Inglourious Basterds: Stalking History and Hitler

Tarantino's World War II saga revives the art of tense film dialogue — and knocks off Hitler

Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and Sgt. Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth) in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

Back in his days as the geek god of clerks at Manhattan Beach Video Archives, Quentin Tarantino must have looked at all those World War II movies, especially the ones about plots to kill Hitler, and realized what was wrong: everybody knows the ending. Bad guys lose. Hitler died in his bunker. Where's the suspense? Where's the ambiguity? Most films about the war treat the historical record as sacred, which often serves as an excuse for lofty moral judgments. Only a few bold souls created alternative versions, like the 1963 film It Happened Here, in which Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo...

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