Hitler was definitely shot to death by the Basterds but he would have died in the fire anyways. Shoshanna had everything planned well to trap everyone in theatre including her, there was no escape. So when looking at this movie if the parts with the Basterds were removed her plan would have still worked. So were they even needed?

  • But her plan and the Bastards were unknown to each other Jun 4, 2014 at 21:48
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    First Indy 1, now Inglourious Basterds. What's next, Luke didn't change the course of events in Star Wars?
    – his
    Jun 4, 2014 at 22:39
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    Well, the rebels planned the destruction of the death star without Luke so there was at least a chance to do this without mythical self esteem/microscopic lifeforms but just by dropping bombs/torpedoes into the ventilation shaft.
    – his
    Jun 5, 2014 at 9:06
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    @his yes but in a question like this it's not just what would have happened if you removed the character but also what events did they actual effect. If Indy was removed then the Nazis don't find the ark or they do and open it in front of Hitler. In Basterds does their presence in anyway change the plan that Shoshanna had in place. In Star Wars if you take out Luke then Leia doesn't get saved and the DeathStar isn't blown up. Jun 5, 2014 at 17:03
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    Well, the movie title would have had to change, without them. Sep 13, 2016 at 14:01

3 Answers 3


Recall how Marcelle does the final preparations for setting the theater on fire - he blocks the auditorium doors with a crowbar and then proceeds to behind the screen and starts waiting for Shoshanna's "message" to appear on the screen. Before he does so the two men from the Basterds leave the auditorium and proceed to some side corridors to get to the side balcony and attack Hitler. Some time after they leave the auditorium Marcelle comes to the doors and blocks them. The balcony where Hitler sits with Himmler has a separate door guarded by two German soldiers. The two Basterds kill the guards, rush into the balcony and shoot Hitler. Right after that the "message" appears and Marcelle sets the pile of films behind the screen on fire.

So the balcony doors are not blocked - Hitler likely can escape the theater or at least gain some time and space and have better chances to have been resqued. He definitely has much better chances than those people who are in the auditorium - those are blocked between the locked doors and bursting flames - but he is at least not in the auditorium and so less exposed to the dangers and has a chance to use the side corridors to escape. The two Basterds shooting him on the balcony make that totally impossible.


My guess is that more people died than would have otherwise: the survivors not only needed to avoid the fire; they needed also avoid the bullets. That is, I don't expect that everyone would have been killed by the fire, nor by both. Maybe Hitler would have even survived it, given the level of devotion his minions possess... someone would have sacrificed self to save him, for example. Bullets are a lot harder to dodge than fire :)

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    Not to mention, at least one Nazi war criminal that likely would have died under Shosanna's plan escapes largely unscathed because of the Basterds.
    – KutuluMike
    Aug 26, 2014 at 5:36

When the Basterds were first unleashed by the Allies, they had absolutely no idea that someone else was working on reaching the same goal. They didn't know about Shosanna. In fact, it was only because of Zoller's infatuation with Shosanna that her small theater was even chosen for the premiere of Nation's Pride.

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    That's true and they never communicated with Shoshanna at all, but I'm not trying to ask why were they sent but did they actually affect anything. Jun 4, 2014 at 21:25
  • Except that the Basterds weren't specifically after Hilter, were they? They were simply after killing Naahzis.
    – CGCampbell
    Aug 26, 2014 at 2:09

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