In the climax of Inglorious Basterds, Marcel lights the pile of nitrate film while standing behind the screen, which sets the place on fire and since the cinema doors are barred, everyone who doesn't get shot by the Basterds gets burned to death.

The only way I can see Marcel surviving is if there was a back door behind the screen and he went through it (and barred it) but far as I can recall the movie doesn't show this.

Is there anything to suggest that Marcel survived the fire by escaping? Or what the actual plan was? When he leaves Shosanna she's holding back tears, is it because she knows there's a very real chance that something could go wrong and this would be the last time they see each other, or is it because she knows that she's going to perish in the fire (and maybe Marcel will too) because one way or another this is a suicide mission?

  • Well, for once, Shoshana bids him quite a meaningful farewell, if I remember correctly. Whatever that means, though.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 17, 2016 at 15:01
  • I don't believe his fate is actually known, but it is assumed that he died in the fire.
    – New-To-IT
    Jun 17, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    It doesn't sound nice, but frankly, I don't think it matters to the story. I would not doubt the possibility of a back door, however. I think the tears Shoshanna sheds are more a product of the fact she figures she will perish one way or another and will not see Marcel again, regardless of his status.
    – Dom Vito
    Jun 21, 2016 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


There was a back door because he went through it after he barred all the exits for the auditorium. He unlocked a door from the outside to get behind the screen. So, he could have used that same door to escape the flames.

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