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Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 04:35 AM UTC
The Red Baron movie filmed in Europe 2008 Has been available to purchase in the USA since early 2010. Postproduction: CGI by PIXOMONDO Shooting schedule: 10 July 2006 – 3 October 2006. Filming Locations: Prague & surrounding area, Czech Republic / Baden-Württemberg, Germany Type of film financing: Private (raised by NIAMA-FILM)
The official US website is;


While the CGI aircraft are very realistic. The story line is a very loose interpretation of MvR's life.

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Adrian Roberts wrote, ". . .I wanted to like this film. After all, someone had been interested enough in WW1 aviation to make it - surely, they would try and do a good job. But maybe they had to compromise for commercial reasons; turning the Red Baron from a Prussian Officer into a 21st century teenager feels like that. Whatever, this film was irredeemably awful on lots of levels. I could have forgiven them the CGI aeroplanes. Any WW1 or even most WW2 aviation films are going to have to use CGI or replicas and the latter can be just as suspect. The CGI aircraft at least looked accurate, markings and storyline aside: I quite liked the wood-varnished Albatros DII types. But that's the end of the good news. When a real aircraft appears, it is a Curtiss Jenny masquerading as a German two-seater. I knew we were in trouble in the opening soft-focus shots of a group of handsome Aryan teenage boys, including Manfred von Richthofen as a 14 year-old when he sees a Morane-like monoplane and deciding he wants to fly - in 1906?! I nearly switched off when I saw Lanoe Hawker as a fat man with a beard (wrong on both counts and the beard wouldn't be allowed in the RFC), shot down in an SE5 - in 1916! Throughout, MvR is portrayed as a youth with a shock of blond hair who swans around in a polo-necked pullover. I know that many fighter pilots were very young; certainly Kurt Woolf looks very boyish in genuine photos of him: but MvR was 25 in 1917 and a career military officer: I don't think "boy" is what anyone meeting him would have thought. Was he blond? Photos mostly show him with his head covered; if not he is always shaven-headed - but I didn't think he was blond. Perversely, Werner Voss who was only 20 and fairly skinny, is portrayed as a rugged older man who fits his Dr.I with a captured "Bentley rotary", all by himself in the hangar! (No face on the cowling) Even on its own terms as a coherent piece of fiction the film fails. I think even someone with no knowledge of WW1 would be annoyed by the rapid changes of scene, many of them with no discernable purpose. And who is going to be convinced by the scene set in 1917 in which MvR and Roy Brown both force-land in No-Man's Land, which is portrayed as an idyllic cornfield. Despite one of them having a pistol, they make no attempt to fight or take each other prisoner; MvR saunters over to Brown; they exchange cigarettes and have a man-to-man chat about the futility of war. Brown says: "I may have to kill you some day!", and then they part company and amble back to their own lines, presumably avoiding being shot by both sides as they jump into the trenches. Doh!!! The only accurate bit is that Lothar is portrayed as taller and thinner than Manfred, and with dark hair. And of course they have to have a female lead; the nurse Katie Otdersdorf. In real life she nursed him back to health after his head wound, but to say she did anything else is speculation. In the film, they eventually get it off, but to assume this is likely is it to look at it with a contemporary perspective. A true gentleman would not have an affair with a woman of lower class whom he could never marry, unless she was actually a prostitute, in which case it was accepted. As to his head injury, there is no attempt to portray the fact that he spent the rest of his life in pain. He did become depressed about the loss of his comrades, but he did not tell the Kaiser to surrender! At the end, Katie waves good-bye in her nightdress as he sets off on his last flight, and then the film runs out of money because we don't see what happens to him. At the least the end credits say it is not certain that Brown shot him down. But to add insult to injury, Katie gets across the lines to Allied territory "helped by friends", meets Roy Brown, who shows him the Rittmeister's grave where she pays a tearful farewell! . . . A non-enthusiast who had little knowledge of the truth may possibly think its "so bad that its good", noticing only the multiple cliches and anachronistic attitudes. Personally, I'm thinking of asking . . .for my money back and taking out a Fatwa on the film director and anyone remotely associated with this drivel. Adrian"
JUL 18, 2010 - 06:43 AM
Who would have thought that a Movie review could be done best by a fellow WWI aviation fanatic, who work at a newspaper? Our own Burl Burlingame has put in his 2 cents and its spot on IMHO. "Every once in a while a movie comes along that you can't wait to see, but when you finally get to see it, you realize — sigh — that it's just a movie, and not a very good one at that. "The Red Baron" hit me that way. Made a couple of years ago, "Der Rote Baron" was supposedly the most expensive film ever made in Germany, and when it was released, it was a tremendous flop. It was hard to figure out why from reviews. The YouTube clips of the flying sequences looked tremendous. Apparently, Germans don't care much for war movies these days, even those that star a great national hero. It took from then until now for the film to be released on disk. I tried to pick one up at Suncoast, but the girl there told me tartly that a film like that doesn't appeal to "their" class of customers. Shrug. Order a copy of "The Red Baron" on Blu-Ray, which arrived promptly. I prepared by previewing Roger Corman's "Von Richthofen and Brown," from 1969. The Red Baron is Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, the highest-scoring ace of the Greta War, with 80 victories, one of the first superstar pilots and a pop-culture icon. He was the terror of the Western Front until he was shot down by either Canadian pilot Roy Brown or a gang of Aussie soldiers on the ground popping off with rifles. "Von Richthofen and Brown" was a low-budget actioner that contrasted the command styles of the two men, von Richthofen the dashing, titled Prussian; Brown, the dour, common realist. The remaining cast is a rogue's gallery of famous aviators, including Hermann Goring, Ernst Udet and teenage Werner Voss, von Richthofen's rival and friend. It is a snapshot of the changing face of warfare, and is largely successful as a movie. But it suffered from its small budget, and the aeroplanes and other details were inaccurate, although likely only us rivet-counters noticed. Flash-forward to now, with a grand budget and the latest CGI techniques, and "The Red Baron" looks terrific and the aeroplanes are wonderfully accurate. The old gang is here, particularly Voss, although the new movie makes him a grizzled veteran instead of a talented teen. Nikolai Müllerschön, who wrote and directed, also adds a fictional Jewish pilot, although there were plenty of real Jewish pilots in the Fliegerkorps, such as Wilhelm Frankl. It's an odd political move that smells like apologia. Both movies, interestingly, make much of the German pilots' veneration of ace Oswald Boelcke, almost as if he were a religious figure. Virtually every review of "The Red Baron" points out it fails whilst on the ground, although it soars while in the air. Absolutely true. Taking the audience along in the dreamlike trance of flight is something movies are good at. It's not only a thrill ride for the audience, it also helps explain the motivations of the pilots. There are many things that go wrong here. One is the reoccurring figure of Roy Brown (Joseph Fiennes) who seems to slip through the Western Front with ease just to have chitchats with von Richthofen. Another is a drummed-up romance with nurse (Lena Headey) that relies on her having abrupt changes of personality in every scene. And it's storytelling suicide to cheat the audience out of the the two most famous dogfights in the Great War, von Richthofen vs. Brown, and Voss vs. a whole sky full of British SE.5s. These battles, that should have been the cathartic heart of the film, are simply shrugged away. It also doesn't help that Matthias Schweighöfer, who plays the title role, is thuddingly void of command charisma. It's partly the fault of the script, which pushes the image of von Richthofen as a rather sweet, sensitive soul who just happens to kill dozens on men in vicious aerial combat. The main problem, though, is that Müllerschön just couldn't decide what his film was about. It needed a tough rewrite from someone who could keep eyes on the prize. Is "The Red Baron" a meditation on the evolving spirit of German martial ardor during the 20th Century? An analysis of the conflict between command and celebrity? A three-way romance between a pilot, his gal and his fighter plane? An engaging bio-pic about someone was once a world-famous figure, and is now a label on a frozen pizza? This last is the worst. If you're going to tell the story of a historic character, even if you have to telescope events and personalities, at least get his personality right. Otherwise, it's literally character assassination. Von Richthofen was a dangerous, wily aerial tactician; a killer; a charismatic leader; a superb manager of public image. That's an interesting person. This rather damp, twee youngster posing in aviator togs in "The Red Baron" is just playing dress-up."
JUL 18, 2010 - 06:59 AM
We are a picky bunch though. I will get this out an dI enjoyed Flyboys and Blue Max. I just want Peter Jackson to make "Goshawk Squadron" that might be the RFC's "Saving Private Ryan". Sam Goldwyn holds the rights since.... 1971!
JUL 18, 2010 - 08:09 AM
I'm sorry Terri. With the greatest respect to your person, I must make this correction. I believe you mean't to say, "bed time tale". Personaly, I think this movie stinks, and place it in the same category as the "Tora!Tora!Tora!" love story adventure. Guy
JUL 18, 2010 - 09:33 AM
bed time tail works for me Behave Terri!
JUL 18, 2010 - 11:52 AM
I can't help but comment: First: I saw this movie at the Redbox and rented it for a dollar. I kinda made it to the point where Richtofen and Brown "met" in "no-man's-land" and discussed politics. I could make it through with the "it's only a movie" attitude to that point, then I had to turn it off. It's SO historically off-kilter, I couldn't even watch any more. I thought "Fly Boys" was bad, but it deserves an award for historical accuracy compared to this stinker. At least Fly Boys didn't use actual names (well, not many). Second: Teri and John-Paul- naughty naughty! Michael
JUL 18, 2010 - 01:19 PM
I'm sorry Terri. With the greatest respect to your person, I must make this correction. I believe you mean't to say, "bed time tale". Personaly, I think this movie stinks, and place it in the same category as the "Tora!Tora!Tora!" love story adventure. Guy [/quote] Oh yeah , and that too ! I always behave myself , I'm an angel .....
JUL 18, 2010 - 02:41 PM
Have not seen it and might buy it at the used video store. I do not loose sleep if a tunic only has six buttons when it should have had eight. Gross inaccuracies well..........If it is a bad movie its a shame because I really liked Joseph Fienne's performance in "Luther".........Al
JUL 18, 2010 - 03:10 PM
Sam Goldwyn has the rights to "Goshawk Squadron"? He sure can pick 'em.
JUL 19, 2010 - 03:19 PM