MovieChat Forums > The Blue Max (1966) Discussion > Portrayal of Von Richtofen

Portrayal of Von Richtofen

I found it interesting that George Peppard was the center of attention in this movie, rather than Von Richtofen. It seems that Von Richtofen was portrayed by the Austrian actor, Carl Schell. In the movie "Von Richtofen and Brown", Von Richtofen was portrayed by the American actor, John Phillip Law. Also the facts about Von Richtofen's death were wrong. At the time of his death Von Richthofen had amassed an amazing 80 aerial victories. It was almost certainly during the final stage in his pursuit of the Canadian pilot (Wilfred May) that Richthofen was hit by a single .303 bullet, which caused such severe damage to his heart and lungs that it must have produced a very speedy death. In the last seconds of his life, he managed to make a hasty but controlled landing in a field on a hill near the Bray-Corbie road, just north of the village of Vaux-sur-Somme, in a sector controlled by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). One witness, Gunner George Ridgway, stated that when he and other Australian soldiers reached the aircraft, Richthofen was still alive but died moments later. Another eye witness, Sgt Ted Smout of the Australian Medical Corps, reported that Richthofen's last word was "kaputt".


Wasn't Von Richtofen felled by a bullet fired by one of Theodore Roosevelt's sons?

"Two more swords and I'll be Queen of the Monkey People." Roseanne


That's a very good summary micaofboca.

There's quite a bit of controversy on what Manfred von Richthofen (MvR) may have said, if he was able to talk, whether he was still alive when his triplane landed/crashed, and if Sergeant Ted Smout was even on the scene. A 26 page long thread on this very subject can be found here:

which is the website for WWI aviation enthusiasts.

No one will ever know with certainty how von Richthofen died. I'm decidedly in the minority who believe that Captain Arthur Roy Brown fired the fatal shot, that von Richthofen was able to make a semi-controlled landing, but was dead by the time any Australian troops reached his plane.

"I told you it was off." The Jackal



Von Richtofen is realy only an incidental character in this so the choice of actor was not exactly critical.
Its interesting how Stachel`s opinion of `the idiot in the red triplane who got me shot down while saving his neck` changed once he found out that the `idiot` was Richthofen and he got offered a posting to the `Flying Circus`.

"Any plan that involves losing your hat is a BAD plan.""


Windsock editor Ray Rimmell noted that nearly all official pictures of Von R. show him as the stern Prussian nobleman, but nearly all of the candids, especially among his squadron mates, show the friendly, even cheerful man portrayed in the film.


Schell was too old, thirty-eight at the time of filming. Richthofen was killed a week and a half before his twenty-sixth birthday.