Blue Max, The (1966) Movie Script

Out of the way! Clear the way!
Move! Move!
That was a full bottle, Herr Leutnant.
- You've just met Willi von Klugermann.
- Yes.
- I see you've heard of him.
- Oh, yes, I have.
- You must be...
- He's tearing the wings off.
Let him celebrate, Ziegel.
He shoots them down.
Yourjob is to keep him up there.
You must be the new replacement, Stachel.
Bruno Stachel, Herr Oberleutnant.
Are you the adjutant?
I fly a desk now.
Anti-aircraft fire.
Still, it could have got me
higher up, couldn't it?
Wait here. I'll tell the CO you've arrived.
And if I were you, I'd button up thatjacket.
Ziegel, how soon can you
have us ready again?
Depends on how many
of the others have been hit.
I wasn't the only one.
I can't keep these barges flying for ever.
I'm not a magician.
No, Ziegel, you are a magician
whether you like it or not.
- Only 11 back, Herr Hauptmann.
- Yes. Mueller went down.
He didn't last long.
Fabian, how did we come to lose him?
I gave him the usual instructions, Herr
Hauptmann, but he wouldn't stay with me.
Too, uh, too keen.
Oh, by the way, Scholte's replacement's here.
Leutnant Bruno Stachel reporting
from 104 training school.
Your commanding officer,
Hauptmann Heidemann.
Ah, yes. Stachel. Come inside.
Herr Hauptmann.
- Stachel?
- Yes, sir.
Two years in the infantry. Any rank?
Corporal, Herr Hauptmann.
What made you transfer to the air corps?
To fly, Herr Hauptmann.
Are you a good flier?
I'm... comfortable in the air.
Comfortable. Are you? Interesting.
Very pretty flying.
I wish you would stop it. You'll live longer.
Sorry about that.
I see you are from Wiesbaden.
I've done some hunting round there.
- Who are your people?
- Herr Hauptmann?
I want to know something of your
background. What does your father do?
He works in a small hotel, Herr Hauptmann.
Five bedrooms.
Corporal, see the new officer's bags
are taken to the mess.
Herr Hauptmann.
Come into my office, Stachel.
Close the door, please.
I'm sorry if it bothers you
about what your father does.
It doesn't bother me, Herr Hauptmann.
Then why are you so touchy about it?
Well, you're an officer now.
Your social problems are no concern of ours.
Take a look at the map, Stachel.
Our operating area is between
Arras and St-Quentin.
The British also operate the area...
as you'll find out.
What did you train on?
The usual machine, Herr Hauptmann.
An out-of-date Pfalz.
That's what you'll fly here, too.
- But at flying school they told us...
- Flying school.
At flying school they'll tell you anything.
Up-to-date machines go
to experienced pilots.
Both are in short supply.
- It's a cruel worid, Stachel.
- Yes, Herr Hauptmann.
Welcome to the squadron. The truck
will take you to the mess with the others.
And Stachel?
Let's hope you get to like us.
He could have been lying
about the five bedrooms.
- His father was probably only a waiter.
- Just another snob, in fact.
Willi, there's something I haven't told you.
I have an uncle in the hotel business.
I admit he's a baron,
and the hotel has 500 bedrooms,
but you do see the position it places me in.
# There was a town in Poland
# And there a girl we found
# Lovely...
- Want a cigarette?
- Thank you.
# She was the loveliest maid
that ever we beheld
# But "Do not kiss me, please" she said
# "I never kiss"
You've got 18, haven't you?
Squadron rule number one, Stachel.
Gentlemen never parade
their military achievements.
Any rule against saying
how long it took you?
I would say that was covered
by the same rule, wouldn't you?
No, I wouldn't. How many rules are there?
I don't know. None of them
have been written down.
# She was the haughtiest maid
that ever we beheld
# But "Do not kiss me, please" she said
# "I never kiss"
# She was the haughtiest maid
that ever we beheld
# But "Do not kiss me, please" she said
# "I never kiss"
It seems you're next to me
in Scholte's old room. Number 11.
Your predecessor. He didn't last long,
unfortunately. An unhappy young man.
Yes, he forgot to keep looking over
his shoulder. Worth remembering.
They come fast, out of the sun.
Thank you.
Willi, what do you think of him?
Gonna have a drink?
They haven't removed poor Scholte's card.
How very tactless of them.
I just thought you should know
we don't dress for dinner here.
Von Richthofen, I see. Your hero?
He's done it all. Two more kills,
you'll have one of those.
A pretty medal, the Blue Max.
It's the only one worth having.
People respect it.
The medal or the man?
The usual routine, Fabian. You know
what they're like the first time in combat.
- Of course.
- Keep your eye on him.
Here - isn't it nice to hear
the birds again, Herr Hauptmann?
Listen to that.
They won't be here long.
When our offensive starts...
- Good luck, Fabian.
- Herr Hauptmann.
What is it?
Stachel, fly on Fabian's left
and a little behind him.
- Watch for his signals.
- Yes, Herr Hauptmann.
And relax. Get the balloon
and come straight back.
You'll find balloons burn beautifully.
Switches on.
Is that Army Observation?
Adjutant, squadron 11, here.
One of our pilots claims an SE5
shot down in sector five.
- Yes.
- Can you confirm, please?
Yes. About 0700 hours.
- Perhaps Fabian made a forced landing.
- I don't know.
Yes? Sector five, on our side of the line.
You did? Fine.
Go on.
In midair?
- Did yours explode?
- No.
Yes. We do have a pilot missing.
- That'll be him, I'm afraid.
- Ask him.
Thanks. Goodbye.
- But...
- Only Fabian. He never got out. No SE5.
But somebody must have seen
my SE5 go down.
Not necessarily.
It often happens.
No confirmation, no claim.
That's a squadron rule.
But I saw it. It was a kill.
Then you have the deep satisfaction of
knowing you have served the fatherland.
It went down here, our side of the line.
Why couldn't the army look for it?
- They have other things to do.
- Somebody must have seen it.
Fabian might have seen it.
Corporal Rupp? We're gonna search
sector five. Get your motorcycle.
- But...
- Be in the mess in five minutes.
Herr Leutnant.
- Back to the mess, Herr Leutnant?
- No, I'm gonna search that wood over there.
- You already have, Herr Leutnant.
- What?
You searched that one an hour ago.
Well, we're gonna search it again.
What's the matter, Rupp?
Too close to the guns for you?
- Thank you, Corporal.
- It's been a pleasure, Herr Leutnant.
You have finished
your wild-goose chase, I hope.
- Yes, Herr Hauptmann.
- Found nothing, huh?
If every pilot were to go careering around
France looking for unconfirmed aircraft,
there'd be no air force left.
And Corporal Rupp has
more important things to do.
- Do you understand?
- Yes, Herr Hauptmann.
"Unconfirmed by army" means
"unconfirmed", and that's final.
Good night, Stachel.
Come and join us.
- Brandy, please.
- Champagne, Herr Leutnant.
Willi got his 20th kill today.
He's being awarded the Blue Max.
I see you've had a hard day.
No one's ever done that before
about an unconfirmed kill.
Quite novel. You must be in a hurry.
- To your Blue Max.
- Blue Max.
I don't suppose
you've had an unconfirmed kill.
Oh, but I have. I've had, uh... three.
Then you've shot down 23?
No. 20.
By the way, Stachel,
there's an impression around that
you care more about your unconfirmed kill
than you do about Fabian's death.
Perhaps it's force of habit.
In the trenches
we couldn't even bury the dead.
There were too many of them.
I've never had the time to discuss them
over a glass of champagne.
Well, never mind, Stachel.
To your unconfirmed victory.
Next time you must have witnesses.
Good evening, gentlemen.
Pairings for next week's sorties.
- Let's have them.
- I'll fly with Becker.
Heller and Braun.
- Von Klinger and I will do the ground strafe.
- Gruber and I will fly together.
Good. Who'll fly with Stachel?
I'll fly with Stachel.
He's... he's bringing her in.
This one is dead, Herr Leutnant.
- Easy, easy.
- Bring a stretcher! Quick! Quick!
What happened, Stachel?
The observer. He was going to open fire.
Then we are to assume he was
either very brave... or very foolish.
It's a cruel worid, Herr Hauptmann.
You said so yourself.
Bearers, halt!
I've read your report, Willi.
What really happened?
As I said, Otto, the observer made a move
for his gun, so Stachel shot him down.
You wish to stand by your comrade.
I appreciate that.
What I reported is what I saw.
We are German officers.
We'll fight with chivalry.
- You know that as well as I do.
- Of course.
The observer was blinded.
Did you know that?
No. It could have happened when
Stachel opened fire over the field.
- But did it?
- I don't know.
But you do know how Stachel behaved
when his first claim was disallowed.
If he's shot down
a helpless enemy in cold blood,
it's something I won't tolerate
in my squadron.
All right, Otto. I agree.
There is some measure of doubt.
But I have no reason to change my report.
All right, Willi.
The incident is closed. Officially, anyway.
Is everyone here?
All except Leutnant Stachel, Herr Hauptmann.
Someone inform him this is a parade.
He is ordered to attend.
We are about to honour your dead.
So I see.
Well... aren't you coming?
It's an order.
Because our commanding officer
has made it one.
He believes in chivalry, Stachel.
To kill a man, then make
a ritual out of saluting him?
It's hypocrisy.
If they kill me, I don't want anyone to salute.
They probably won't.
All right.
Let's get it over with, shall we?
Thank you.
You know, there's something
of the cobra in you.
I'll have to watch you.
Leutnant von Klugermann.
Parade, stand at ease!
I assume you've talked
to the other pilots about this.
Yes, I am making a thorough inquiry
into the whole incident.
Good. When the opportunity arises,
point the man out to me.
Yes, Herr General.
- Ah, Otto.
- The squadron is drawn up, Herr General.
We were discussing the pilot
who brought this in.
Air Headquarters are quite excited about it.
What's the man's name again?
- Leutnant Stachel, Herr General.
- Mm-hm.
Is he a good flier?
Yes. Yes, he is.
Glad to hear it. Well, we mustn't
keep my nephew waiting any longer,
not to mention my wife.
Parade, left turn!
Sorry to have been so long. Were you bored?
With all these men around?
Look beautiful for them, Kaeti.
Look at Willi.
Doesn't he look splendid?
The Blue Max will go so well with his eyes.
Yes, he is rather vain. He'll probably
wear it in bed for the first few days.
How uncomfortable for the girl.
- Excuse me, Herr General.
- Yes?
The second one on the left.
Front row. That's Stachel.
"To Leutnant Wilhelm von Klugermann,
for bravery of the highest order in action
against the enemies of the German empire,
and for exceptional services to the fatherland
in that he has destroyed
single-handed 20 enemy aircraft,
the Order Pour le Mrite, by lmperial decree,
Wilhelm, Emperor."
I'm afraid it's rather a small medal, really.
But it's the highest Germany can give.
Thank you, Uncle.
Otto, this pilot of yours - Stachel.
Humble origin, risen from the ranks,
et cetera, et cetera...
- Two years' frontline service, huh?
- Yes, that's right.
To deliver the final blow over your own
airfield, on the doorstep, so to speak...
- That was splendid, wasn't it?
- Splendid?
Otto, if this young man lives long enough,
he could be very useful
to our propaganda department.
The common people of our country
are war-weary, restive.
They need to be provided
with a hero of their own.
Von Richthofen, Willi, are of our class.
This fellow Stachel is common as dirt.
He's one of them. You understand?
Yes, I understand.
But I don't agree with killing helpless men.
Otto, this is 1918. Things have changed.
Unrestricted submarine warfare,
bombing of civilians, poison gas.
Ask your wife - she's a nurse.
Ask Elfi about the mustard-gas casualties.
So, you approve of this kind of ruthlessness?
We fight to win, Otto.
Yes, of course.
Excuse me, Herr General.
Herr General.
May I present Leutnant Stachel?
I saw the plane which you brought in.
Very... interesting exploit.
It proves that our young men
still have vitality, courage,
and the will to win at all costs.
Yes, Herr General. Thank you.
I'm sure we'll hear a lot more of you.
Kaeti, you haven't met our Leutnant Stachel.
Stachel, may I introduce
the Countess von Klugermann?
My aunt... by marriage.
You appear to have caught
my uncle's interest.
Interest from high places is always welcome.
May I get you a drink, Countess?
All right. Champagne.
Pink champagne!
- Pink champagne?
- Yes.
Yes, Countess.
May I have two glasses
of pink champagne, please?
May I have two glasses
of pink champagne, please?
That champagne is getting warm, Stachel.
Not yet.
Silence, please! Silence, please!
in a few hours
the horizon will be lit up by
the flashes of 7,000 guns - our guns.
They will herald
the greatest offensive in history.
Our defeat of Russia has released
a million men for the Western Front.
I need hardly tell you
that if we destroy
the British and French armies...
before the Americans
can intervene effectively,
we shall have won the war.
God be with us! God be with us!
Oh, Willi, darling.
I'm sorry I'm late.
I'm sorry.
Well, I'm not. If you're looking
for your nephew, he's next door.
Yes. I realise that now.
As long as you're here,
perhaps I can get you that drink.
Yes, do.
I'm afraid I'm out of champagne.
- Then whatever you have.
- Schnapps.
Mmm. Horrible.
But quite stimulating.
So that's you - Cobra.
- Cobra?
- Yes, that's what Willi calls you.
Has he been talking about me to you?
I asked.
He says you're quite, uh, deadly...
in sort of a quiet way.
He's a romantic.
- And you're not?
- No.
Tonight is a... family affair.
- Are you shocked?
- No.
- My husband is a very civilised man.
- Mm.
And we are great friends.
It must be nice to have
an understanding friend.
Oh, yes, it is.
Willi must be getting impatient.
Shall I announce you?
Please do.
Thank you.
Come on, lads. This is it!
Follow me!
The oil pressure's still too low!
Well, that's all you'll get out of her!
She wasn't made yesterday!
Oh, is that what it is?
You'll feel better in a few days, Herr Leutnant.
We've taken Bapaume!
That means we're closer to Paris.
- Thank you.
- I'm here to take you back to the squadron.
In there, Herr Leutnant.
- What are we celebrating?
- Your survival, of course.
And your tenth victory.
- You're moving up fast, Stachel.
- Too fast?
Does it hurt?
Then I'd better open the bottle.
Tell me, uh... never having
suffered it personally...
what does it feel like to be shot down?
Well, I'd rather
you found that out for yourself.
You know, I was quite pleased at first -
when you were posted missing, I mean.
Thank you.
Oh, it was just that, uh, all of a sudden,
the war seemed a bit more peaceful.
And then - this is the odd thing -
I had a sense of loss.
- I'm touched.
- No, no.
Seriously. I suppose I've had everything
in my life too easy. I'm inclined to be lazy.
I have to have a challenge. I need someone
around me who is, uh, hard to beat.
And you fulfil that role.
- How's the countess?
- Countess?
- Mm.
- Oh!
Your aunt by marriage. Is she well?
I think so.
I should've thought you'd have known.
Oh, yes. She told me about
coming into your room that night.
I knew you'd have to
bring it up sooner or later.
The countess.
There's a fascinating subject.
I believe you have aspirations
in that direction, Stachel.
You should forget them.
I'll try.
But if the impossible happens...
I'll buy you a bottle of champagne.
Will you?
It's vintage 1903.
You'll find it... hard to get.
I'll remember that.
Thanks for the champagne.
- That's the fool that almost got me killed.
- I believe he's a friend of mine.
Why don't you take it up with him?
- I hope it'll be a longer visit next time.
- Yes.
May I introduce the Baron von Richthofen?
It is an honour, Herr Rittmeister.
And I am very grateful.
1903 again.
You'll never change, Willi.
I'd like to have some of Willi's champagne
with you, but I must get to my squadron.
I'm glad to see you haven't had to pay
too high a price for my life.
I only lost an old Pfalz, Herr Rittmeister.
Perhaps now I'll get a better plane.
Oh, yes. You will.
My squadron is going to be equipped with
the new monoplane Berlin's been promising.
I don't understand, Herr Rittmeister.
The baron wants you to
join his squadron, Stachel.
I have no objection.
Well, what do you think?
I'm... very flattered by your offer,
Herr Rittmeister.
Thank you.
But I'd prefer to prove myself here.
Oh, I see.
Well... I admire loyalty.
You are lucky to have this fellow, Otto.
Switches on!
Thank you.
Holbach, bring me that report
from Von Richthofen again.
Yes, Herr General.
You're not shoeing a horse.
Get out.
Herr General.
I want him brought to Berlin immediately.
- Yes, Herr General.
- There is some difficulty?
I don't know what you have in mind, Herr
General, but with the offensive at its height,
there'd have to be a legitimate excuse
to order him from the front.
He's wounded, isn't he?
- Yes, Herr General.
- Hm.
A mentionable wound?
- In the arm.
- Good.
People like soldiers to be shot in the right
places. Order Stachel to Berlin for treatment.
I want you to ensure that all our newspapers
give full prominence to this gallant episode.
Photographs. Everything.
Yes, Herr General.
I think I can get the field marshal
to see things my way, with luck.
What you're telling me behind yourjargon
is that this machine is unstable.
Exactly. Herr Field Marshal,
we require at least three more months
to perfect the design.
By then, the war may well be lost.
Well, Franz, what more
have you to say to the experts?
With your permission, Herr Field Marshal,
I would like to produce an expert of my own.
We would like the benefit
of your experience, Stachel.
You'll have read in today's papers
about Von Richthofen.
This is the pilot concerned -
Leutnant Bruno Stachel.
This way.
The new monoplane.
- Is it as fast as we've heard?
- Faster.
What about its manoeuvrability?
Only one wing - will it take the stress?
It will outturn any Allied plane
at present in the air.
It could even turn the tide of the air war.
Then we must have it.
What if I told you that
these gentlemen believe
that there will be risks for you pilots
if we hurry it into production now?
Well, we're used to risks, Herr General.
One more wouldn't make any difference.
Leutnant Stachel?
Tell me, do you think that your opinion
would be shared by your comrades?
I am certain of it, Herr Field Marshal.
Let me see it again.
Nurse! Nurse, come quickly.
Come along, Herr Leutnant.
Frau Heidemann. Leutnant Stachel.
Yes, I remember you.
I'm due back in a few minutes.
Oh, it won't take long.
The jacket, please, Herr Leutnant.
And your shirt.
Frau Heidemann, those flowers, please.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Sit down, Herr Leutnant.
Excuse me, please.
I saw how busy you were outside.
- Yes.
- I'm sorry.
Now, come along, gentlemen. Along here.
Now, Frau Heidemann, if you please,
it is just this one pose.
What will you put under the picture?
"Squadron commander's wife
nurses wounded hero?"
Very good.
Now move a little closer.
Thank you. Now...
Hold still.
- The play-acting is over?
- Yes, Herr General. We have finished.
Elfi, my dear. How good of you
to have found time to come and help us.
- It was an order, Herr General, wasn't it?
- Of course.
It was a very important piece of play-acting.
I see.
Bruno Stachel. By morning you'll be quite
famous. How do you feel about that?
Lucky, Herr General.
Tomorrow you will be making
your way back to your squadron.
And tonight my wife
would like you to dine with her.
That's very kind of her, Herr General.
Not at all. She likes heroes.
Eight o' clock.
- You don't convince me, Colonel.
- Do you envy the birds?
- It may surprise you to know...
- Is that what makes men want to fly?
...that I am a serious student
of military strategy.
- No, Baroness, I am not really surprised.
- Jealousy of the birds? Yes.
Herr Leutnant, about the birds...
Thank you.
Good night.
Good night. A most successful party.
Pleasant evening.
- What's that?
- It sounds like a drum, Countess.
Good evening.
As this is my first opportunity
of speaking to you tonight, I'll repeat it.
Good evening. And good evening to you,
too, good and faithful family servant.
Good morning.
That late? I must have fallen asleep
during your speech.
Hans, some wine for the musician.
Well, I suppose I might as well say it.
Say what?
You're beautiful.
- So are you.
- Hm.
And where is Herr General... your husband?
- Oh, he doesn't worry about me.
- He doesn't?
Well, he should.
By now he's with the Countess von Hoehlen.
On my right at dinner.
They play war games together.
Do these games go on until morning?
My husband finds them very absorbing.
It's a very heavy responsibility
being a general.
That depends how good you are at tactics...
Herr Leutnant.
- Your wine, Herr Leutnant.
- Hm.
Thank you, Herr Leutnant.
It has been a long day.
- Hans.
- Yes, Herr Leutnant.
I want you to go to your mistress and
tell her I think I know what she means.
- Now, Herr Leutnant?
- Now.
Come in.
I knew you would come. Darling, I am...
Oh, you fool.
There's a heap of letters in your room,
Herr Leutnant, from all over Germany.
Any of them perfumed?
Yes, Herr Leutnant.
There's one from Stuttgart.
- Towards the end she says...
- Yes?
Herr Leutnant.
Hello, Cobra. How was Berlin?
I brought you a present, Willi.
A souvenir.
Kind of you.
I doubt if our tastes coincide.
Oh, but they do.
Thank you.
What year is this?
We've tolerated you here
because we've had to.
One of these days, Stachel...
or should I call you Bruno?
One of these days I'm going
to shake you up... considerably.
It will give me pleasure, Willi.
I'll look forward to it.
I wonder if you're as good
as you think you are...
in or out of bed.
Well, Otto?
Thousands of trucks carrying troops.
I flew over two miles of them.
And it's continuous, like the anti-aircraft fire.
Um... the new replacements.
They've just arrived. They're only half-trained.
I want every man in the air tomorrow,
including replacements.
To sum up, then, our offensive
has come to a standstill.
A massive enemy counterattack
is developing.
The Americans are pouring men
into the battle area.
Our army is hard-pressed.
We are outnumbered in the air,
and our observation planes are
shot down before they can report.
High Command urgently wants information.
Today I shall lead the squadron on
a decoy mission to divert British patrollers.
Meanwhile, an observation plane will
attempt a photographic reconnaissance
of the area around Amiens.
I want two of you to provide close escort.
All right.
Rendezvous at 0800 hours over sector three.
You'll fly the two triplanes. Take care.
They are the last ones we are likely to get.
All right, gentlemen.
Did you meet my wife at the hospital?
Yes, Herr Hauptmann.
Was she all right?
She is well, Herr Hauptmann.
Thank you. Good luck.
Where's Willi?
He's dead.
He was flying too low. He hit the trees.
- What happened?
- He hit the trees!
I landed. There wasn't anything I could do.
He was a better man than you.
Well, he's dead.
- Is that your test?
- Yes.
And that was his test too.
- What do you mean?
- Herr Hauptmann.
Air Observation report
two British planes down in sector nine.
Willi didn't die for nothing.
I'm glad of that, Karl.
We can tell the family.
They'll be proud of him.
What makes you think he shot them down?
You mean they're yours?
- Why do you think they're not?
- Well, are they?
Willi killed himself trying to fly me
into the ground and went in instead.
I'm asking you if those two planes
are yours or Willi's.
All right. They're mine! They belong to me!
I just read your armourer's report.
Your guns were jammed.
You only fired 40 rounds.
40 rounds?
Two three-second bursts.
Is your marksmanship that good?
I'm not confirming
these two victories, Stachel.
But I will report your astonishing
marksmanship to Air Headquarters.
Firing party, right wheel!
Firing party, halt!
Left turn.
Order arms.
Otto, the general has asked me to tell you
he's seen the report to headquarters.
The two victories claimed by Stachel
are to be confirmed.
The general feels you are inclined
to be prejudiced against this officer.
Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel
quia visitavit et fecit
redemptionem plebis suae.
In domo David, pueri sui.
Sicut locutus est per os sanctorum,
qui a saeculo sunt, prophetarum eius.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace.
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
Firing party, load!
I hope the owner of this place
is as discreet as he looks, darling.
He should be. I paid him enough.
What's the matter?
It's that bad, is it?
You'll have to decide
which you prefer - this or women.
Why can't I have both?
You're soaked through.
You should take better care of yourself.
Are you interested?
Don't you believe that?
But you were interested in Willi, too.
Tell me...
how did you feel today at the funeral?
You know... he never did
accept me as his equal.
In or out of bed.
You're deliciously crude, darling.
You amuse me.
- I?
- People like you.
The count. Willi.
Amuse, or shock?
I said amuse.
I adore your innocence.
You really believe your betters
should behave better, don't you?
Don't patronise me.
Not if it offends you.
Darling? My feelings for you have
nothing to do with the death of Willi.
You and I are alike, Bruno.
You're good for me.
Willi was a fool.
He didn't die in battle.
He died trying to prove
he could fly better than I can.
- What?
- We played a game.
In and out of the trees. He lost.
But I was the bigger fool.
I claimed two planes he shot down.
I shouldn't have done that.
I can get 20 victories without anyone's help.
That game, whatever it was,
it was about me, wasn't it?
In a way, yes.
I find that exciting.
Would you die for me like Willi did?
Are you sure?
It lasted about ten minutes.
They came in low. Sopwiths.
They hit the fuel dumps.
We are being blasted out of the skies.
I tell you, the fuel dumps have gone!
Now, Ziegel, let's get this mess cleared up.
I want to be airborne again by tomorrow.
Come on, Ziegel.
All squadrons have now been ordered
to concentrate on the Marmont sector.
The enemy have just achieved
a major breakthrough.
12 enemy divisions are moving up
on the Marmont road.
They are our target.
There is to be no air combat.
No air combat. Understood?
Yes, Herr Hauptmann.
Our army's in retreat so we must do
the same. Understood, Herr Hauptmann.
Your personal ambitions
take second place to the war.
Hurry up! They're closing in!
Five... six...
Come on. All of you.
Otto, are you all right?
You have cost nearly half the squadron.
We shot down seven planes.
Three of them were mine.
Now you have got 22.
You and I know that 20
wasn't enough for you.
The Blue Max is more than
a medal to you. It's a badge.
Something to show
you are as good as Willi.
Notjust Willi.
I'll see you never wear that medal.
You disobeyed my orders.
I'm going to have you
court-martialled. Kettering?
Escort the Leutnant to his quarters.
Your nerve's gone. You've had enough.
Why don't you do what your wife wants?
- Get a deskjob in Berlin.
- Come on, Stachel.
You've been ordered to Berlin.
Here he is.
- Goodbye.
- Herr Hauptmann.
Millions have been slaughtered.
For what reason? For nothing!
I say "Down with the Kaiser
and his generals."
The time has come now for revolution!
Long live the revolution!
Look out!
- My dear Otto.
- Herr General.
- Sit down.
- Thank you.
- Did you have a good journey?
- Yes, thank you.
Sit down.
Otto, tomorrow Leutnant Stachel
is going to receive the Blue Max.
So you do not accept my report?
He is young, vigourous, ruthless, a born
leader at a time when we need his kind.
I believe Stachel should be court-martialled
for the good military reasons I set out.
Military reasons are sometimes not enough.
They are for me.
Otto, you and I have a greater loyalty
than to the book of rules.
To Germany.
- We are Germany.
- Exactly.
Take a look outside.
You see that?
Revolution is just beneath the surface.
If that happens, everything
we stand for will be destroyed
unless the German Officer Corps
stands like a rock, intact,
and what is more important, untarnished.
I made this Stachel into a national hero
for good military reasons.
If I court-martial him now it will reflect
on the integrity of the whole Officer Corps.
Herr General,
I see now I have notions of honour...
which are outdated.
They're not outdated.
Stored with care...
and love...
for better times.
Here's your report, Otto.
I ask you to withdraw it.
- I won't do that.
- I know that.
If you insist on this course, Herr General,
I must resign my command.
I do insist.
In that case, I should like an appointment
with the staff here in Berlin.
That request is granted.
I have managed to persuade the crown prince
to make the presentation himself.
Afterwards, Stachel will
test-fly the new monoplane.
It would be better if you were there.
I understand, Herr General.
The keys to Leutnant Stachel's room, please.
Thank you.
Excuse me, please.
Stachel, come on.
This way, Stachel.
I trust you will be comfortable.
A lot more comfortable than I'd expected.
I thought the press reception
went rather well.
I'll take your word for that.
The bathroom is through there.
How do you like your bedroom?
Oh, if there's anything you want -
and I mean anything -just call reception.
- Do you understand?
- I think so.
I'll call in the morning
to take you to the airfield.
Pleasant dreams.
Reception, please.
Reception? This is Leutnant Bruno Stachel.
I don't want anything.
- Have I come to the right room this time?
- Yes.
- Countess.
- Herr Leutnant.
- May I offer my congratulations?
- You may.
- Can I get you a drink?
- Please.
I hope you'll be able to be there tomorrow.
Of course. I want to...
No, I want to...
No, please. I want to talk to you.
- Talk?
- Please.
All right.
I'm going away tomorrow.
To Switzerland.
- Why?
- Germany's finished.
The war will soon be over and
I don't want to be here when it happens.
Is the general going with you?
- I want you to come with me.
- Me?
I know you get your Blue Max tomorrow
but we wouldn't leave
till after the presentation.
I see.
- Go on.
- You will still have your medal, darling.
As a piece of scrap,
it's worth exactly five marks.
You'll never need to pawn it.
I've got plenty of money in Zurich.
Don't you understand
what this means to me?
In a few months from now,
you will be ashamed to wear a uniform.
You're very stubborn, Bruno. But if
you want to see the war out to the end,
I can get you transferred
to a post near the Swiss frontier.
Field Marshal von Lenndorf is a friend.
How dramatic you look.
You can get me transferred, can you?
Do you think I came all this way
to run off to Switzerland with you?
You gambled your life for me once, with Willi.
That was about flying, Kaeti. Not about you.
Run off to Switzerland
and become one of your lapdogs.
There's nothing I want
to run away from, Kaeti.
Not even myself.
Come on, now. Don't be angry.
Where's that aristocratic poise
I like so much?
Don't you dare talk to me like that.
Now, Countess, I'll get you that drink.
Serve it to someone else!
The fatherland is grateful, Herr Leutnant.
Thank you, Your Highness.
The field marshal said what?
I can't stop the proceedings now. It's too late.
All right, but where is the field marshal?
Ask him to telephone me
as soon as he returns.
Get hold of Stachel.
Take him somewhere. Anywhere.
Just... keep him out of sight.
And, Holbach...
send Heidemann to me.
Yes, Herr General.
- Herr General?
- Otto, I want you to fly the monoplane.
And Stachel?
There has been a little misunderstanding.
It will be cleared up soon.
Without a court martial, I hope, Herr General.
Will you take the machine up?
- That is an order?
- Yes.
Very well, Herr General.
Herr Stachel?
Thank you.
Someone else is gonna fly it.
- You said there was a technical hold-up.
- I think there are other difficulties.
While the general irons them out, he thought
it best not to disappoint the public.
What difficulties?
I'm afraid I don't know.
- Well, who's gonna fly it?
- Herr Heidemann, I believe.
Frau Heidemann, how are you?
What's happening? I thought
you were going to fly it.
So did I.
I never wanted him to fly again.
Yes? Ah, yes.
I will hold on.
You're late, darling.
Yes, Herr Field Marshal.
May I ask how you came by
that information, Herr Field Marshal?
You told the field marshal that Stachel had
claimed two planes shot down by Willi. Why?
Where did you get the information?
He told me himself.
He's an upstart. He insulted me.
So this time you really lost your head.
The field martial
is insisting on a court of enquiry.
They're going to disgrace him, an officer with
the highest decoration Germany can give!
All because of your stupid little anger!
Do you understand?
Do you?
When they do that, they disgrace
the whole German Officer Corps.
Yes, Otto?
What is it, Otto?
Herr General, that machine is a deathtrap.
The struts are too weak
for the wing loading under stress.
I was lucky to get down alive.
Thank you, Otto.
Flight Office, please.
Holbach, I want to speak to Stachel.
Stachel, everything's in order now.
You can take her up.
And let's see some real flying.
Sit down!
Sit down.
Control yourself.
Switches on.
Give this to the field marshal.
It is the personal file of a German officer...
and a hero.
Yes, Herr General.
Stand up, Kaeti.
We'll be late for lunch.