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The Red Baron


Nikolai Müllerschön

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Plot Summary

Europe, 1916. A living legend (aged 24) performing amazing dogfights and aerial stunts, flies in on painted wings to become famous the world over. For millions of his countrymen, he becomes an idol, a symbol of hope and pride. Baron Manfred von Richthofen (MATTHIAS SCHWEIGHÖFER) is the crack pilot of the German aerial combat forces during World War I - a legend in his own time, a hero at home and a man both feared and respected by the enemy, including Allied Forces’ Canadian pilot, Captain Roy Brown (JOSEPH FIENNES). He and his fellow officers, Lieutenants Voss (TIL SCHWEIGER), Sternberg (MAXIM MEHMET) and Lehmann (HANNO KOFFLER) see their duels in the sky as tactical, almost sportsmanlike, clever challenges that, at least at first, obscure their view of the horrors of the World War I battlefields below. And the provocative red paint job of his Fokker aircraft earns him the nickname ‘The Red Baron’. Unwittingly, he allows the German high command to manipulate his chivalrous code of honor and misuse him for propaganda purposes – until the young pilot falls in love with Käte (LENA HEADEY), a beautiful and resolute nurse who opens his eyes to the tragic fact that there is more to war than dogfights won and adversaries downed. Baron von Richthofen finally becomes aware of his role in the propaganda machine of a senseless and barbarous war. With a torn heart, despite the heavy losses in his squadron and his disgust for the war and his responsibility to his fighter wing, von Richthofen cannot help but fly. But even for this living legend, each new combat mission could be his last…

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 25
  • Fresh: 5
  • Rotten: 20
  • Average Rating: 4.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Drama about World War I flying aces never gets off the ground. – Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: The propaganda films produced by both sides in the '30s and '40s might've been objectionable for many reasons but at least they had the good sense to show real planes in action. – Jason Anderson, Toronto Star, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: His plane may be red, but the dialogue is purple. – Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: Unfortunately Muellerschoen's movie emphasizes empty grandeur over human drama. – Tim Grierson, L.A. Weekly, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Red Baron rocks

The special effects are fabulous and really fun to watch and the love story element is so very tender. Joe FInnes is nicely reserved and and Til, of course, amazingly watchable. The young hero plays a wonderful blend of cocky and morally superior and yet through his eyes we see a totally different point of view of a young man's war.

The Red Baron

Historical inaccuracies aside, I enjoyed this film immensely. Even though the romance between Manfred Von Richtoffen and Kate Otersdorf is a stretch, I can understand why the writers chose to use her to tie the story together. Yes, there is some historical revisionism as well. However, given the fact that most people in Germany as well as the rest of the world have no idea who the Red Baron was other than someone Snoopy was always in conflict with, it was necessary to tie all the story elements together. This was a drama, not an historical documentary. As for the anti-war elements of the film, they are totally within the context of the time. John Monk Sanders (a member of the Lafayette Esquadrille) wrote Dawn Patrol, a decidedly anti-war film.

This film is miles ahead of the recent monstrosity "Fly Boys".

Nothing short of amazing!!

I don't really know much about The Red Baron himself but I think this movie deserved more publicity and a larger audience. It might seem anti-war but like I said I barely know anything about the man himself and the life he led. But very good none the less.

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