Tarantino gives auds new perspective on WWII
Quentin Tarantino’s pitch to the studios for “Inglourious Basterds” was to reinvent World War II movies for contempo auds who had no connection to the period, just as “Bonnie and Clyde” had reinvented the gangster pic.
“Now, what (would be different) about it, I didn’t know,” he admits. “It was simply the way I was going to do it.”
It turned out that “The Dirty Dozen” provided more inspiration for Tarantino’s men-on-a-misson fantasia. Tarantino deliberately took a cue from the ending of “The Dirty Dozen,” with the heroes incinerating Nazis by the score, for his own ending. “In both cases, we create our own crematoriums and stick the Nazis in them,” he says. “What’s interesting, I had seen ‘The Dirty Dozen’ a million times, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I watched it and realized how whacked their mission really was. It never penetrated (my mind) the true diabolicalness of it all.”
“Inglourious Basterds” has its own diabolical denouement: Its heroes strap on bombs and are prepared to blow themselves up to kill Hitler. “At that point they truly become terrorists,” he says — something most viewers didn’t quite seem to grasp.
“I think it was because it just seemed so organic to the story it just didn’t stand out. Landa even says, ‘And your mission, some would call it a terrorist plot, is kaput.’ And people don’t quite get it.”