After being arrested for various crimes a bunch of American soldiers; Lieutenant Robert Yeager (Bo Svenson), Private Fred Canfield (Fred Williamson), Tony (Peter Hooten), Nick (Michael Pergolani) and Berle (Jackie Basehart) find themselves on a truck heading for military prison. But a flat tyre and then an attack via the Germans lead to them managing to escape and heading for the border with Switzerland. Along the way they not only capture a German but unwittingly end up attacking some American Commandos who were on an undercover mission lead by Colonel Buckner (Ian Bannen) which in turns leads to them taking on the mission.
I've watched a few of these war movies which were made in Italy during the 70s and to be honest few have had much of an impact on me. But there is one movie which has and that is the multi-named "The Inglorious Bastards", I say multi-named as in the USA alone it has had 5 different titles over the years. But it isn't having many names which makes an impact but that the tone of it is spot on and has that light tone of a comedy war movie which makes you continuously smile due to the exploits of a group of rogue soldiers.
Now to be honest "The Inglorious Bastards" does not deliver anything new and we are in the realms of "The Dirty Dozen" with a rogue band of soldiers all with criminal expertise using their skills initially to try and make a break for freedom and then eventually to go on a mission. But whilst it has that element of "The Dirty Dozen" it also channels some "Kelly's Heroes" with one character having a hippy-ish quality which will certainly bring a smile to your face.
But whilst a big part of "The Inglorious Bastards" comes from the comedy of the characters and their general camaraderie we also have plenty of action. And the action is the boy's own stuff with men jumping and rolling whilst they open fire on the enemy. Yes it is often ridiculous but it is also entertaining and reminded me of what I loved about watching war movies when I was a child. And that is a major point as "The Inglorious Bastards" delivers the escapism and fun of an adventurous war movie and one which doesn't have the weaknesses of production you tend to expect from a war movie made in Italy during the 70s.
What this all boils down to is that "The Inglorious Bastards" is a heck of a lot of fun for those who grew up enjoying the exploits of roguish soldiers in the likes of "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Great Escape". Plus whilst it might be a 70s war movie made in Italy the production is a lot better thanks in part to the acting and the actor's familiarity.