Review: ‘The Blue Max’

The Blue Max is a World War I drama [from a novel by Jack D. Hunter, adapted by Ben Barzman and Basilio Franchina] with some exciting aerial combat sequences [directed by Anthony Squire] helping to enliven a somewhat grounded, meller script in which no principal character engenders much sympathy.

The Blue Max is a World War I drama [from a novel by Jack D. Hunter, adapted by Ben Barzman and Basilio Franchina] with some exciting aerial combat sequences [directed by Anthony Squire] helping to enliven a somewhat grounded, meller script in which no principal character engenders much sympathy.

A downbeat air prevails in the drama. The hero, a lowerclass climber played by George Peppard, is a heel; his adversary in the ranks of an air squadron, also for the free affections of Ursula Andress, is also a negative character, played by Jeremy Kemp. James Mason, husband of Andress, is looking for a propaganda symbol, finds it in Peppard, and eventually causes the latter’s death. Only Karl Michael Vogler, the squadron commander, evokes any sympathy as a gentleman.

Director John Guillermin, who derived the uniformly fine performances within the given plot frame, has at times an exciting visual sense. On the other hand, his technique in more intimate sequences becomes obvious and mechanical.

The Blue Max

UK

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director John Guillermin; Producer Christian Ferry; Screenplay David Pursall, Jack Seddon, Gerald Hanley; Camera Douglas Slocombe; Editor Max Benedict; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director Wilfrid Shingleton

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 154 MIN.

With

George Peppard James Mason Ursula Andress Jeremy Kemp Karl Michael Vogler Anton Diffring
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