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Old 04-18-2015, 09:09 AM
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Inglorious Basterds: How was Shoshanna's plan meant to work exactly?

This post will contain spoilers for a 6 year old movie in case anyone cares.

So in Inglorious Basterds, there's two overlapping plots to kill Hitler at a movie premiere. The Basterds plan to use explosives strapped to their legs and Shoshanna plans to burn the theatre down, trapping everyone inside. Neither of them know about the other's plan so there's no co-operation between them.

Shoshanna's plan is to have Marcel, her partner lock the doors to the auditorium and then go backstage and ignite the nitrate film canisters behind the screen on fire, trapping the high ranking nazis and burning them to death. You see Marcel bolt close the doors to the auditorium, use a crowbar to jam the handles closed, walk out the main entrance of the theatre and then into a side entrance behind the stage to light the film on fire.

Except there are two blindingly obvious flaws with this plan.

1. None of the high ranking Nazi members are in the auditorium, they're in the box seats above the stage. We see multiple times that the box seats are entered via the stairs in the lobby and thus, they wouldn't be affected by the locks in the main auditorium. Shoshanna knew from the very beginning that the high ranking Nazis would be in the box seats yet she seems to have made it trivial for them to escape.

2. The way the entrance to the auditorium is locked makes it trivial for anyone on the outside of the door to unlock it. All you have to do is remove the crowbar and then pull out the stops. The two guards guarding Hitler would have come down the stairs, seen the auditorium doors locked, quickly unlocked them and then let everybody out.

We see Marcel clearly exiting the outside doors of the theatre to go to the side entrance and he doesn't turn back to fiddle with them in any way so anyone able to make it to the lobby of the theatre can easily exit the same way as Marcel.

The end result is, absent the intervention of the Basterds, all Shoshanna would have accomplished was burning down her theatre with maybe some light injuries from people being trampled but no real dent in the Nazi war effort whatsoever.

Am I missing something or was Shoshanna's plan completely absurdly ineffectual and poorly thought out?

Last edited by Shalmanese; 04-18-2015 at 09:10 AM.
#2
Old 04-18-2015, 10:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Minneapolis
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Shoshanna never made it out alive. For all we know she was to exit out the lobby and lock the main doors behind her.
The only box seat I saw had Hitler, Fredrick, the film maker and some lady in it. With two guards stationed there. The rest of the people were in the main theatre.
The fire was started behind the screen and spread quickly. Marcel went out the back door and there was now the problem of fast spreading inferno between them and his exit.
I'd think Hitler and his small group would be in such a panic to get out they wouldn't bother trying to free people from the main auditorium releasing a crush of people along with a massive fire.
#3
Old 04-18-2015, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
The only box seat I saw had Hitler, Fredrick, the film maker and some lady in it. With two guards stationed there. The rest of the people were in the main theatre.
The theatre has two box seats. Earlier in the film, we see Normann and Goering in the other box seat. Hitler, Goebbels, Fredrick Zoller and Goebbels' translator are in the first box seats.

You're right that Shoshanna's plan might have been for her to lock the outer doors. However, she was clearly done with whatever part of the plan required her to be in the projectionist room as the plan went off with her being dead. It seemed like she wanted to watch the Nazis burn which would have been incompatible with her leaving as early as possible to lock the outer doors.
#4
Old 04-18-2015, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
Shoshanna never made it out alive. For all we know she was to exit out the lobby and lock the main doors behind her.
The only box seat I saw had Hitler, Fredrick, the film maker and some lady in it. With two guards stationed there. The rest of the people were in the main theatre.
The fire was started behind the screen and spread quickly. Marcel went out the back door and there was now the problem of fast spreading inferno between them and his exit.
I'd think Hitler and his small group would be in such a panic to get out they wouldn't bother trying to free people from the main auditorium releasing a crush of people along with a massive fire.
But surely Hitler must have been the main target, killing a lot of other Nazis being a juicy bonus? If Hitler has an easy escape route, and Soshanna knew that, the OP's question stands.

Last edited by Mr Shine; 04-18-2015 at 11:01 AM.
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