This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
All Quiet on the Western Front
They left for war as boys never to return as men.
A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I. Together with several other young German soldiers, he experiences the horrors of war, such evil of which he had not conceived of when signing up to fight. They eventually become sad, tormented, and confused of their purpose.
Film #1 of Project 30
”When it comes to dying for your country it’s better not to die at all.”
It’s really amazing that this 84 year old film’s messages and its viewpoints regarding war and its effects on human soul feel so fresh and modern even now. Lewis Milestone’s adaptation of Eric Maria Remarque’s novel of the same name is an absorbing, tantalizing and incredibly affective piece of cinema which focuses on a group of naive German boys who go to the ugly battlefields of World War I and it shows how anguish, misery and sorrow replaces all their energy, passion and enthusiasm for life and how their courage, valor and heroism soon turns into silence, depression and despair.…
There are a dozen or so legendary films in the history of cinema that live up to their billing, and then some. This is certainly one of them. It's so defiantly timeless, and also makes you somewhat wonder why people even bothered making war films ever since.
As a result of the 100th year commemorations of WWI which are currently underway, I finally decided to seek this film out and polish it off. It is one of those films you often hear about a long time before you get around to seeing it, it features prominently in the history of early cinema, particularly the early era of the Oscars. The film title itself is pure pop-culture, to the point of…
Okay, so some of the acting is a little stilted at times, but the earnestness helps to endear the characters and All Quiet on the Western Front packs in so much film-making virtuosity and naturalism for an 83 year old film that it hasn't aged for a second. The war scenes are astounding with realism and mortifying with truth. The camera so composed, always in the right spot, so still and picturesque with haunting reserve at times. The framing often reveals detail in the background as the foreground carries on with story. There is always more than one action going on in every shot, always commanding full attention. The anit-war message is ever-lasting in every sense of the word. A phenomenal piece of work that has stood the test of time as well as anything.
A half hour into this, around the time the second hysterical soldier cries like a baby, I'm ready to condemn it for being unrealistic. And that's when I realize it's just my American conditioning kicking in. Having recently watched American Sniper (review forthcoming), All Quiet On The Western Front is about as lucky a counterpoint as I could have hoped for. A film like this just couldn't be made today; lately it seems the American military must be a rock-solid bastion of masculinity at all times, and it's insane to think how many war films made in Hollywood tread this same purloined path of self-righteous bravado.
Eighty-five years later and this is one of the greatest war films ever made.…
Goes to show how a second viewing can make a big difference. I'd been of the opinion this was creaky and boring, the kind of movie that would have been better as a silent movie a year or so earlier. I was an idiot for thinking this. It's just as visually dynamic as most silents, and the sound gives it a naturalism that suits the material infinitely better. Devastating.
A superb war film that masterfully displays the horrors of war and what its like in times of war. The acting was great, and the direction by Milestone was fantastic. All Quiet on the Western Front is a milestone in cinematic history.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I'd read about the penultimate shot where Paul is shot as he reaches for a butterfly, but I didn't know that his hand recoils away from it when he's hit. It's better that way. Instead of being a more passive "war saps you dry" kind of image, it's a more active "war kills you DEAD", which is more appropriate for the ferocious grotesquery on display earlier.
The film may not be able to fully maintain this harshness for its whole running time, but that's a mammoth challenge to undertake. Besides, when the film bites, there's plenty of venom in its fangs to get its point across. In addition to the stark horror of the first battle scenes, I really appreciate…
An impressive example of a movie showing you events that are unfolding without drowning you in exposition, along with great, atmospheric quiet moments.
Shows the common soldiers view on the WW1.
A masterpiece, Milestone's greatest film (at least that I've seen) and an essential anti-war film that everyone should be required to see. I love how Sir Alfred Hitchcock pays homage to this in HIS also-excellent 'North by Northwest'.
'When it comes to dying for country, it's better not to die at all.'
Bleak, sharp and unforgettable, All Quiet on the Western Front has aged badly in some respects and is ageless in many others. It has a classic war structure in place, and, released twelve years after the end of the First World War, rankles with resentment and bitterness. It takes a blunt, uncompromising view of war, from young recruits being swept up in a wave of patriotism, to their slaughter on the battlefield, wasting away in field hospitals, and the breakdown of the ones left behind. Before watching, it might be a point of interest that it follows not French or British troops, but Germans; by the…
This movie is so ahead of its time.
Among the best anti-war pictures I've ever seen. Maybe the best. I thought Saving Private Ryan was super original with its hyper-realistic depictions of war and this picture, made in the pre-code era, was almost it's equal in brutality.
Brutal, honest and epic.
All Quiet on the Western Front was a movie filmed back in 1930, which is pretty amazing because the story is about this young German rather than an Englishman or Frenchman who is forced to go to war and has to watch people die and has to kill people himself. It shows how horrible the First World War was for every country who fought in it. The main Character, Paul (played by Lew Ayres in a convincingly confused and scared manner) is having a hard time with the war. This movie shows how hard World War I was for everyone including the Germans.
The big statement this movie was making seems to be how crazy and loony one can go…
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