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"It's nice to know you can feel something. Even if it's just physical pain. I'm not a man you say, "go away" to. There's over three hundred dead bodies in Italy, that if they could, would testify to that! After all I've done to you... you disrespect me at your peril!" ― Frederick snapping, revealing his true colors.[source]

Fredrick Zoller was the secondary antagonist in the 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. He was a former soldier, considered a war hero by the Nazi party after killing 250 soldiers of the allies over the span of three days. A huge movie buff, he works together with the minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels to turn his real life story into a feature film. When he meets a young woman who owns a theater named Emmanuelle Mimieux, he immediately becomes infatuated with her. Little does he know, her name is actually Shosanna, and she is seeking vengeance for the slaughter of her Jewish family. His crush on her, and the premiere of his film, play a crucial part in the main plot of the film.

He was potrayed by Daniel Brühl.

Biography

He was born in Germany. He's famous for his war exploits.

Story

Chapter Three - GERMAN NIGHT IN PARIS

A couple of days before the premiere, Fredrick Zoller met a French girl, who he immediately became infatuated and smitten with, who owned a cinema, by the name of Emmanuelle Mimieux (who was actually a Jewish girl named Shosanna Dreyfus whose family was killed 4 years earlier). Emmanuelle is immediately put off by his flirting (due to that fact that he is a German soldier), but it is mostly harmless in the end. Fredrick appears to be a huge movie buff, but it isn't enough to impress Shosanna.

The next day, she runs into him again while she is eating in a bistro. Fredrick tells her about his famous achievements in the war, while she uncomfortably listens. Fredrick reveals he's killed hundreds of people, and hence, he is considered a war hero. This causes Emmanuelle to ditch him angrily. Fredrick is left behind, confused by her sudden change of mood. This is not enough to discourage him, however.

Later that day, he "invites" her, via Major Dieter Hellstrom, to a restaurant where many Nazi politicians and officers were relaxing and talking politics. He presents her to Joseph Goebbels. He manages to convince the minister to move the film premiere to her cinema. However, using these series of coincidences to her advantage, Shosanna plots to blow her theater up, and take all of the top Nazi officials out.

Chapter Five - REVENGE OF THE GIANT FACE

At his film premiere, Fredrick was in Hitler's lounge, behind Goebbels and Hitler. Willing to see Shosanna, he gets up to visit her to the projector room, interrupting her plan. There he does what he does best, "annoy her", but Shosanna coldly rejects his advances, angering him and resulting in him breaking into the room. Feeling disrespected and tired of Shosanna's cold behaviour, he tells her about all the things he's done for her, Shosanna reveals to him that they don't have much time left and tells him to close the door. He decides to listen to her and complies by heading to close the door, but he's tricked by Shosanna and is shot in the back three times by her. Shosanna looks out of the window and then turns to Fredrick, walking over to him and seemingly showing remorse because of her deed. She turns him over and he reveals that he was armed, mortally wounding her before he gives her a grace shot, finally killing her. Shosanna's body falls over next to his, and they are both dead. Because of him, Shosanna never had the chance to avenge her family by killing Hans Landa.

Personality

Zoller, although a model soldier, is seemingly uncomfortable with all the praise surrounding his military exploits (as referenced in his modesty in response to admiration, and reaction to a propaganda film he stars in). He falls infatuated and in love with Shosanna, (who he knows as Emmanuelle) and tries to impress her by having the screening for Nation's Pride moved to her cinema. When spurned, he goes so far as to confront Emmanuelle with hostility in the projection room, upset that she doesn't share the same feelings for him he does for her. Zoller is also responsible for all the plot events of Inglorious Basterds, because he's the one who proposed the idea to have the premiere of his movie moved to Emmanuelle's cinema, making the two plots to assassinate the Nazi Leadership possible, thus he's indirectly responsible for their deaths. He also seems to be extremely courageous, even standing up to Hans Landa for Emmanuelle when he wants to talk with her. Even though he's seemingly uncomfortable of his military explots, he does boast about them to Shosanna, most likely in a attempt to impress her. He also doesn't appear as merciless person, this is shown when he watches his own propaganda film and when he's forced to kill his only love, Shosanna.

Notable quotes

"Who wants to send a message to Germany?" ― Fredrick's final line in "Nation's Pride".[source]

"Well, that's just what Joseph Goebbels thought. So he did. It's called "Nation's Pride", and guess what, they wanted me to play myself, so I did. They have posters for it in kiosks all over Paris. That's another reason for all the attention." ― Fredrick talking about his movie, hinting at his unhealthily proud nature.[source]

"I thought I'd come up here and do what I do best... annoy you. And from the look on your face, it would appear I haven't lost my touch." ― Fredrick attempting to flirt with Shosanna[source]

Behind the Scenes

Fredrick Zoller was portrayed by Daniel Brühl, who dubbed himself for the Spanish version of the film.

Daniel Brühl was offered the roles of Major Dieter Hellstrom or Staff Sergeant Wilhelm Wicki before being cast as Private First Class Fredrick Zoller.

Quentin Tarantino stated that he believes Frederick Zoller really did love Shosanna, and that their final encounter was tragic. He further explained that Zoller forcing his way into the projection room and threatening Shoshana represented Zoller fatally allowing his emotions to get the better of him at the worst possible moment.

Trivia

  • The character Fredrick Zoller was largely based on movie star Audie Murphy. After casting, Daniel Brühl was brought in for audition sessions for French actresses trying for the role of Shosanna.
  • Despite being a Nazi, Zoller is arguably Tarantino's most sympathetic villain. Throughout the film he is mostly harmless, and genuinely friendly. Although he is a Nazi war hero, he is caught up in the nationalist rhetoric, feels like he genuinely helped his country, and seems no more villainous than most "war heroes". It is not until the end when he ends up interfering Shosanna's plans, that he finally becomes a real threat. Even then, he does not hurt Shosanna until she shoots him first. However, every aspect of his character, and how genuine his kindness is, is up to interpretation: also making him Tarantino's most morally ambiguous villain.
  • His film "Nation's Pride" was not entirely filmed, but all of the clips seen in the film were directed by Eli Roth, who also plays Donny Donowitz in the film.
  • At the premiere, Pvt. Zoller is in his full dress uniform with all his decorations. He wears the Knight's Cross with oak leaves, swords, and cut diamonds around his neck and the Iron Cross 2nd class on his chest. However, only the Iron Cross 1st class, which is missing, would be worn, as ONLY the ribbon of IC 2nd class would be worn in combat (from the second buttonhole, Rachtman's uniform is correct for someone who received IC 1st AND 2nd class), or, as soon as a soldier received the Iron Cross 1st class, on formal occasions also (from the small merit-clip, where Zoller wears his complete IC 2nd class with it's ribbon). So this scene suggests Zoller received the Knight's Cross without earning the IC 1st class, which would be impossible. He appears to be a member of the Großdeutschland Panzergrenadier division, an elite unit that fought almost entirely on the eastern front, based off of his shoulder-boards and cuff-title. However, this is impossible, as it never served in Sicily or anywhere near Italy, nor did it ever fight American troops.
  • At the premiere, Pvt. Zoller wears his Knight's Cross around his neck but when in uniform in all other scenes, he is without it. The Knight's Cross was one of the highest orders the Third Reich bestowed upon soldiers and when in any uniform Zoller would have worn it around the neck.
  • In keeping with the film's fairy tale vibe, Zoller's dressing is meant to portray him as a prince, but this time with a tragic twist.
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