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Inglorious Basterds (2009)

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Inglorious Basterds
Inglorious Basterds

Details Release Date: Aug 21, 2009; Genres: Action/Adventure, War; With: Diane Kruger and Brad Pitt

Starring: Brad Pitt, Mike Myers, Diane Kruger, B.J. Novak, Cloris Leachman
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Release Date: August 21

A special unit of Jewish-American soldiers is sent behind enemy lines to spread shock and awe among German troops in Nazi-occupied France. Think The Dirty Daven. ''It's a revenge fantasy. That's the big hook that would put me in the theater — and I'm not even Jewish,'' says Tarantino. Another hook is Pitt, who delved so deeply into the part of Lieut. Aldo Raine, leader of the Semitic squad, that he stayed in character on the set virtually all the time. ''Aldo has this big, thick hillbilly accent — he's from Tennessee — so if I asked Brad a question, he would answer with Aldo's inflection,'' Tarantino recalls. ''It was great. I could spend all day hanging out with the character I created.''

Pitt wasn't the only one talking funny on the Basterds set. German-born Kruger (National Treasure) spoke vit zee German akzent even when she wasn't shooting scenes as Bridget von Hammersmark, a Marlene Dietrich-esque movie star who also happens to be a spy. ''It came pretty naturally to me,'' Kruger says. ''The key to the character is that she always speaks slightly too loud.'' Novak, who plays one of Aldo's soldiers, Pfc. Utivich, recited his lines with the same American accent he has on The Office, but was so overwhelmed by his first experience on a major movie, it's a wonder he was able to sputter them out at all. ''There was one night of filming in Potsdam on this beautiful old street in the middle of winter,'' he says. ''Brad Pitt was there in a tuxedo. Quentin Tarantino was framing a shot. And I thought, I still don't know what it's like to make a movie. Because this is the movie version of making a movie. This is what making a movie is like in movies about making movies.''

Originally posted Apr 17, 2009 Published in issue #1044-1045 Apr 24, 2009 Order article reprints