The Inglorious Bastards is a 1978 Italian film starring Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson and directed by Enzo G. Castellari. It has little to do with the similarly-named Inglourious Basterds, although Quentin Tarantino admitted that his film was influenced by the original and gave Castellari a Remake Cameo as a German general.
During World War II, a group of Allied prisoners are in the process of being transferred to a prison. They include Fred Canfield, a black soldier who murdered a white sergeant for a racial insult, deserter Berle, mutineer Tony, thief Nick Colasanti and Army Air Corps pilot Lieutenant Robert Yeager, who is in trouble for flying his plane to England to visit his girlfriend there. Given into the custody of an abusive MP sergeant, the group, and others, are being driven to their destination when two things happen: firstly, their truck gets a flat tire, and secondly, a German plane attacks the all-too-tempting stationary target. This allows the prisoners to get the drop on their captors. They murder the sergeant, but let the other MPs go.
Yeager, as the ranking officer, takes command, and aims to get the group across the French border into neutral Switzerland. Along the way the group meets a fellow deserter from the opposing side in friendly German soldier Corporal Adolf Sachs, who agrees to help guide the Americans to the border. After several misadventures, which sadly includes the death of Adolf, the "Inglorious Bastards" mistakenly kill a group of American troops disguised as German ones, who were on a commando mission to destroy a Nazi train. The soldiers' leader, Colonel Buckner, demands that the Bastards fill in for his dead men.
Yeager refuses unless Buckner grants them a pardon. Although Buckner initially refuses, when he and Canfield are captured by the SS, the Bastards rescue them, earning the Colonel's respect. He finally agrees to grant the Bastards a pardon if they'll help him destroy the train, which, it turns out, is carrying an experimental rocket whose circuitry Buckner wants.
- Appropriated Appellation: The Bastards' name. They're called that by the SS officer who interrogates them, but after they escape and kill him, they seem to treat it like a compliment.
- Axe-Crazy: Tony.
- Badass Mustache: Colasanti.
- Bilingual Bonus: A lot of the German dialogue, particularly the general's lines, is unsubtitled.
- Bomb Disposal: Used with the rocket on the train when they trigger the Self-Destruct Mechanism. A pencil saves the day!
- Chekhov's Gunman: The knocked out soldier in the German general's private train carriage.
- Cigar Chomper: Canfield sure likes his stogies.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Bastards in general.
- Compressed Hair: Colasanti has been in prison for so long that his hair has grown shoulder length. He keeps it up inside his helmet, leading to a funny reveal when asked how long he's "been in" - he responds by taking his helmet off and letting the uncut hair cascade down.
- Dangerous Deserter: The whole lot of 'em, even though only Berle is in trouble for desertion.
- Defector from Decadence: Adolf.
- Dressing as the Enemy: The Bastards taking the uniforms off of the dead Americans already disguised as Germans so they can pose as German soldiers. Later, Yeager and Buckner also take the uniforms of two German majors.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: Almost all the Bastards die.
- Failed a Spot Check: Poor Yeager forgot about the German soldier they'd knocked out aboard the train, and so when he's going to get off, the soldier wakes up and shoots him.
- The Hero Dies: Yeager at the end.
- Improvised Weapon: The Bastards use the decorative - but functional! - medieval weapons displayed in the Nazi castle to overcome the SS. Canfield in particular uses the shaft of a spear to knock out three Nazis at once!
- Neck Snap: Canfield kills the SS commander by breaking his neck.
- The Neidermeyer: The MP sergeant.
- Poor Communication Kills: Adolf's attempt to tell the Bastards that the "German" soldiers are disguised Americans makes them think he is giving away their location, leading to a shootout. One of the disguised Americans, too, believes Adolf is betraying them, and shoots him.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The SS commander gives Canfield and Buckner a severe dressing down when he's interrogating them. He doesn't think much of American soldiers.SS Commander: All Americans are mongrels. Negro, Jew, Polish, Italian, Irish. Every possible race. And your women are whores! You are all like children. Coca-Cola. Hollywood. Chewing gum. Stupid, cowardly bastards!
- La Résistance: The French Resistance.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Big time, including a scene where the Resistance kill two captured German majors and their driver offscreen.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: The rocket has one. Although they initially disarm it - using a pencil! - Yeager later intentionally sets it off to destroy the train.
- Slipknot Ponytail: Colasanti keeps his long hair in one of these when he isn't wearing his helmet. More than once, it comes undone in the heat of a fight.
- Sociopathic Hero: Tony, full stop. He claims to be a former mob enforcer, is the most vocal about killing Adolf, loots corpses, kills without remorse, threatens his fellow Bastards (in particular he likes baiting Canfield), and is generally just a thoroughly unpleasant human being. It takes Berle's death to sober him up.
- Scary Black Man: Canfield.
- The Scrounger: Whatever you need, Colasanti's got it!
- Those Wacky Nazis: The main villains of the film.
- Train Job: The Bastards are offered a pardon if they'll help pull off one of these.
- Unfriendly Fire: The Bastards fragging the sergeant and another MP, 'Nam-style. Also what befalls Adolf and Buckner's disguised men.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The last we see of Colonel Hauser is when is entering the room aboard the train where Yeager killed Prenner and the other Nazi scientist. We see Buckner enter after Hauser, but it cuts away and the next time we see Buckner he's with Yeager disarming the rocket, and Hauser is never mentioned again.
- Also, the German general on the train. It appears he got killed between scenes, as he's suddenly seen lying dead on the floor, but we never find out who killed him or when.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Zig Zagged Trope:
- Inverted during the escape at the beginning, the Bastards kill the abusive sergeant but let the other surviving MPs go.
- Inverted again during the escape from the Nazi castle. They kill the SS commander but use non-lethal force against his lieutenant and two of other Nazis in the room, only knocking them out.
- Played straight at the end. On the train, after killing all the Nazi guards except one who was only knocked out, they have the high-ranking German officers captured. Rather than murder them, they simply make them jump off (the officers think they're about to be killed, but just get hilariously booted off and roll harmlessly down the hillside). Except the general, who apparently did get killed in a Deleted Scene. The knocked out guard then wakes up and kills Yeager and is shot in retaliation.