I think I figured out a small cinematic mystery — why did Quentin Tarantino misspell the words “inglorious bastards” for the title of his film Inglourious Basterds. Quentin was asked about the misspelling and called it an artistic flourish that he did not want to explain lest it lose all meaning (for him, anyway).
Why misspell Inglorious “Basterds”
This writer (I’ll divulge up front: I am a Tarantino fan) believes it’s because Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) can’t spell. Check out the scene when Aldo comes out of the underpass and props his rifle up against a wall before attempting to interview captured German soldiers. The words “Inglourious Basterds” are carved right into the stock of his rifle. We know he is a whittler with that big bowie blade from the carvings he likes to make on Nazi foreheads. But did Aldo know he misspelled the words and did he misspell them for a particular reason, that I don’t know.
Just something that occurred to me, and I thought I’d throw it out there.
PS: QT is a cinematic genius but could use a history lesson. Goebbels was never number two in the Reich; that title belonged to Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, who invented the Gestapo and concentration camp and held about a half-dozen subsidiary titles, including Reich master of forestry and game (!). This was at least until the final days, when he made an understandable power play while Hitler was ruminating in his bunker tomb, and Goering was stripped of rank and arrested (after nearly being shot). Goebbels was Propaganda Minister and ran Berlin as Gauleiter (which is kind of like the Nazi term for Governor). And even if Goering was number two in title, or titles, alone, then I still would peg the number two sobriquet on Himmler (who, oddly, is not mentioned once in Inglourious Basterds, which begs a question: Does Quentin find Himmler more offensive than Hitler??? Or did he just forget about the evil, no-doubt now-burning-in-hell bespectacled SS chief?) After Himmler, I would say Bormann or even Albert Speer (at least for a time) could have been the number two man. Small point, but on my mind.
PPS: I did a little more digging about those misspellings and found on the IMDB:
To date, there has been little explanation of the title spelling. When asked, Tarantino would not explain the first u in Inglourious and said, “But the ‘Basterds’? That’s just the way you say it: Basterds.” He stated in an interview that the misspelled title is “a Basquiat-esque touch.” He further commented on the Late Show with David Letterman that “Inglourious Basterds” is the “Tarantino way of spelling it.”
I.B. is Quentin’s most successful film at the box office to date.