Quentin Tarantino's "The Inglorious Basterds" Film Review

Looks at the playing of the character Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's film "The Inglorious Basterds" that avoids the Hollywood Nazi cliche and instead creates an unusual hero.
# 151095 | 3,065 words | 13 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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This paper investigates the development and evolution of the Nazi character in Hollywood films to create a guideline for critiquing the groundbreaking performance of the Nazi SS character Hans Landa, "The Jew Hunter", in Quentin Tarantino's "The Inglorious Basterds". Next, the author analyzes two different cinemagraphic archetypes of the Nazi: the Faustian villain represented by Peter Seller's performance of the ex-Nazi scientist in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" and the embodiment of the ridiculous represented by Kenneth Mars' portrayal of Franz Liebkind in Mel Brooks' "The Producers". The paper praises Christoph Waltz's award winning transcendental performance of Hans Landa in Tarantino's film because it went beyond a cliche Nazi to craft a character with whom the audience could identify in an unusual way, as an American hero. Pictures and dialogue are included in the paper.

Table of Contents:
Dr. Strangelove: The Faust Villain
Hans Liebkind: The Zany Entertainer
The Layout for Critique
Hans Landa: A Nazi
As the Faustian Nazi
As the Zany Entertainer
As an American Hero

From the Paper:

"Although not specific to Nazis, Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein warrants further analysis to understand these archetypes. Throughout the movie, the protagonist constantly rejects the studies of his German scientist father and the common pronunciation of his name. He insisted that his name would be Frankensteen, with a strong Jewish undertone. During this time he was particularly concerned with modern and acceptable science. However, as he began meddling with metaphysics and toying around with life and death (Faust sciences) he became more and more insane. His character would become more excitable, morally inept and obviously more German. When Inga asks "Dr. Frankensteen, are you alright,"He shouts back, "My name is Dr. Frankenstein," with a much stronger German undertone this time. The effect is obvious. The more German he becomes, he loses his identification with the audience. His actions no longer incite the pity or the praise of the audience. Whether it would be for his lack of commitment on his prior convictions or him going mad as he ventures into mad science, Frankenstein achieves the same effect Liebkind achieves. He lost the audience to bad taste and ridiculousness. He gains no pity for the audience even though he loses his mind to the monster in exchange for an "enormous schwanzstucker.""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cohan, Steven. "Incongruous Entertainment." (n.d.).
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Perf. George C. Scott Peter Sellers. 1964.
  • Gubar, Susan. "Radical Camp in "The Producers" and "Bamboozled"." Film Quarterly (2006-2007): 26-37.
  • Inglourious Basterds. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Christoph Waltz Brad Pitt. 2009.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf. Harrison Ford. 1981.

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Quentin Tarantino's "The Inglorious Basterds" (2012, May 22) Retrieved March 23, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/film-review/quentin-tarantino-the-inglorious-basterds-151095/

MLA Format

"Quentin Tarantino's "The Inglorious Basterds"" 22 May 2012. Web. 23 March. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/film-review/quentin-tarantino-the-inglorious-basterds-151095/>