The Basterds aren't just commandos...
They're Bionic Commandos
. This is how Brad Pitt was apparently able to survive his hanging/slashed throat/all-purpose neck injury: he's Rad Spencer, just given an Adaptation Dye-Job
and an awesome accent (and 'stache). One of the other dudes is probably Super Joe, too.
The whole film is a dream Lt Aldo Raine has as he dies due to his throat being cut
Seriously, did you notice that scar? Nasty. It's all something he dreams up to comfort himself as he bleeds out. A world where he not only lives, but also wins the war almost without the assistance of anyone not answering to him. Thus, the film isn't an Alternate History
- Fine, except his scar is probably from a noose that someone tried to hang him with.
- He did mention bootlegging.
- Unlikely, just because the majority of the movie is arguably told from Col. Hans Landa's perspective. Landa would know enough about Shosanna's story in order to recount it, whereas Raine has no interaction with her. It's unlikely that his vision would have included a fully fleshed-out, parallel B-plot with which he had no direct interaction.
- What about it being Landa's dying dream?
Lt. Aldo Raine was hanged for trying to save or defend the victim of a racially motivated lynching that took place in Tennessee before the War.
makes reference to the rope burn across Raine's neck as possibly being the result of a lynching. If this is the case, then the exact nature of the lynching, as was common in the Deep South
of that era, was likely race-related. The victims of lynchings included whites as well as blacks, oftentimes Jewish businessmen from northern states and immigrants — notably Italian-Americans. Further speculating, given Raine's apparent sense of racial justice (to the extent of airdropping into France for the purpose of "one thang and one thang only: killing Nazis" in return for their being "Jew-hatin, mass-murdering maniacs"), he may have tried to intervene in the lynching of a Jew or Italian-American and was consequently hanged. But because Raine is not Jewish or Italian himself, they cut him down and let him go.
The various Nazi High Command in the cinema were all body doubles. Everything happened, but it had no impact on the war's ending.
- That makes a lot of sense. Apparently Hitler did use body doubles to prevent being assassinated. Plus, it would explain why the Nazis didn't look much like their true selves.
It's all real, and Hitler DID die in the cinema
But the remaining Nazi command lied and said that they were doubles to keep morale up. The one that committed suicide in the bunker was the real body double.
Landa is gay
He seemed close to tears when Raine shot the operator — and why would he negotiate for the life of a radio operator along with his own?
- They also seemed close when celebrating their success upon crossing the border.
- When he points out the radio operator and mentions his name, he sounds somewhat too affectionate for the theory that he just calls all his subordinates by the same name. And when Herrman is shot, he flips his shit, not because of the imminent danger against his own person but because he made a deal for Herrman's life.
This would also explain why he's willing to betray his country: the Nazis considered male homosexuality (Lesbianism was considered a less severe crime and generally not punished
) a crime along the lines of being a
Roma or Jewish. He had to betray it before it betrayed him.
His carefully-cultivated reputation as a womanizer
? Lies, all lies. Life as the Sherlock of the Schutzstaffel has got to be busy. Even if he did have the inclination to bed every other woman he meets, he probably didn't have the time
- Notice that Von Hammersmark never mentions his "conquests'" gender.
- Bridget might also know that he's gay (or bisexual) and her faux-flirtatious comments about his conquests are a way of needling him about it, reminding him that she's not taken in by his facade of being the perfect officer.
Perhaps relatedly, he makes a few remarks indicating that his thinking is not completely in line with the Nazis. These are lent some coherence by the idea that Landa is gay and had been planning to defect for quite some time:
- He explains to Monsieur LaPadite that while most German soldiers can only think like a hawk (an official symbol of the Nazi party), he himself can think like a rat, i.e. like a Jew. He knows where to find all the good hiding places.
- When Shosanna, posing as Emmanuelle Mimieux, tells him that she employs Marcel, a black projectionist, he remarks that that may well be a good career for blacks. Granted, he isn't exactly advocating equal rights (and he does instruct her not to allow Marcel to operate the projectors on the night of the premiere), but his belief that blacks can work in a normal, cranial job capacity (rather than strictly in manual labor) comes across as surprisingly liberal for a Nazi.
- Alternatively, he only discovers that he is gay between the opening scene and the main film. This would explain his change in opinion on his duties (he liked the title of Jew Hunter at the beginning, he disliked it when talking to Raine) after he realizes he is like the Jews, a hated target of the Nazis. He is also head of security for the film premiere, perhaps a result of changing jobs out of disgust?
- Landa's homosexuality may add another nuance to the Holmes comparison, another well-known bachelor. Also, according to the story his various medals and awards tell, he's been with the Nazi Party and the SS a very long time at this point, at least since he was a young man. Perhaps he's re-evaluated his perspective on the party's positions as he discovered or came to terms with his own sexuality, or he's involved for strictly pragmatic reasons.
- Unlikely, considering the make-out-proxy moment he has with the napkin Hammersmark kissed, once he discovers it in the remains of the bar. Add that to all the flirting he does, and it's probably safe to assume that he's more likely straight or bi, and harboring a thing for everyone's favorite German actress.
- Made even more likely by his sobbing when he strangles her after he finds out the heels in the tavern were hers. The entire scene with the foot is kind of telling.
- And he has no qualms about ogling the dairy farmer's daughters.
- The screenplay makes his reason for ogling them pretty clear — in the original draft, LaPadite's wife is present as well, and it's her Landa is making eyes at, kissing her hand before innocently commenting that he's followed by three soldiers, much like LaPadite's accompanied by his three beautiful daughters... shame if something happened to them. Regardless of his sexual orientation, he's a real bastard.
On the flip side, Aldo Raine is gay
Although it isn't obvious
. It would go a long way towards explaining his apparently very personal hatred of Nazis, despite being by all appearances a redneck WASP (albeit with some Indian blood, but that doesn't seem as big a factor) who would otherwise be at home among the KKK. He also may have endured a great deal of persecution in his home state of Tennessee.
is the correct spelling of the word.
Notice the use of "gloury" in the trailer for Nation's Pride
- But "basterd" is still wrong. Interestingly enough, "basterds" is the correct spelling of the plural. English is funny in parallel universes.
It all happened, but Nazi Germany is still intact afterward
Hitler is replaced by the Red Skull.
- It is intact, and it wins the war. The new German leaders demand that the U.S. try Lt. Raine for war crimes, knowing that they are asking the impossible. America is embarrassed into withdrawing its support for the war. Without Hitler surviving, Germany has more competent leaders who don't insist on things like invading Russia in winter. It's Godwin's Law of Time Travel applied to alternate history.
- Maybe America is so embarrassed about the whole situation that Aldo and the rest of the Basterds are incarcerated to save face. Of course, America wouldn't imprison their own war heroes, so under cover they do experiments. Maybe give Aldo a little serum...
- And he became Ultimate Marvel Captain America, who is far more willing to use guns and explosives than his mainstream counterpart. Marcelle also escaped to the U.S., only losing an eye in the process and was another test subject.
- Or, maybe they froze Hitler to save him, and Vandal Savage took over instead...
In the power vacuum formed by the destruction of the Nazi High Command, Erwin Rommel forms a military dictatorship and takes over Nazi Germany
That Magnificent Bastard
- Wait, wouldn't Rommel already be dead by the time Inglourious Basterds happened?
- No, the later part of Inglourious Basterds take place in the summer of 1944 — the Allies are still in Normandy, and the Germans are still in Paris. The year itself is also mentioned.
- Hitler mentioned D-Day as a fairly recent event.
- Even if Rommel himself doesn't take over, a military-dominated dictatorship is likely so long as the events take place before or supercedes the events of July 20th in our timeline - the deaths in the theatre are extensive enough that Operation Walküre can legitimately be put in effect, and the plotters of July 20th have already modified that continuity-of-governance plan to their needs by the summer of 1944. Granted, several of the plotters may be dead in the theatre as well, but many of them wouldn't.
His hatred of Nazis was so great that he didn't care if the war was over. Specifically, he didn't stop the killing until four years after the war. He shaved his head and mustache, and pulled out the rocket launcher and shovel.
- If you believe the Team Fortress 2 WMG that the Scout is either Donny's son or nephew, then Aldo has worked with two generations of Donowitzes.
- Or if you believe the 'Donny's a Time Lord and regenerates into the Scout' theory, then Aldo and Donny team up again.
- If you look at the WMGs for No More Heroes, then that would mean that Holly Summers is Aldo's daughter and Bad Girl is the Scout's daughter.
takes place in the same alternate universe as Inglourious Basterds.
In both films, there are events and concepts that have no place in the real world, such as airplanes having special holders for Katanas (you can't even bring fingernail clippers aboard an airplane) or Hitler dying in an Allied plot.
- The characters insist the war will be over once Hitler and the Nazi High Command are wiped out. Japan might be neutral.
- On the other hand, there doesn't appear to be evidence of encroaching Russian forces, nor any mention of the Russians on the allied forces. It's possible that in the IB/KB-verse, Russia joined the Axis and Japan joined the Allies.
- Either might explain the fanatical martialism present in Kill Bill's version of Japan. The emperor was never stripped of his power, and Japan was never demilitarized.
- Raine, being familiar with a certain degree of criminal element and coming from the southern United states, may have been a friend or colleague of Bill or Esteban.
- Sophie Fatale is no doubt a relative of Francesca Mondino.
- Shoshanna showed such flair and talent for revenge that one might wonder if she has relatives in America who changed their name to Kiddo to sound less Jewish.
- Although it doesn't relate to Kill Bill, a more subtle break from reality in Inglourious Basterds would be Lt. Aldo Raine's apparent knowledge of the Holocaust, as shown when he refers to the Nazi high command (probably specifically, Hitler) as "mass-murderin' maniac." Would an American lieutenant in 1944 have known of the true extent of the Holocaust? Later, Sgt. Donowitz asks the German sergeant whether he received a particular medal for killing Jews.
- People outside of the Reich were hardly ignorant of the Nazi Party's policy on Jews; the full extent of the concentration camp system/Final Solution hadn't been grasped, but people did certainly know that Jews were being targeted, rounded up and imprisoned, "disappearing" or even just being executed. Wicki was a European Jew himself, who "got out while the getting was good", it's quite possible that he was targeted himself before he fled or witnessed other Jewish people being targeted, and carried those stories back. The deleted scenes from the script and the names on Donny's bat bear out that, as in reality, American Jews were worried for their family members in Europe. The Basterds were probably not aware of the full extent of the Holocaust, but they certainly knew the score. It also makes more sense in-story to send out a crack team of commandos against what was still perceived by Aldo et al. to be just some serious anti-Semitic thuggery in Germany. (And though in a Watsonian sense, Aldo might be responding to a different sort of "mass murder" than the industrialized horror of the concentration camps, Doyleistically if you're making a revenge film about the Nazis, it makes sense to go with the biggest and plainest offense rather than merely those that a group of highly concerned Jewish-American men might be aware of in 1944.) It's also possible word got out some other way, either in a way that could have happened in the real world, or as the above troper says, in a way that indicates an Alternate Universe.
- An Alternate History where Japan remains a dictatorship fiercely devoted to honor? This sounds familiar. Could this make Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill, and Battle Royale part of the same canon?
- Tarantino was offered the role of US President for Battle Royale, but couldn't take part due to scheduling conflicts.
- Donny Donowitz's son is Lee Donowitz of True Romance, who made a war film called Coming Home in a Body Bag.
- (Blinks) Are you kidding me? This is Quentin fucking Tarrantino we're talking about, EVERYTHING that fucker makes is supposed to be in the same universe.
- Incidentally, there's a theory on the Kill Bill page stating Bill and Budd were taken on as new members of the Basterds to replace the losses in this mission.
Lt. Aldo Raine can read subtitles.
In the theater scene where the Basterds pose as von Hammersmark's Italian posse, it's obvious that Raine doesn't know a lick of Italian except for a few key phrases. But he seems to understand when Aldo keeps asking him in Italian to pronounce his name. Now, it's possible that he DOES know Italian like he said. But the more likely solution? He glanced at the subtitles on the screen.
Lt. Aldo Raine does speak Italian, but he's still a beginner.
He knows enough Italian to follow the thread of a conversation, but not enough to converse fluently. He learned Italian "organically" by hanging around Italians; he usually understands what they say just fine, but his speech is still broken because he doesn't know the grammar yet.
Bridget von Hammersmark is Anti-Nazi, but she's still a Far-Right German Nationalist.
We never learn why
she is so anti-Nazi. Her motives could be quite different from the Allies' — "the enemy of my enemy" could be in play here.
She has an aristocratic 'von,' which suggests that she belongs to the nobility like many other right-wing German Resistance members. She has an aristocratic arrogance. She also has an extremely
contemptuous attitude towards the Basterds bordering on racist. Granted, her first meeting with Raine isn't exactly great; but she harps on about America a lot
She might be a monarchist, like many of the real life
July 20 Plotters.
Due to Hitler dying early...
The Soviet Union and American forces join up in Berlin, and so the the US can devote more forces to the Pacific theater. The Yalta Conference happens earlier, but the US doesn't make as many concessions to the Soviet Union concerning Japan, and so the balance of the Cold War
is tilted in the US's favor.
Landa did not recognize Shoshanna in the coffee shop
Some time had passed since her family had been killed. She probably looked older and made changes in her appearance, like dyeing her hair blonde.
Also, when Shoshanna was fleeing, Landa would not have gotten a good look at her; he only saw her back. She was running, and so it would have been hard to see her clearly.
No offense to Quentin Tarantino, but spelling clearly wasn't his strong suit at school. Read the scripts of some of his movies on IMSDb. He may honestly have believed that it's spelled "Inglourious Basterds". Somebody would have noticed early in the production, but they probably found it amusing enough to keep it that way
as an In-Joke
- In the script, he even spells it "Bastreds" once.
- Don't remember whose gun it was on, but it would likely be in character for at the least, Raine to have a poor grasp of spelling as well.
Hans Landa was acting on Himmler's orders.
While we are shown Goebbels, Bormann, Goering and Hitler at the cinema no mention is made of another vastly powerful lieutenant of the Third Reich, Heinrich Himmler. This is especially unusual as he was the leader most clearly implicated in the Holocaust and so would have been a major target for the revenge plots of both the 'Basterds' and Shoshanna. It is also implied that the killing of the Nazi leaders in the cinema will lead to the end of the war when it seems likely that Himmler would have had the power to take over Nazi Germany in the power vacuum left by their deaths and so could have continued the war had he so desired.
The answer? SS commander Hans Landa told Himmler to stay away from the premiere due to his suspicions about what would occur there. Himmler had been kept informed as to what was happening and saw the opportunity to make a deal with the Allies through Landa. This fits well with his real historical behaviour. Himmler became increasingly anxious to reach an accomodation with the Allies towards the end of the war, initiating communications with the Swiss Count Bernadotte and arranging the infamous Jews for trucks deal that some historians have seen as an attempt to start negotiations.
- This works if you don't buy into the interpretation that Landa is Himmler-or rather his Expy.
- Bernadotte was Swedish and so were the white buses not Swiss.
- Landa is not a good Himmler expy. To be blunt, Landa is far too much of a small fry compared to Himmler.
The assassination was a success because a shinigami wrote Hitler's name in his/her Death Note.
Well, more specifically, Adolf Hitler, assassinated.
Other names could possibly have been written in there as well, and everyone else? Well, their lifespans had run out anyway, the shinigami just picked off the names of the ones who should have escaped.
He's a former bootlegger that scalps Germans and would be about the right age. With his kids old enough to start their lives on their own, he hears the voice of the bear in him again and gets his desire to kill in his Native manner that he was raised with. He faked his name and origin to keep cover on his identity as the culprit of the sheriff's murder in Montana, after a close call while hiding out there had him hanged and nearly killed, leaving a permanent scar on his neck.
Landa is a necrophile
Von Hammersmark mentions "conquests", Zoller says Landa has a "reputation". So he's a "lady killer" or is he actually a lady killer. He likes to throttle women then have sex with them.
After strangling Von Hammersmark how much time passes before Landa picks up the phone? If he isn't a sexually motivated murderer why does he kill Von Hammersmark the way he does? Why not stab her? Or shoot her? The cinema audience wouldn't hear the shot and his Mooks would not question his actions if they heard the report.
Landa already knows, after looking at the aftermath of the basement shootout, something is afoot and with Hitler due to arrive, Landa (the wily fox he is) deduces that the Basterds are on an assassination mission. So taking Von Hammersmark and Aldo to "negotiate his terms of surrender" would better his standing with the Allies. Wouldn't it?
Not if you're Landa, being a sexual deviant, who decides that this is his opportunity to murder and have sex with a famous actress. SS Col. Hans Landa the Jew Hunter; Hans Landa the Salzburg Strangler more like.
Watch the film now with this theory in mind. It makes sense.
Landa is dead
I find it hard to believe that just Raine and Utivitch were able to hold down Landa to carve in the swastika. Considering how stable the angle is when we see him cutting it, and see how he's pretty much the most evil basterd they met in the film, it makes sense to believe they killed him then carved in the swastika out of principle.
With the Nazi High Command destroyed the Western Allies make it to Berlin before the Russians. Germany is not split in two, however the American influence causes the adoption of the dollar and Germany becoming completely bilingual.
"Lt. Archie Hicox" was actually a Jew who managed to escape before the Nazi takeover.
- Although his family was Polish, which explains both his odd German accent and his ridiculously posh British accent. Years later, his death would be one of the things that leads his younger brother, Erik, to follow his Nazi-killing footsteps. His brother is more successful than he was, thanks to a handy little mutation…
Both of the opponents they were seen sparing in their respective massacres were young, inexperienced boys who only wanted to go home to their mothers.
- They're also both blonde, attractive, EXTREMELY competent ass-kickers who can take a bullet (or a knife to the throat, or a lynching, or whatever the hell happened to Raine) and live to tell the tale. Maybe survival and badassery are in their blood.
The scar Raine gave Landa is somehow "worse" than the one he gave the private.
Raine declares the scar his "masterpiece", indicating it's different somehow from the other on-screen one. Also, Raine isn't a ''total''
extremist psychopath; given his actions regarding Wilhelm, it's likely he went a little easier on the terrified private who only wanted to live than on the Jew Hunter.
In Tarantino's alternate universe, Erwin Rommel is not German, he is British instead.
Rommel's nickname is "Desert Fox", or "Wüstenfuchs" in German, which is also a German term for the fennec fox. Thus, General Ed Fenech
is Erwin Rommel!
Two of the Basterds had different nicknames before the time of the movie's main plot in 1944.
The scene in the tavern proves the existence of German author Karl May and his works in the Tarantino-verse, as well as their popularity among the Germans, just as it is the case in Real Life
. Thus, after word of his Apache heritage has spread among the Wehrmacht soldiers, the original nickname of Aldo Raine was of course Winnetou
, after the Apache protagonist in May's novels. In order to keep up the theme
, Donny Donowitz was named after Winnetou's best friend Old Shatterhand
, this way also alluding to what he uses his baseball bat for. The bat itself got the nickname Bärentöter
("bear killer") after one of Old Shatterhand's two trademark guns. (The bigger
However, because these names carry very positive connotations for most Germans, the Nazi high command disapproved of them of course, and forbade their usage. The result: Aldo Winnetou
Raine was renamed to The Apache
, and Donny Old Shatterhand
Donowitz, deriving from his weapon's nickname, to The Bear Jew
- Also, we never learn the nickname of Omar Ulmer, but an obvious choice would be Hadschi Halef Omar, the name of the protagonist's sidekick in May's novels set in the Middle East. Likewise, if Hugo Stiglitz was recruited by the Basterds while they were still in this "May character nickname" phase, he could have been named Hugo Ben Nemsi (meaning "Hugo, son of the Germans"), after Kara Ben Nemsi, the aforementioned protagonist of the Middle Eastern novels.
- The slick blond perfectionist who jerks off to a fictional woman about to be smothered? The timeline's a little off, unless Landa is older than his actor in 1941, but Hanschen may have done very well for himself.
- Probably by injection, a la Sherlock Holmes, perhaps even to emulate him. He wouldn't be the only high-ranking drug user in the Nazi Party, and his status as a functioning addict would indicate it's not interfering with his work performance or acuity of mind.
- Based on the fact that during his flashback we hear a song from the movie 'Slaughter', which is about a Vietnam veteran getting revenge on the criminals who killed his parents.
Alternatively, Stiglitz is gay or bisexual, had a male lover who was killed by the Nazis and attempted to bring down the Nazis from the inside for it
- It would explain both his apparently shaky grip on sanity and his vicious hatred for the Nazis.
The person Aldo tried to save from being lynched was a romantic partner.
- Based on the a WMG toward the top of the page. He was in a relationship with a Jewish person, and if it was a woman, was converting to Judaism so they could get married. Somehow he survived the lynching and being the kind of man he is, eventually gets revenge on the person who killed his beloved. This doesn't bring him the closure he hoped for, so when WWII breaks out, he joins the military with the express purpose of killing as many Nazis as possible.
Eli Roth and Omar Doom's characters in Death Proof
are the grandsons of Donny and Omar.
- Eli Roth's character is even called 'Dov', which is Hebrew for 'bear'. It's already been confirmed that Lee Donowitz in True Romance is the son of Donny Donowitz, so perhaps Dov is Lee's son. We don't find out either character's surname, either.
- Michael Bacall, who played one of the lesser-known Basterds (Zimmerman, to be precise), also played a character in Death Proof. Perhaps the same could be said for his character.
Von Hammersmark was never
a good spy, she was The Fool
whose luck ran out.
- Von Hammersmark is built up as a master spy who made the Basterds plot possible, yet every onscreen call she makes turns out to be the wrong one. Some of this is sheer bad luck (the party being thrown in the tavern) but she firmly carries the Idiot Ball for most of the film (such as not taking ten minutes to think up a semi-plausible reason for her cast.)