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also known as Der rote Baron

The Red Baron2008

  • 3.6
Europe, 1916. Baron Manfred von Richthofen (Matthias Schweighöfer) is, at the age of just 24, the crack pilot of the German aerial combat forces: a legend in his own time, a hero at home and a man both feared and respected by the enemy. Von Richthofen and his fellow officers see their duels in the sky as tactical challenges that obscure their view of the horrors of the battlefields below. The provocative red paint job of his Fokker aircraft earns him the nickname "The Red Baron" and makes him famous the world over. For millions of his countrymen, he becomes an idol, a symbol of hope and pride. But the German high command increasingly misuses him for propaganda purposes, until the young pilot falls in love with a beautiful and resolute nurse who opens his eyes to the fact that there is more to war than dogfights won and adversaries downed. Torn between his disgust for the war and his responsibility to his fighter wing, von Richthofen cannot stop flying. But even for this living legend, each new combat mission could be his last.

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Member Reviews (6)

top reviewer

A century has now passed since Manfred Von Richtofen made his last flight. In that time, the legend of The Red Baron come to blot out the true persona of this enigmatic young aristocrat. While this film tries to separate the life and times of Von Richtofen from the legend around him, it unfortunately falls into the rut of standard studio-style historical biopic clichés: dates and names flash across the screen almost-randomly; real-life characters enter and exit the screen; music swells at key moments. In the end, we are left with a bit more knowledge about the real Manfred Von Richtofen, but we don't get a true sense of who this young man really was.

top reviewer

This was a fun surprise. It is a beautiful film that gives a true feeling for the "esprit de corps" of the early fliers. The fight scenes are gorgeous, and the movie is visually exciting throughout. This must have been a big budget movie because everything is first rate. The actors are splendid, and Lena Headley is a delight. Highly recommended. Not a typical war film at all, but a drama if a WWI setting

top reviewer

What could have been a much better film is muddled by horrible dubbing and cheap dialogue.

I can agree with the 5 star and the 2 star reviews. Sometimes it is a great film and other parts are less than that.

Sometimes a seen can be both 2 star and 5 star. An example is when the Baron's date takes him to a dark room then turns on the light to reveal a hospital full of patients. She gives a speech basically saying how all these patients will probably die a painful death. I couldn't help to wonder if this was the evil queen in Game of Thrones gloating or a concerned nurse enlightening the Baron to the evils of war(is that the same actress??).

Overall, well worth watching.

Great special effects, ridiculous dialogue, music, etc.

Obviously a movie with an rich budget. Too bad the script is so poor. Spectacular battle sequences and SFX cannot save this film from quickly devolving into a hokey portrayal of Germany's greatest ace, an unlikeable loud-mouth caught in between chasing the Allies and a French skirt. Perhaps most egregious is the atrocious dialogue. In one scene our French beauty snaps: "Men like you scare me because I do not understand why you do what you do." Of course, this is quickly followed by excruciating, lofty prose about (what else?) why he does what he does. In another scene with Fiennes in No Man's Land (complete fabrication), Manfred asks, "You've thought about killing me?" followed by Fiennes Roy Brown saying, "Isn't killing each other the reason we're here?" Forget the innumerable historical falsehoods. The dialogue is so overwrought and corny as to make this film an eye-roller. It's hard to believe, but George Peppard's portrayal of an upstart German infantryman turned pilot in 1966's 'The Blue Max' remains the best WWI air film ever made, on all counts.