of jews whose families he've slaughtered that will be out for revenge (he is known as the jew hunter for a reason), it is pretty logical he won't be able to live in safety anywhere.
    • Possibly he had blackmail-class info on certain U.S. officials (like who did business with the Nazis) that would warrant him extra State-funded security.
      • Not to mention he'll be in the middle of the boonies - and out in a lake - in a house, probably surrounded by Secret Service.
    • Assuming the Allies uphold their end of the deal at all; since Landa already did his part, they could just as easily say I Lied (as Raine demonstrates when he kills the driver).
      • Exactly. The Allied nations did shelter war criminals, but that was because they had more information to give, like the German rocket scientists. What use does Landa have once the war is over? Zip. Probably the only You Have Outlived Your Usefulness that you could actually root for.
      • Does he have a better plan of action? Presumably, Landa knows at this point that the war effort is lost. He's given a small chance to save his own skin and he takes it.
      • No, a high-level Nazi who roasts the entire Nazi command transcends measured worth, by miles. That point was made by Raine carving Landa's forehead. He downplayed it a lot, but he knew Landa wasn't going to suffer under the Allies; he sure as hell wasn't going to let the world forget Landa was a Nazi.
      • What worth is there in that? Sure, he helped do it, but the only reason to actually give him credit for it is some overdeveloped sense of fair play. The official Allied version of the event is that the operation succeeded due to the heroism of the Bastards; admitting that they screwed up and needed the Jew Hunter to help bail out of their ass only embarasses the Allies. I'm honestly surprised Aldo wasn't ordered to "lose" Landa in a ditch halfway back to Occupied France.
      • Truthfully, leaving Landa alive was probably more trouble than it would be worth, especially once various Jewish groups learned of his involvement and the terms of his crossing over, if such an event occurred in real life, Donowitz would probably have been the one credited. A more competent OSS overseer would probably have issued the order "Lose Landa, keep the radioman", and placed the radio man in Hammersmark's position instead. (So as to keep her reputation in her native country intact, which was typically done for those of public standing who died to bring information to the Allies.)
      • Landa's plan was not smart at all. It was dumb. Aside from the fact that Shosanna did most of the actual work (so the High Command died less because of his treason, and more due to his incompetence), any idiot could see his final fate coming. It was obvious that the Basterds were likely to betray him, given their record, and aside from that the Allies had no reason to keep their word, and the rest of the world wouldn't be too accepting of a guy who is responsible for the deaths of countless innocents, and would see through his treason. Even if there was an official veneer of acceptance, he would be widely reviled, and he is deluded to think otherwise. Pretty sure the Nazi insignia he got cut so deep that it probalby killed him too.
      • I think you're all underestimating Landa's importance. For a start he is the security man of the Nazi high command. Whilst Hitler is dead, the war still isn't over and he might have picked up loads of important and useful things over his time in the post. Secondly and more importantly think of the propaganda. A high ranking Nazi was actually an Ally the whole time? That would have a massive effect on the war(especially for the remaining German troops who would no doubt recognise Landa), Landa would probably be on every Allied war leaflet from here to Poland, something which Landa was no doubt aware of (and Raine, who somewhat spoiled it with his "masterpiece") and looking forward to.
      • Hitler died with the rest of the High Command and with other prominent Nazis; the German war effort was in serious trouble, to say nothing of the fact that many military leaders in Germany had been actively plotting his death for years and would likely sue for peace. Either way any info Landa gave them wouldn't have been especially important. Regardless, Landa was not an ally "the whole time" and only turned to save his own ass and because he thought he would be a hero; that and the idea that he'd be on "every Allied war leaflet from here to Poland" just brings up the earlier issue about Jews and others who are less willing to forgive him, to say nothing of historians and others who would shortly be tearing his reputation apart, especially if they discover what really happened and that events didn't play out like he imagined at all. Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves comes to mind, and even if it doesn't he'll be dogged by others who will be less forgiving. Again, assuming the Nazi scar he got didn't cut deep enough to kill him.
      • Unless Aldo cut "deep enough" to pierce his skull (and through the thickest, toughest part of the skull), no, it wasn't going to kill him. The forehead is skin and bone, and even carving it up as Aldo did is very unlikely to make him bleed to the point of death—especially considering Aldo has been "practicing" and would probably have a fair idea of how to make it hurt, last, but still be survivable.
        It's actually an old pro wrestling trick: Any time you've seen someone bleeding from the head, it's real—they slip them a razor, and they make a small cut in their forehead. It bleeds, but is still plenty safe.
  • Perhaps it was just Translation Convention, but Shoshanna recording her last message to the Nazis in the theater in English seems monumentally pointless. If you're going to tell your enemies why they're about to die in a fire as a final act of evil gloating, isn't it necessary for the audience to know what the hell you're saying for it to have any value? Though I suppose her options were rather limited if she didn't know any fluent German speakers who were opposed to the Nazis.
    • Also note that in the actual movie Nation's Pride, Zoller's last line is "Who has a message for Germany?!" in English.
      • In his case, though, it's justified because he's taunting American soldiers, so he'd want to speak to them in their own language.
    • As well, Shoshanna's entire family was killed because a conversation that was very important to their immediate futures was being spoken in English, preventing them from knowing what was coming. Perhaps Shoshanna simply wanted the German High Command to meet their fates for the same reason (as they would be more familiar with French, her main language of choice, than English, given that they had conquered France and would need to know at least a bare minimum).
    • Also, though it's probably just my own mind coming to this conclusion and not an active thought of the crew - but can you imagine how infuriating it would be knowing you're about to die and having the perpetrator infront of you explaining her reasons...but you can't understand a damn word she's saying? Would drive me up the bloody wall. And then I'd die, presumably.
    • This was handled slightly better in the German dub, as most of the English parts were dubbed in German, which at first seemed annoying, but then again, some parts would work much better that way. First, the conversation between Hans Landa et Perrier LaPadite was in German. Switching from French to German, Landa's native language, makes much more sense than switching to English and seems less suspicious. Throughout the whole movie then, Shoshanna would have understood German, and consequently, she would have recorded her message "for Germany" in German, which, again, makes much more sense. However, I think she assumed that the "most important Nazis" would be able to speak English, or at least understand it.
    • Also, and I know this isn't what you mean at all, but she said it in English so that we, the English speaking audience, could look right into her eyes for that performance instead of reading subtitles. Tarantino's done this before, in Kill Bill vol. 1.
    • She assumed Landa was there, and since he had been able to kill her family because they didn't speak English, she wanted to show him that she does now.
      • That seems the most likely answer. She may hate Hitler because he's, well, Hitler, but her primary target would have been Landa. She probably would have missed him either way. He seems shrewd enough that without the Basterds' plan in motion he would have found out about hers and let it carry on, using a similar line of reasoning when she questioned him. And presumably toy with her up in the booth until it was time to bug out. In the unlikely event he thought she posed no more threat and left her alive, she would likely hoist him at a later date. The way Landa was characterised just makes it seem like it would be impossible to take him out at the theatre no matter whose plot went off first.
  • Considering he's from Boston, doesn't it seem strange that a right-handed batter would compare himself to Ted Williams?note 
    • A. I don't know why you needed to spoiler tag that. B. I hardly find that strange at all.
      • That wasn't a spoiler tag. The note is just for saving space. Besides, isn't this the place to talk about things that bug you? It just seems like Jimmie Foxx would've been a better comparison.
      • If it bugs you it bugs you, but I just don't see how it's remotely strange that a Boston-bred baseball fan would model himself after Ted Williams. It seems completely natural, actually. I'm right-handed, and when I played Little League I imitated the stance and swing of David Justice, a lefty. Williams was a hero to Boston baseball fans.

  • Re: the scene at the Paris restaurant with Landa quasi-interrogating Shoshanna over strudel and cream. Did anyone else think it seemed out of character that Landa repeatedly talked with his mouth full? Small thing, surely, but the Landa characterization was pretty clear at that point. And that character wouldn't do anything so rude as talking with his mouth full of strudel. Perhaps it was just Tarantino's way of saying that civilization and courtesy are just thin veneers over brutality.
    • The "talking with your mouth full" is a common theme in a lot of Sergio Leone's work, which Inglourious Basterds is clearly inspired by. One of the opening scenes in Duck, You Sucker! is literally nothing but rich people eating rich food, the camera panning in on their open mouths.
    • Assuming he didn't know who Shosanna was, maybe he was sensing that she was tense and was trying to set up a casual atmosphere to get her to relax so he could properly evaluate her. Alternatively, maybe he was being extra-polite during the interrogation in the first chapter, either for his own enjoyment or to get a better read on the farmer.
    • Landa obviously recognizes her. He forcibly orders milk for her, to refer to the dairy farm where he drank fresh milk right above her.
      • Or maybe Landa just likes milk.
      • Along those lines, it's very common for people who are experts on gathering intelligence to use things like food and beverages as subtle tools for intimidation. I'm reminded of a scene in season 2 of Dexter, when a master FBI profiler is questioning Dexter under the pretense that it's a friendly conversation. Because Dexter also has an extensive knowledge of things like interrogation techniques, he recognizes that when the profiler insists that Dexter drink a cup of tea, the profiler's goal is to subtly assert his power over the person who's obligated to drink it. It makes sense for someone like Landa, who maintains a pleasant demeanor even when he's doing evil things, to use something like milk in the same way. It's not his style to say, "Let us have the premiere in your theater, and give the black projectionist the night off, or I'll crush you."
    • If Landa's investigative record is long enough for him to garner the moniker "Jew Hunter", I don't see why he would remember Shoshanna over the hundreds of others he tracked. Not to mention, he only got a look at the back of her head, from a hundred yards away, four years earlier.
    • I don't think he recognizes her; I think it's just his MO to treat every situation like an interrogation - in this case, I always thought he was doing that to intentionally make Shoshanna feel uncomfortable. He could almost certainly see that she was already pretty scared/uncomfortable/disgusted by the various Nazis around her - acting like a boor and displaying disgusting table manners only adds to that discomfort and puts Shoshanna further on edge.
    • When Landa has von Hammersmark in the office he says Madamemoiselle Mimieux lent it to him. Note he doesn't just say the owner, von Hammersmark doesn't know the name of the owner. He believes Shoshanna is Emmanuelle. He has no reason to lie to a woman he is about to kill.
      • I fail to see the logic here. There is no reason to believe that von H was any less likely to know the owner's name than any other attendee. And referring to her as Shoshanna would indicate to the audience that Landa suspects Mimieux is Shoshanna, but it would mean nothing to von H. Why would Landa even be thinking about Shoshanna while he's getting ready to kill von H. ?
    • Maybe Landa had a standing routine: any time he entertained or questioned a young female in her early 20's, one who *might* be Shoshanna, he ordered dairy products when possible to see if he can get a nervous reaction. I think others are correct in believing Landa was more turned on by the hunt than the eventual capture. And maybe he got a particular turn-on when it was a young girl. Who knows? This is why Tarantino films are great - they leave a lot of this up to the viewer to interpret.
    • Perhaps Landa shot himself in the foot here because he tried to execute 2 techniques that normally worked for him: 1) putting his counterpart at ease, and 2) surprising his counterpart with rapid followup questions to responses. In a restaurant, ordering dessert may be an effective and inconspicuous way to try and put someone at ease, but the problem, as Landa discovered (he had to know this, it seems) is that the physical act of eating gets in the way of using the mouth for the rapid followup questions. This may be why he continued talking even as he was wolfing down his strudel - he was trying to do both things simultaneously. To order the dessert and not eat it, preferring the line of questioning instead, might come across as a signal of intensity to the counterpart, therefore, eating is probably required to maintain social norms and the facade that nothing sinister is brewing in his mind. The waiter interruptions were, unfortunately for Landa, uncontrollable.
  • Landa emphasises that Operation Kino needs to take out Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Bormann in order to end the war. Erm...wouldn't Himmler assume command in that case?
    • Near the end of the war Himmler attempted to sue for peace with the Allies to save his own skin (somewhat like Landa).
      • Yeah, and the Allies basically told him to go fuck himself, and threw him in jail.
      • Well, he committed suicide with a cyanide capsule before they could really do that.
      • Since Himmler isn't mentioned at all, I got the impression that Hans Landa replaced him completely in this timeline.
    • Also, what about Eichmann?
    • And what about Beck, Oster, and everyone else who took part in the July Plot to kill Hitler?
    • And technically, you don't even have to kill Bormann. Most of his power derived from his ability to control access to Hitler as his secretary. If Hitler's dead, Bormann doesn't have anything.
    • And hey, what about Japan?
  • Seriously. That bugged me too. How does taking Germany out of the equation automatically end the war? I'm rusty, but it seems to me that in the year in which this takes place, Italy and Japan were already involved in the war.
    • Italy would have folded immediately (it was the weak link of the Axis in real life as well), and Japan was an entirely different theatre of operations, but it still would have been effected by the loss of its only ally, and in this timeline, possibly more intense pressure from a slightly-less exhausted Russia.
    • The movie takes place in 1944. All that was left of Fascist Italy was the German puppet state of Salo, which would have buckled the second Germany went down. As for Japan...yeah, Japan would still be in the war, but many people even today tend to think of the European and Pacific theaters as almost separate wars. Except for occurring at the same time and having some effect on Allied resources available to fight in each, they didn't have a huge effect on one another.
    • Also, Germany and the European Axis peacing out in mid-1944 would have left Japan in a very precarious position. The Soviets would have been able to intervene in China quite a bit earlier and much more American manpower could go towards the Pacific theater. Japan would have gone down quite a bit sooner if most of the Allies' attention hadn't been directed towards the European theater.
  • Shoshanna and Marcel pretend to be working for the Nazis to get their film produced without drawing much attention. Now that's fine and dandy, but how does the man they get to do the work believe a black man to be a nazi sympathiser?
    • They weren't pretending to work for the Nazis. I don't know where you could've gotten that idea.
    • You misunderstood that scene: the man they were strongarming was the collaborator.

  • Why does Landa let Shoshanna go at the beginning of the movie? He may not have been able to hit her at range with his pistol, but he didn't even have his men try to chase her down. What gives?
    • She had too much of a lead. The time it would take for his men to find her, she'd be far away. After all, they wouldn't have been able to drive their car over there. Plus Landa isn't really in it to kill the jews, but doing his job (finding them) which he did do.
      • But why the smile and "Au revoir, Shoshanna!"? He seemed pleased that she was getting away.
      • Heís taunting her. Thatís all.
    • Because when you're evil, you always let one go to spread the word of your atrocities.
      • I see what you did there. And given what he said, that could possibly even be the case. What bugs me is that the other Nazis didn't go "wtf Landa" when he said that and let her go, but maybe they were out of earshot and in any case, subordinate.
    • He enjoys tormenting his victims. Notice how he comes into all of these situations knowing the truth, but still being polite and forcing people to act nice back to him while he slowly, slowly lets them know that they're fucked.
    • This point wasn't missed by Tarantino — in fact, in the original script, one of Landa's soldiers did ask him why he didn't shoot the girl. His response was something to this effect (lifted from the script, the transcriber's horrible spelling included):
    Landa: I'm glad you see my that way. Besides, not putting a bullet in the back of a fifteen year old girl, and allowing her to escape, our not nessessarlly the same thing. She's a young girl, no food, no shelter, no shoes, who's just the massacre of her entire family. She may not survive the night. And after word spreads about what happened today, it's highly unlikely she will find any willing farmers to extend her aid. If I had to guess her fate, I'd say she'll probably be turned in by some neightbour. Or, she'll be spotted by some German soldier. Or, we'll find her body in the woods, dead from starvation or exposure. Or, perhaps...she'll survive. She will elude capture. She will escape to America. She will move to New York city. Where she will be elected, President of the United States. (The S.S. Colonel chuckles at his little funny.)
  • Just how sturdy was that baseball bat? After busting a few skulls with it, wouldn't any ordinary baseball bat have broken? Then you need to find a new baseball bat, in occupied France. Good luck finding a sporting goods store.
    • I have only anecdotal evidence to support this theory, but baseball bats were made better 60 years ago, and they were much, much heavier than wooden bat used today. Today, they are made to hit the ball far, and it's no worry if they break, because you can replace them cheaply and easily (and we do). It was only recently that batters figured out that faster bat speed (using a lighter bat) hits farther, and not a big, heavy bat. My grandfather's bat is still in our garage, looking no worse for wear for all the seasons it played, but it's fucking heavy as hell.
  • When Aldo Raine tells the German soldier "What we have here is a Mexican standoff!" The German immediately replies: "No, you have to have your gun on me for it to be a Mexican standoff!" Why does the German know this particular bit of English slang? Furthermore, if Aldo grew up in Tennessee, why does he know it? (Its origins are traced to the South West US.)
    • I don't know about the German, but Aldo probably learned it from American westerns.
    • Westerns were actually fairly popular in Germany at the time.
      • Also Karl May's Western novels. Even Hitler was a big fan of him.
      • On the subject of Karl May, during the game between Wilhelm and his comrades, May's Winnetou series is referenced.
    • It seems easy enough to guess what Aldo meant from context. That may be what he did. Or yes, he may have already been familiar with the expression. If it was anything then like it is today, the average German was more fluent with English than the average American (from what my sister, who has lived in Germany, has told me is currently the case).
  • In the Nation's Pride movie, where did the Germans get actors who speak English with an American accent to play the American soldiers? Not to mention where did they get all the material (US army uniforms, guns, and such) for the actors to wear.
    • The same place modern day American film makers got actors to speak German with German accents while wearing Nazi uniforms and shooting German guns: the casting and prop departments.
      • Modern day American film makers can hire actors from Germany and have material to make realistic-looking props. The Nation's Pride movie was filmed in 1943 at the earliest. Unless there were some expatriate Americans (or even some Germans who had lived in America and knew the accent) hanging around in Nazi Germany, during a state of war, they would have no actors to fit the part.
    • American accents can be faked just as easily as any other accent. We're not that special, guys.
      • Non-native accents are actually quite difficult to get rid of. Within the film itself, Hicox can't fake a proper native-speaking German accent even though he is perfectly fluent in German.
      • Hicox's accent was caught by two people, one of whom was a trained spy-catcher claiming he had a knack for accents. That's hardly the same thing as someone having to fake an American accent for a movie.
    • For the costumes and props at least they could easily have got them from dead/captured American soldiers. Goebbles was involved with the film and he should have the contacts for this sort of thing.
    • For all we know the actors could have been captured American soldiers too. The choice of "Act in this propaganda film or go to a hellish POW camp or worse" might make some willing participants.
    • The guns were probably captured and the uniforms.. Maybe they just... made some? Out of cloth and that? Nothing special about American uniforms. They don't even have to be the same material, so long as they look right.
      • On that note, it would have been hilarious if one of the Basterds had scoffed that the movie got the US Army uniforms totally wrong.
  • Why does Hans have his henchmen shoot through the floorboards when they could have easily just surrounded the house and rounded them up?
    • The Jews in hiding could well have been armed somehow, if not with guns then with knives. Trying to get an armed, desperate person out of a confined space can be quite dangerous. Safer for the troops to just shoot them without their targets ever even knowing they're being targeted.
  • On the map in Hitler's room in the near-beginning of the second chapter, why is Finland counted as Nazi? Sure they were friendly with Germany and fought against the Soviet Union together, but they weren't technically allied.
    • The Finns did allow German troops to station in Finland, and most Finnish armour was of German make. They are generally regarded as an Axis (or at least Axis-aligned) nation, for all intents and purposes, and it makes sense Hitler would regard them as such too. At least, until the Lapland War.
    • Pretty straightforward case of Enemy Mine. Even Britain officially declared war on Finland. As above, they're generally (and in my opinion, mistakenly) considered axis.
    • Alternate reality. Hitler's cape kind of gives it away.
  • Why does the Gestapo agent not do the reasonable thing and simply excuse himself from the table once he realizes the officers are spies? Couldn't he have called for backup and ensured they would have all been caught?
    • Hubris. He was convinced that with his own power of awesome Nazi menace, he would be able to apprehend them all by himself.
    • Besides, they might have caught on that he was onto them and shot him in the back or something. He had given a very long and distinct look when he saw them give the wrong sign for three more beers and he couldn't be sure that everyone had missed it. In fact, didn't they all have their guns secretly trained on each other already?
      • Actually no, the Gestapo didn't pull his gun out until the Brit's error.
    • Remember, these were the days before cell phones and before even small radios. The only man-portable radios available back then were huge backpack-sized things that only sometimes worked right. The only way Hellstrom would have been able to summon backup was by running to find the nearest sober German soldier and telling him to run and get 5-6 more guys to surround the bar. By the time backup finally arrived the spies would have almost certainly fled.
      • Cell phones don't exist, but landline phones do. He could simply have gone next door, phoned the nearest garrison for backup, then walked back into the bar to wait for them (and make sure the Basterds don't leave in the interim), while pretending to simply have stepped out for a breath of fresh air or a long restroom visit.
  • Why does the security at the cinema for Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Bormann consist of two soldiers standing outside the balcony door? One may have expected to see a few guards in the foyer and outside the cinema doors.
    • In answer to my own question I suspect the entire film is actually a drug fueled revenge fantasy on the part of Emmanuelle, who was actually captured in chapter 1 and is being experimented on in Auschwitz (the Brazil option).
    • Hubris, again, is a likely answer.
      • I would have thought that Hubris would manifest as a totally OTT security presence I'm so important I need all these guards
      • Perhaps but every guard watching the door is one not watching the movie.
    • Hitler was there anonymously, so a large group of guards would have attracted too much attention. The rest, dunno.
      • Hitler wasn't there anonymously, he was there to make it more a propaganda event with his presence. If he wanted to enjoy the movie anonymously he could have just had his own private screening wherever he wanted.
    • Because he's in a well-secured theater full of Nazis? Hitler only needed a small PERSONAL guard because the theater was only open to exclusive and loyal Nazis.
      • But he is not in a well secured theater. There are no guards in the foyer, no guards outside the theatre, no guards back stage. I can just about accept that people who searched the place decided that the 20ft wide pile of film behind the screen did not represent a hazard and all the people coming to the screening were far far too important to submit to a pat down search. But having noone outside to ask why are you locking those doors?
      • There were guards in the foyer, they gang-tackled and arrested Aldo Raine. As for why there weren't others, Landa was the head of security and wanted the plot to succeed so he could negotiate a deal. He had to leave guards outside of Hitler's room because a) it would have looked even more suspicious if there were none and b) he needed Hitler to survive until he made the deal. Hitler was the leverage.
    • Couldn't Landa simply have moved the guards around to give the Basterds more of a shot at succeeding? He sort of needed their success to be possible for his plan to work out, no?
      • He wouldn't have wanted the guards themselves to get too suspicious.
    • Actually, no. Hitler trusted only himself, and MAYBE Himmler. There were a lot of people after him (about half the world, along with a lot of German dissidents). He had really heavy security, especially towards the end of the war, when nobody except really close acquaintances could even SEE him. So Hitler, with just 2 guards in a theatre, an area famous for assassination? (Lincoln anyone?). Just facepalm.
    • It's Tarantino's movie and Tarantino's version of history. Also, remember that Landa is secretly pulling the strings when it comes to the guard (or secretly doing it in a way other than intended, that is).
  • Why did the two remaining Basterds left in the cinema started shooting everybody? If it hadn't been for (the unknown) Shoshanna's plan to lock the cinema, many of the Nazi would have ran away before their bomb would have exploded. Oh yeah, they had bombs to kill everybody, why risk everything just to have the satisfaction of killing Hitler with an assault gun?
    • Because you'd get to kill Hitler with an assault gun. VERY tempting, especially if you're a Jew!
    • Also, you make sure the highest value targets, Hitler and Goebbels, are dead. You just never know with bombs; maybe the target gets up to use the toilet at the exact moment the bombs go off and survives.
      • Am I correct in thinking this may be taking place after the failed bombing attempt? You'd want to be extra sure too if a simple TABLE LEG kept you from achieving your objective.
  • Why did a group meant to go undercover in German-occupied France consist (with one exception) of soldiers who couldn't speak German or French?
    • When the requirements to be a Basterd are "Jewish soldier willing to go on a suicide mission," your options are limited. It's not clear why Lt. Rayne only took Jews, as I'm sure he could have found French, Polish, Czech, Dutch, etc -Americans with just as much of a grudge against Nazis. That said, they did appear to pick up some French and German along the way, just not enough to hold serious conversations in, and certainly not enough to fool a native speaker.
    • A big part of the Basterds' objective was to create a terrifying image that would strike fear in the hearts of their enemies. Stories about a bunch of pissed-off Jews who are out to kill the mortal enemies of their people are more likely to be spread far and wide among Nazis (who already considered Jews to be dangerous, sneaky, and out for blood), than stories about American soldiers who are of French descent.
    • Remember what Hitler said about how stealthy they are at getting around. When you're practically a ninja, you don't need that kind of thing. Or at least it isn't essential. And it's not like the Basterds aren't ever overconfident in their abilities. BONJOURNO!
    • There was nothing undercover about it. Undercover means you will be dealing with people and you don't want them to know who you really are. Every person the Basterds dealt with would know who they were, in their last few moments.
  • Minor issue here, but, well...what's with the Wilhelm Scream in Nation's Pride? The first use of that sound effect wouldn't be for another half decade... chalk it up to Alternate History, perhaps?
    • Or the tiny little fact that The Wilhelm Scream itself exists only on our side of reality, whereas in-universe that scream is just... well... happening. How many different screams are there in the world that don't sound like any others?
      • Well yeah, of course a movie set before the Fifties wouldn't be barred from using it, but the Fridge Logic comes with a movie made before the Fifties.
    • What I'm saying is that, as far as the people making "Nation's Pride" are concerned, they're not using the Wilhelm Scream. Only Quentin Tarantino is. It's not like that guy in Return of the Jedi thought to himself before going over the rails, "You know what would be awesome? If I did a Wilhelm scream here! Wait a minute, I'm from another galaxy and it hasn't been invented yet. How could I have heard of it? Oh, what the hell, I'll do it anyway." On an in-universe level, they're just plain screaming. The people making the Show Within a Show are not using the Wilhelm Scream. They're just screaming and it happens to sound the same. There are only so many different screams in the world. Or if you prefer to look at it differently, maybe in the universe in which Inglourious Basterds takes place that particular sound effect had been invented by the early forties and they are using the Wilhelm Scream. Either way.
      • tl;dr The above troper is speculating that in the universe this movie takes place in, the Wilhelm Scream isn't just a movie sound effect. People in this universe actually make that sound when they die. Which I find both amusing and elegant.
  • I totaly sympathize with Landa's hysterical reaction to the "mountain climbing" excuse for a broken leg. Hello! You could tell you broke a leg by falling down the stairs! Last time I checked there definitely were stairs in Paris! The Basterds looked at least half-competent, how could the make such a stupid blunder?
    • In the previous scene, Aldo mentioned that she was going to be doped up the eyeballs so she'd be able to ignore the pain of her gunshot wound. If she'd been "all there," she'd probably have come up with something a little more plausible.
      • The mountain-climbing explanation was something Aldo came up with - in the same scene where he told her he'd dope her up with painkillers, he also told her that she can just tell people that she broke her leg climbing a mountain. He doesn't have the bullet wound excuse, but maybe he ended up with permanent brain damage (along with that nasty scar on his neck) back when he presumably survived a hanging.
      • Seems Aldo is just really ignorant about what Germans do in their spare time and assumes they all mountain-climb as a regular activity. Hammersmark was too traumatized, and then drugged up, to dismiss this idea.
  • I understand she was wounded and traumatized, but Bridget had been an agent for Allies for two years - surely she should've acquired at least some spy mores and senses. So how could she forget such incriminatory clues as a note with her name on it and her very own shoe?
    • Considering that she and the Basterds had to leave in a hurry, they had much bigger fish to fry, and she was in pain from a freakin' gunshot wound, I doubt she'd have the presence of mind to think of removing all traces of her presence from the room.
  • Seeing how much the "Italians" stumbled along the row full of viewers, isn't it strange nobody felt the demolition charges around their legs?
    • Being Nazi aristocrats, they were probably haughty enough to think that they were perfectly safe, so even if they did feel something, they wouldn't think it was a bomb. Their thoughts probably wouldn't even get past "Hmm, the clumsy guido has abnormally thick ankles" before they returned their attention to the movie.
  • If "Everybody in the German army has heard of Hugo Stiglitz," then why didn't Major Hellstrom recognize him immediately upon sitting down next to him? And as a Major, wouldn't he be even more likely than the average soldier to have heard of Hugo, since he seems to specifically target officers?
    • Key word: "Everybody in the German Army has heard of Hugo Stiglitz."
      • Second key word: "Everybody in the German Army has heard of Hugo Stiglitz." Major Hellstrom was a Gestapo officer, not an Army officer.
    • The internet hadn't been invented yet. People couldn't just get information and pictures of people back then.
    • Yeah, considering his moniker and reputation, they were probably expecting a seven-foot behemoth with eyes of coal and scars all over him. They'd never dream this fucker would be him.
    • Hey wait a second. Remember how Stiglitz was introduced? With the grindhouse letters, the guitar lick, and Samuel L. Jackson's narration? They show Stiglitz making the headline. Dude's face was on the paper. Now they might not have the Internet back in the '40s but they sure do read newspapers? This "only heard of him" thing doesn't explain it that easily.
    • Well, that would imply that everybody in the German Army has read that single news paper article.
    • It follows that if there's a dangerous killer on the loose and somebody has his photograph, every publication would include it.
    • A number of Real Life fugitives have gone unnoticed in plain sight on a number of occasions. More often than not a person who has seen your photograph before in passing will either not recognize you at all or think you look vaguely familiar yet be unable to place you. Even if they might otherwise pin it down they might still have other things on their mind, and how often do you notice the exact details of the physical appearance of the guy sitting next to you?
    • Hellstrom sitting down: "Hey, this dude looks familiar. Where have I seen him before?" Hellstrom realizing Hicox isn't actually German: "Aw scheiss, this is frigging Hugo Stiglitz next to me, and these dudes are all here to kill the crap out of someone important." He probably did recognize Stiglitz to some extent; it may have been one of the factors that triggered his suspicion.
    • Landa had no trouble recognizing the dead Stiglitz, who was supposed to be part of the team to escort von Hammersmarck to the gala. Landa probably wouldn't be the only Nazi at the show who would have recognized him, either...the guy's face was in the paper!
      • Landa is an expert at gathering intelligence, it would've practically been his job to recognize allies of a group of covert Jewish American soldiers inside Germany.
      • Also, it's probable that nobody is really looking for him at this point. His killing spree might have been a long time ago, and the last thing anyone would have heard is that he was caught and being sent to Berlin. The people in charge wouldn't want news of him breaking out to get spread around, for morale considerations.
  • Why isn't it dark at the end? It was clearly the middle of the night when the theater exploded and when Landa made his deal. Paris is only about an hour or two from the French coast, so it's not that far from the Allied lines. It should've still clearly been night at the end.
    • What happens when you stay up all night being interrogated and making long phone calls with leaders across the world, and then begin traveling through Europe back to America? Eventually the sun is going to rise.
  • What really bugs me is the fact that neither of the two assassination plans is "complete" on its own. Namely, Shoshanna's plan would result in annihilation of everybody except people in the boxes (who are the big fishes anyway). Hitler and Goebbels were at the door when they were intercepted by the two Basterds and killed - otherwise they would manage to get out in time easily. Also, Basterds only killed 2 of the big 4 (and it is clearly stated that you need all 4 to end the war), which means that they would fail on their own too.
    • I'd thought the implication was that the Basterds' plan would've gone more smoothly without the panic caused by Shoshanna's machinations. As for Shoshanna, she just kinda wanted to kill Nazis.
    • I thought Shoshanna's boyfriend locked the outer doors as well? Besides, even if the plan doesn't outright end the war, it would be one hell of a finale for the Basterds.
    • Yeah, Marcel locks all the doors, that was kind of the point. Donny and...uh...Omar, don't make it out of the cinema either, right?
      • More likely, Shoshanna wanted to kill a PARTICULAR Nazi, the others were just bonuses. And even if Hitler escaped the theatre, the flames would eventually reach the hallway, which was padlocked shut. Nobody would have made it out alive (Marcel and Shoshanna might have if not for the dynamite though, martyr complexed though they may be) it was just a question of whether it was a quick or slow burning.

  • Why didn't the Basterds carve swastikas into their victims' cheeks instead of their foreheads? It's almost stupidly easy to cover up the forehead with hair, a hat, make-up, etc. Aldo says he does it because it's unrealistic for the Nazis to always wear their uniforms so everyone will know what they did - but isn't it more unrealistic that someone with a swastika on their forehead will a) ever go outside ever, b) not ever try to cover it up, or c) simply burn it off it it becomes too big a hassle? If it were on the cheek, some of these problems would remain (the makeup or burning), but it's still a much more difficult area to obscure without being conspicuous.
    • Beards?
      • ... Dang. So there's no foolproof way to mark them forever - meaning the gesture is ultimately pointless.
      • The tip of the nose, perhaps. It would be hard to cake makeup there, too. Not without it looking odd.
      • Too precise, one wrong move and that Bowie knife Raine is using will slice their nose in half. Beyond that, it's also removable via cosmetic surgery.
    • Doesn't matter where they put it. By 1944, cosmetic surgery was advanced enough that they could fix it. It might not have looked perfect, but they could at least cover up/remove the swastika. So yes, it was pointless, other than to temporarily torture the victim.
      • Do you honestly think that any of the non-officers that the Basterds cut scarred could afford plastic surgery? Even when it's been around for sixty years it's very expensive, let alone if you were an average German in a crumbling Nazi Germany.
    • Folks, whether or not they can hide or be rid of the swastika is hardly the point. Do you really think the Basterds won't still do the trick if they believe the Nazi can hide or remove the symbol? Would they care that much? It's about, more than anything, the trauma and the symbolism of having a symbol carved into your very flesh. It's a punishment.
      • Exactly. The point isn't just to mark them as a Nazi forever. The point is to torture and traumatize them. If they just wanted to hand out the Mark of Shame they could have done it just as easily with a makeshift branding iron. But instead Lt. Aldo Raine decided to carve the symbol into their foreheads with a big scary knife. It's much slower and arguably more painful. Even if they manage to scrape up the cash to have the scar removed, they'll still remember it every time they look in a mirror for the rest of their lives.

  • One thing that bugs me is the fact that after the four years in the beginning Hans Landa is still a Colonel, I mean he's obviously very good at what he does and has connections in high places so shouldn't he be promoted to General?
    • Generals don't go out into the field to do anything, though—in the modern military, a General doesn't lead from the front. As I understand it, Colonel is the highest rank in most militaries that are still allowed to go out into the field and get their hands dirty. Landa was much more valuable to the Nazis if he's allowed to do what he does best than he would be sitting in a base somewhere delegating duties.

      Look at Jack O'Neill. He stayed a Colonel for at least seven years and probably more, seeing as he was a Colonel before the movie started, and the second he made General he wasn't on a field team anymore.
    • There are colonels today who are very good at what they do who have spent more than four years as colonels. Being promoted from a prestigious position to an even more prestigious position is by no means an easy feat.
    • I understand your reasoning but this was sixty years ago and not all Generals were desk jockeys back then and Landa didn't really go out to the field either so I can't see why he shouldn't be a General, however I have been thinking about it and I think the reason is that Tarantino wanted a Colonel Badass .
    • Much like Hitler during his days in the army, Landa is probably very comfortable where he is, having just enough responsibility to keep him occupied and entertained but not so much that it becomes a burden. Landa prefers to work independently and being promoted would mean more administrative duty and having to deal with stupid people's bullshit. He probably had been offered promotions multiple times, but accepting them would take him away from what he loves: detective work and showing off how much cooler he is than everybody else.
    • It is an extremely common thing for officer careers to top out at Lt. Colonel or Colonel even if you are good at what you do — there's simply a lot less billets for flag-rank officers than there are for field-grade officers. In fact, going beyond colonel requires not only an excellent performance record and recommendations from your superiors, it requires actively pursuing promotion opportunities; if you so much as hint that you're not really interested in higher rank nobody's going to give you any because there's fifteen other guys already fighting for places in line, so why give it to the sixteenth?
  • I know this may be a stupid question, but how exactly did a Jewish runaway teenage girl that had nothing but the clothes on her back come to own a cinema?
    • Maybe it was owned by another Jew, a friend of the family perhaps, who arranged for it to transfer to her before something awful happened to him.
    • In the film she says she inherited it from somebody, whoever took her in I guess.
      • Actually, there is a deleted scene in the script detailing exactly how she met the cinema owner and how she came around to acquiring the cinema.
  • Right, can I clear this up with myself once and for all - does Landa recognize Shoshanna in the 'strudel' scene? Because if he does, he would surely have reported her, as he can't possibly have known that she was planning at that point to kill the Nazi high command - unless he was unleashing a plan, that depended on things that he was assuming would happen. On the other hand, the fact he happens to order milk for her and the way the conversation pans out does seem to suggest that really does know.
    • He knows who she is, and drops just enough hints to tell her that he does. They both know that he can have her and everyone she knows shot before lunch tomorrow. Landa doesn't technically have to report Shoshanna to anyone, since Jewish fugitives is his area of responsibility and expertise; he just has to send his men out to get her. He doesn't have to do it right then, because she has nowhere else to go. Landa is either frightening the poor girl for a laugh, or he doesn't think that Shoshanna as she is is an interesting enough target for him right now, and is letting her know that he knows, and will be after her. Or he just doesn't want anyone to know that he is having dessert with a girl was one of his targets and got away from him.
    • Remember, Landa is the Jew Hunter. Part of the reason he does it at all is he enjoys the hunting aspect and the challenge therein; it's an intellectual, investigative exercise for him, like doing the crossword. There's no challenge at all when the girl is just plopped right in front of him during lunch, and no satisfaction for him to spring up in the restaurant and say, "Gotcha!"

      He was letting her know he knew who she was, and probably enjoying her squirming a bit, but he probably wasn't actually planning to do anything. Hell, he probably would just enjoy the irony of having a Nazi propaganda film premiering in a theater being run by a Jew.
      • But how could he possibly recognize her? The only time he even gets a glimpse of her face is through a small crack in the floorboards as she is escaping from the farmhouse. Added to this her face is covered in dirt, she is moving at the time and she is a number of years younger, plus he doesn't hear her voice or anything...
      • I'm guessing that, since he'd try to track her down, he took a photo of her from her house or the farmer. She would stand out in his mind as one of the Jews who escaped. As for her age, when her family was killed, she was in her late teens. Only four years have passed when she sees him again, and people generally don't change their appearance too much in that time.
    • Actually if he recognized her he probably wouldn't have reported her. If he had, he would be in serious trouble with the Nazi High Command once the uncomfortable fact that he had allowed her to escape all those years ago came to light. (Especially if Shosanna cracked under torture and revealed her plan to burn down the theater with the Germans inside it.) For Landa, the wisest move would be to let the premiere go forward as scheduled then afterward have Shosanna quietly killed and dump her body where it would never be found.

  • Why was Hicox doing most of the talking during the meet in the tavern, when the Basterds had two actual Germans who would not have been suspicious? It was Hicox's accent that made Major Hellstrom take notice. If Stiglitz or Wicki had told Wilhelm to buzz off instead, everybody might have made it out alive.
    • Hicox was the only one of the three with extensive knowledge of the German film industry, so he was supposed to be the top man in the escort. He probably should have gotten Stiglitz to take care of the drunken staff sergeant, but was too nervous to realize this.
      • Trust Stiglitz to handle the situation? The man looked as though he was just barely stopping himself from killing everyone in the room when he wasn't talking to them. I'd doubt it'd be a good idea to get him to handle the situation.
      • Actually, Stiglitz was doing just fine until Hellstrom sat down next to him.
    • Hicox was the ranking officer and was confident in his abilities. Apparently too confident. Also he noted that Stiglitz is "not the loquacious type".

  • Was Pvt. Zoller in on Landa's betrayal? The placement of the dynamite under Goebbels's seat could not have possibly happened without Zoller's awareness — it actually seems likely that Zoller himself was the one to place the bomb. If so, why did he bother trying to get some nookie from Shoshanna instead of warning her to escape?
    • Zoller didn't have anything to do with Landa's plan. After Landa talked to Gobbels, he patted Zoller on the shoulder and walked out. It was when he patted Zoller to distract him for a second that he placed the bomb.

  • How come neither of the Basterds who charged in the theater to kill Hitler seemed to be surprised at the fire? They couldn't have not noticed it, because the whole audience was running to the doors and the actors playing those two Basterds said they almost collapsed from the heat in that scene.
    • Maybe they were too focused on their mission (they were quite ready to die by explosion) to truly notice anything else, sort of like a frenesi. Alternatively they thought it was Raine's desperate plan C because crap had just hit the fan.

  • How come none of the Basterds thought of barring the theater's doors themselves?
    • Because they were planning on blowing the place up, not burning it down. It would have been instantaneous, so people wouldn't have been trying to escape. Of course, this doesn't work if they start shooting before the bombs went off, but it looked like that was Donny breaking off from the plan.
  • Why is Fredrick called a Yandere on the main page? I mean, seriously. He's a Dogged Nice Guy, sure, but the worst he ever does is slam a door open to gain entry, which he immediately apologizes for. He doesn't threaten to murder any hypotenuses or kill Shoshanna (until he realizes who she is).
    • Same here. And that outburst where he yells at Shoshanna came after she had been still treating him coldly for a long time, even after he got the Nazi leaders themselves to attend her theater. I bet any person would be angry if their romantic interest still acted ungrateful.
      • Uh, sorry to break this up, but Zoller was not a Dogged Nice Guy, Yandere, or whatever other tropes you want to throw at him. He wanted Shoshanna and wasn't going to take no for an answer. Does anyone honestly think that he wouldn't have just raped her if she kept saying "no"?
      • Do you honestly have any evidence to back that up?
      • You mean besides every single action he takes in that last scene clearly implying he's not going to take no for an answer, up to and including him threatening violence and advancing on her in a menacing way?
      • IMO, it sounded like he was just angry, since he had been doing so much for Shoshanna and she still wasn't warming up to him. It's probably a strength of the writing that Zoller can be interpreted in multiple ways. Want him to be a Dogged Nice Guy? He could be, from one point of view. Or a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing? He could be that too. I'd say it's interpretation at work.
      • His angry reaction shows his true character. Doing favors for someone and expecting them to love you in return, then getting pissed when they don't isn't being a good person, it's being a selfish, entitled brat.
      • Especially when that someone has made it abundantly, repeatedly, and bluntly clear with every single interaction they've ever had that they were not in the least bit interested and never would be interested.
      • The favor was pretty big: getting the whole German leadership to attend her theater. Still, he was aware that he was annoying her by the time he visited her at the projector, so that should have been a warning sign.
      • Yes, huge favor. I can't imagine why a French person wouldn't be thrilled to have the worst people on the face of the planet, the ones responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths of her countrymen and the extermination of the "lesser races," in her theater as special, honored guests.

        He should have been aware he was annoying her by the first time she told him to get the hell out of her face and she wasn't at all interested in ever seeing him. Or the second time. Or the third. Seriously, every time she speaks to him and she isn't right in front of someone who can have her shot, she tells him to buzz off and go away.

        That's what makes him bad: That she is completely, obviously, and bluntly not interested, every word and bit of body language she displays is such that it's obvious to everyone watching that she loathes even the thought of him, and he still seems to think he's entitled to her.
      • But he wouldn't know that she hated the Nazi leadership. Every citizen there (is supposed to) love them and think they're awesome. It's not a stretch to assume he'd think she'd be thrilled. And she was, but for different reasons.
      • Are you joking? They're in occupied France. The country that the Nazis took by force. There shouldn't be any expectation that any French person "loves" the Nazi leadership by anyone with half a brain.

        I mean, seriously, that's just...not how an occupation works. Why do you think there are curfews, people are checking papers, and there are armed German soldiers everywhere?

        Unless you're trying to argue now that Zoller wasn't mean, he was just a complete and utter moron who somehow missed the memo about how the people you're conquering don't automatically love you for it?
      • Please, don't get heated. Anyway, if he didn't think he was doing her a favor, he wouldn't have invited the leaders. Why would he invite the Nazi leaders to her theater if he'd think she hated them?
      • Honestly, I'm starting to think "Zoller is just a blithering idiot" is probably the most plausible reason.
      • Idiot, maybe. Wrong Genre Savvy at least. His actor Daniel Bruhl has described him as thinking he's the Dogged Nice Guy trying to defrost the Ice Queen.
      • Wrong Genre Savvy sounds like the most likely option — he acts exactly like a romantic comedy lead, trying to win over the aloof love interest by going to a tremendous effort to get her approval, because that's the kind of story he thinks he's in. Look at the way he instantly deflates and loses his bluster in that scene as soon as Shoshana changes the tone of the conversation (by telling him to lock the door). He was clearly expecting their argument to build up to a Slap-Slap-Kiss moment, whereas she's gone off-script, he stumbles around verbally like a fool for a moment, then tries to run with the situation.
      • The above troper who complains about this being Nazi-occupied France has rather missed the point. Yes, many French people at the time despised the occupying Germans for good reason. But that wasn't how the Germans saw it. Whether due to warped nationalism or simple obliviousness, many German soldiers in the Occupied Zone honestly thought the people of France liked having them around. They honestly believed that their occupation was a good thing for France and the French people appreciated them for it. Of course there were plenty of Nazis who knew better, especially among the top brass, but a rank-and-file soldier like Zoller would probably not think that way. Certainly if he thought the French people despised the Germans he would not have tried to attract the attention of the comely French cinema owner in the first place.

        And, in point of fact, there WERE actually French people who loved having the Germans around. Not most French people, obviously. Probably not even that many French people. But they existed. French collaborators were a real thing, and they didn't all collaborate out of pragmatism or fear of what the Germans would do if they didn't. Plenty of collaborators worked with the Germans because they wanted to. It's ironic that you say "that's not how an occupation works" because that actually is how an occupation works. Treating everyone like a belligerent prisoner is a terrible way of keeping an occupied nation under control. Ideally you should try to convince the populace that you being here is a good thing. And the Nazis were quite successful at doing that in many of the areas they conquered, including France.
    • Hey, there. New troper to this conversation; I'd like to throw in my two cents. I'm siding with the "Zoller is a dick" guy. I think the argument that he's wrong genre savvy is good, but doesn't go far enough. I remember in the script (I believe it was cut from the film), the scene of him talking with Shoshana at the cafe goes on longer. He talks about his father walking out on his family, and being raised by his mother and sisters. His family owned a cinema. The impression given is that, to him, this is all just a romantic comedy. More than that, he sees himself as a movie star. And he is. And a war hero. Which he also is. He may act shy, and say he's uncomfortable with the attention, but he's only doing that to act out his role as he understands it. In the final film, when he leaves the premier of Nation's Pride, it looks like he might be sick by what he's seeing. We don't know what he's thinking, but he has an ugly look on his face before making an excuse to leave. With the longer film conversation in mind, it gives the impression that he disgusted the film is bad. From a critical perspective. He's vain and egotistical, and thinks that playing a nice guy will make Shoshanna love him, because that's how he thinks the world works. After one-to-many rejections, he drops the facade and shows his true colors. In reality, if a girl tells you to piss-off, and you don't, you're the asshole. In movies, that guy is the lovable hero the audience roots for. Regardless of the circumstances, him being a Nazi, she being an escaped Jew, the war, etc., it all boils down to a guy harassing a girl who shows no interest and tells him to stop. He doesn't see himself as the villain in the scenario, but real-world assholes rarely do.
    • Everyone seems to be forgetting Option 3, that he's a teenage boy with severe PTSD. He's nineteen years old, he killed a few hundred guys to survive, he's deeply ashamed of it, and he's just spent an evening reliving the worst moment of his life while everyone laughs and cheers. He wants to spend time with the only person in a long time who doesn't treat as "the guy who killed hundreds of people," and when she rejects him he has a very brief mental break, which slips the second he thinks she's warming to him. He was wrong in his behaviour, absolutely, but he has severe psychological trauma that he's not allowed to deal with, and you can't blame a kid like that for snapping for a moment.
  • Why does Landa bargain for only one man (Herman, the radio operator) during his negotiation of the terms of his surrender? Is this meant to imply that Landa is gay, adding another motive for his surrender?
    • As noted in the page's One Steve Limit entry, Landa calls everyone under him "Hermann". The guy might have just been some random mook.
    • Hell, Landa says right out that he can't even remember the guy's name, so he's just going to call him "Herman."
    • In-universe explanation: He needed the radio guy not to blab about the plan, so he cut him a pretty sweet deal. Out-of-universe explanation: Quentin needed a way to show the Basterds didn't care about the deal and just about killing Net-sees.
  • Rather a stupid one, I admit, but one of the things that bothered me was Wicki's accent when speaking English. He...didn't really sound very German/Austrian (Raine calls him Austrian, but also mentions him leaving Munich). I know the actor who played him, Gedeon Burkhard, is German but went to a boarding school in England, so maybe it was just the actor's natural English-speaking accent creeping through.
  • During the Bar Scene, why didn't Stiglitz threaten Hellstrom with his knife instead of a pistol? He is the resident Knife Nut on the team after all, and in the scene just before he was making such a big show of sharpening up his knife. Plus a knife in the ribs would have been a silent kill that might have allowed them to get the drop on the other Germans and escape alive and with Hammersmark un-injured.
    • Stabbing him would have given him more time to retaliate, both because he'd need to pull his arm back and swing it into him, and because a knife wound is less likely to instantly kill.
      • How is a knife in the chest less likely to instantly kill than a bullet to the balls?
  • Why did Stiglitz have such a hate-boner for Nazis? Not that Nazis aren't easy to hate, but he seems to have some sort of personal grudge against Gestapo officers.
    • The scene of him being whipped isn't a clue?
      • I'm pretty sure that was supposed to take place after he was caught. They certainly didn't give any indication otherwise.
    • Maybe it's 'cause he friggin' Axe Crazy.

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