More 'Blue Max - Patton' connections & trivia
Thanks, Pete, for this interesting thread.
As Pete pointed out, Karl Michael Vogler, the German actor who played Hptm. Heidemann in TBM, also played General Erwin Rommel (though he looked nothing like the real man) in 20th Century Fox's award-winning 1970 movie "Patton" (which will be aired on Monday Afternoon, May 25, on AMC at about 4:00 - check your local listings!).
Anyway, There were several other connections between the two war films - both filmed in Europe only about 4 years apart by 20th Century Fox (TBM in Ireland, Patton in Spain) which you can muse over the next time you watch "Patton".
Of course, the award-winning musical composer Jerry Goldsmith scored both films, and his score for "Patton" is widely considered one of the best war film scores ever (though the TBM score remains my favorite). If one listens closely to the "Patton" score one can occasionally catch some very "Blue Max-esque" refrains. I like to think that Goldsmith practiced scoring such themes as war, attack and the fleeting nature of glory for "Patton" when he did the "Blue Max" score. He also scored "Tora! Tora! Tora!" at about the same time as Patton.
Northern-Irish actor Harry Towb, who played Kettering in "The Blue Max", also has a very brief role in "Patton". He plays the American GI cook who gets chewed out by Patton for not wearing a proper uniform and helmet. His one memorable line is something like "Hell, general, I'm a cook!". He sounds very American to me. The second or third time I saw "Patton", I finally recognized good old Kettering again...
Another nice trivia note: Karl Michael Vogler played Rommel in "Patton," while James Mason had played the German general in two much earlier films ("The Desert Fox" in 1951 and "The Desert Rats" in 1953). So in the cast of "The Blue Max" you had both former and future Rommels.
English actor Jeremy Kemp (Willi von Klugermann) got other opportunities to later play German officers - perhaps due to his role in TBM. He played "Kurt von Ruger" in the gawd-awful "Darling Lily" (parts of which were made in Ireland using the many of the same aircraft and fields as TBM). In the American TV miniseries "Winds of War" (1983) and "War and Remembrance" he played the fictitious German general "Armin von Roon".
Sometimes I think I have waaay to much time on my hands to come up with this stuff...