Nazi-Cinema Smackdown: Inglourious Basterds vs. The Inglorious Bastards

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Photo: Films Concorde / Universal

Quentin Tarantino’s Nazi-killing extravaganza Inglourious Basterds borrows a title and basic premise — disreputable men on a mission in World War II — from 1978’s The Inglorious Bastards (or Quel maledetto treno blindato), an Italian B movie starring a cigar-chomping badass (Fred Williamson) and directed by Tarantino hero Enzo G. Castellari. That said, the original concerns a gang of soldiers awaiting court-martial who attempt to escape to Switzerland but instead get caught up in a German-sabotaging suicide mission, and it doesn’t feature even one guy getting a swastika chiseled into his forehead. But just to be sure we weren’t missing anything, we compared the two in a few major cinematic categories, from Violence Visited on Nazis to Topless Lady Nazis Firing Guns.

 

Bastards


Basterds
Violence Visited on Nazis According to Salon, the “German” soldiers were played by Italian extras, and they “always die by jumping in the air and twisting vigorously in a counterclockwise motion.” The enemy is dispensed of with scalpings, Louisville Sluggers to dome pieces, and the occasional good, clean machine-gunning.
Tough Talk “I accidentally killed a loud-mouthed sergeant just like you. You wanna try for two? They can only kill me once.” —Williamson as Private Fred Canfield “Hey Donny? Got a German here who wants to die for his country. Oblige him.” —Brad Pitt as Lieutenant Aldo Raine
Topless Lady Nazis Firing Guns At least two. (NSFW images here and here.) Sadly, none.
Trivia Was at one point rereleased in the U.S., with an edited version more prominently featuring Williamson as “G.I. Bro.” The idea for Basterds dates back to at least before Kill Bill Vol. 1, and at various points was rumored to star Michael Madsen, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Eddie Murphy, and, of course, Paul Walker.
Features Bo Svenson? Yes: The Swedish-born B-movie actor starred as Lieutenant Yeager, the calm and collected leader of the misfits. And, yes: Svenson has a cameo in the Nazi-propaganda movie-within-a-movie directed by Eli Roth (Casterelli has a Basterds cameo as well).
Acknowledges The Dirty Dozen? One of the movie’s taglines: “Whatever the dirty dozen did, they do it dirtier!” Says Tarantino, “What actually got me to sit down and put pen to paper was, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to do a Dirty Dozen kind of thing?’ … Now it doesn’t look anything like The Dirty Dozen.”