"Every German we meet wearing a Nazi uniform... they're gonna die." ― Aldo Raine[source]
1st Lieutenant Aldo "The Apache" Raine is one of the main protagonists in Quentin Tarantino's 7th film, Inglourious Basterds. He is an American lieutenant in World War II and the leader of The Basterds, a Jewish-American guerrilla force. Aldo is also the father of Cliff Booth from Tarantino's later film Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
A hillbilly-moonshiner from Maynardville, [], Aldo bears a large scar around his neck which is rumored to be from a lynching. Aldo's nickname "The Apache" comes from his penchant for scalping Nazis (done in the tradition of American Apache Indians). In his introductory scene, Raine states that he is a direct descendant of legendary mountainman Jim Bridger.
Chapter Two - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Aldo Raine is first seen talking to a group of soldiers. He introduces himself as Lt. Aldo Raine and claims that he needs 8 soldiers, 8 Jewish-American soldiers to be exact. He tells them that there are rumours about an armada waiting to happen. They will be leaving a little earlier. He tells them that they'll be dropped into France and there, dressed as civilians, they'll be doing one thing and one thing only: killing Nazis.
Some time later we see private Butz telling Hitler how they were ambushed by Raine's men. Aldo calls Seargent Werner Rachtman and asks him if he knows who Hugo Stiglitz is. Afterwards, he demands that he tell him the positions of the other German soldiers, also what weapons they have and how many of them there are. Rachtman refuses and Aldo calls "The Bear Jew" aka Sgt. Donny Donowitz to beat him to death with his baseball bat, as he eats a sandwich. Afterwards, he tells Donny to bring Butz to him to point on a map the location of the other German unit. After Butz tells him what he needs to know, Aldo pulls his knife and gives him a swastika scar. From a trunk shot, we see Donny telling Aldo that he's getting pretty good at that. Aldo confirms that, saying that it's just practice.
Chapter Four - OPERATION KINO
He meets with Lt. Archie Hicox in a ruined house in the village of Nadine, where they're supposed to meet with their contact, the German actress Bridget von Hammersmark. Here, we see him being angry that the rendezvous place is a basement. Hicox tells him that it's actually a tavern, to which Raine replies that it's a 'tavern alright', but in a basement. He adds that fighting in a basement is a problem, to which Hicox replies that she wasn't looking for a place to fight, but a place isolated and without Germans. During the rendezvous a shootout occurs, leaving everyone in the tavern dead except von Hammersmark and a German soldier named Wilhelm. Aldo successfully bargains with Wilhelm to let them take von Hammersmark. After Wilhelm drops his weapon, von Hammersmark guns him down. With the German speaking members of the Basterds all dead, Aldo decides that there's no other choice but for him, Donny and Omar Ulmer to attend the premiere in their places, posing as von Hammersmark's Italian escorts.
Chapter Five - REVENGE OF THE GIANT FACE
At the premiere, Hans Landa, who speaks Italian fluently, sees through their disguises and kills von Hammersmark and has Aldo captured along with another Basterd, Smithson Utivich. Landa, using Hermann, his radio operator, orders Raine to contact his superior with the OSS and brokers a deal: in exchange for not hindering the explosives plan and thus ending the war, he receives immunity, U.S. citizenship, financial security, and the Medal of Honor for himself and the rest of the members of the operation.
Landa and Hermann drive Aldo and Utivich into Allied territory, where they surrender. To Landa's horror, Aldo shoots Hermann and has Utivich collect his scalp, and for the first time, Landa shows no arrogance but fear. Raine is unable to accept the notion that Landa might go unpunished for his career as a Nazi officer, so he carves a swastika into his forehead as a permanent reminder of his crimes as Landa screams in agony. Proudly inspecting his handiwork, he remarks to Utivich that "this just might be my masterpiece."
Aldo Raine is a violent, brutal, apathetically cruel, intelligent, and patriotic individual who has no qualms about committing mass murder and openly mutilates Nazis with a gleeful grin and consistent conviction. He is also straightforward, fearless, and charming. Aldo Raine’s steady leadership is at the heart of all the Basterds’ successes. He cares deeply for his men, but is a soldier first and foremost. Although Aldo exhibits kindness and decency to all non-Nazis, his hatred for the Nazis is intense and sadistic. He takes special pleasure in carving swastikas into the foreheads of living Nazis so they can never deny their connection to the 3rd Reich.
He expresses remorse and no hatred towards German civilians and workers.
"My name is Lieutenant Aldo Raine. And I'm putting together a special team, and I need me eight soldiers. Eight Jewish-American soldiers. Now, y'all might've heard rumors about the armada happening soon. Well, we'll be leaving a little earlier. We're gonna be dropped into France dressed as civilians. And once we're in enemy territory, as a bushwhackin' guerrilla army, we're gonna be doin' one thing and one thing only. Killin' Nazis. Now, I don't know about y'all, but I sure as hell didn't come down from the goddamn Smoky Mountains, cross five thousand miles of water, fight my way through half of Sicily and jump out of a fuckin' airplane to teach the Nazis lessons in humanity. Nazi ain't got no humanity. They're the foot soldiers of a Jew-hatin', mass murderin' maniac and they need to be destroyed. That's why any and every son of a bitch we find wearin' a Nazi uniform, they're gonna die. Now, I'm the direct descendant of the mountain man Jim Bridger. That means I got a little Indian in me. And our battle plan will be that of an Apache resistance. We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty, they will know who we are. And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us. And the German won't be able to help themselves but imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives. And the German will be sickened by us. And the German will talk about us. And the German will fear us. And when the German closes their eyes at night and they're tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with. Sound good? (The Basterds: Yes, sir!) That's what I like to hear. But I got a word of warning for all you would-be warriors. When you join my command, you take on debit. A debit you owe me, personally. Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps. And all y'all will git me one hundred Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of one hundred dead Nazis. Or you will die tryin'." ― Lt. Raine's speech to his men.[source]
"You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'." ― Raine to Sergeant Rachtman.[source]
"You know somethin', Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece." ― Raine to Utivich after carving a swastika into Landa's forehead.[source]
Behind the Scenes
Aldo Raine was portrayed by Brad Pitt, who also played Cliff Booth.
The name of Brad Pitt's character, Lt. Aldo Raine, is an homage to both the actor and WWII veteran Aldo Ray and a character from Rolling Thunder, Charles Rane (played by William Devane). One of the casting directors, Johanna Ray, is Aldo Ray's ex-wife.
The name Aldo Ray was mentioned in Tarantino's first film, My Best Friend's Birthday.
Quentin Tarantino met with Brad Pitt at Chateau Miraval in France where he lives with Angelina Jolie. They talked about Brad playing the role of Aldo Raine over the course of a night and five bottles of the estate's own Pink Floyd rosé when he accepted the role.
- The place where Aldo Raine briefs the Basterds is identified as England only in the original draft of the script.
- The reason for the scar on Aldo Raine's neck is not mentioned in the film. The script hints that Raine survived a lynching, a common punishment in the 1920s and 1930s.
- The hanging scar is a reference to the character Tuco, one of the three protagonists of The Good The Bad The Ugly by Sergio Leone, who managed to avoid death by hanging on several occasions.
- When Aldo Raine is introduced, he is shown wearing the insignia for the "Black Devils" the 1st Special Service Force, composed of both Canadian and American soldiers.
- Aldo snuffs tobacco from a box with engraved above the eagle Nazi (object certainly stolen from the corpse of one of the enemies), which comes in the form of powder obtained by grinding the leaves of tobacco, was much in vogue in previous centuries, especially during the 17th century.
- Shortly after carving the swastika on Butz's forehead, Aldo responds to Donny, who had just complimented him, by saying the phrase: "You know how you get to Carnegie Hall, doncha? Practice". The joke is a reference to this very old American joke: "A tourist visiting New York stops and asks a passerby," How do you get to Carnegie Hall? "(The most prestigious concert hall in the world) meaning, of course, the road directions to reach it and the New Yorker, in the mood of jokes, answers him: "Practice, practice, practice", meaning, however, what you need to do to be able to perform in the famous hall.
- Aldo's dagger was made specifically for the film by using the blade of the Bowie hunting knife "Smith & Wesson Texas Hold 'em".
- The phrase said by Aldo, "Fightin 'in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you're fightin' in a basement!" is a reference to the movie Fight Club, where Pitt stars.
- The standoff between Aldo and Wilhelm during the La Louisiane scene is similar to a scene in Quentin Tarantino's other movie, Kill Bill: Volume 2, in which protagonist Beatrix Kiddo just finds out she is pregnant and is attacked by a hit woman. The two have a standoff in which she makes a deal with the hit woman to let her go as she is pregnant. Sgt. Wilhelm makes a deal with Aldo to let him go as he had become a father that night. The difference in the two scenarios is that Beatrix honors the deal and the hitwoman escapes, while Aldo honors the deal but Bridget von Hammersmark shoots and kills Sgt. Wilhelm.
- When Aldo Raine pretends to be an Italian actor at the movie premiere, he uses name "Enzo Gorlami", which is the birth name of the director of original Inglorious Bastards (The Inglorious Bastards), Enzo G. Castellari.
- Despite his character's reputation and being leader of the Basterds, Aldo Raine only kills one person on-screen (the radio operator).
- In "Quentin Tarantino's Universe", the character of Lt. Aldo Raine is Floyd's - aka The pothead on the couch from True Romance - great grandfather.
- In Legends of the Fall, Brad Pitt plays a man who scalps two German soldiers and gets involved with bootlegging. In this film, he plays the leader of a group that scalps German soldiers and mentions a past involvement in bootlegging.
- Aldo said that every 'Basterd' owes him 100 Nazi scalps. This may be a refernce to the Bible story in which King Saul commands David to bring the former 100 Philistine foreskins in exchange for the bride.
- Aldo Raine states that he's a descendant of "the mountain man Jim Bridger," who really did have Native American wives. Consequently, his nickname is "Aldo the Apache." However, none of Bridger's three Indian wives were Apache (they were, in order, Flathead, Ute, and Shoshone).
- Lt. Aldo Raine says he is from the Smoky Mountains, and later from Maynardville, Tennessee. Maynardville is not actually in the Smoky Mountains, but in one of the East Tennessee valleys between the mountains (some distance north of the Smoky Mountains).
- There is no clear story to the birth of Cliff Booth. The only information we have so far is that Aldo Raine is Cliff's father and Cliff took his mother's last name of Booth.