All Quiet on the Western Front

War | In English | 152 minutes | 1930

Info

This Oscar-winning film was adapted from Erich Maria Remarque’s novel and many feel it makes a most persuasive anti-war statement. When World War I breaks out in 1914 in Europe, adolescent students in a German school heed their ultra-patriotic schoolmaster and, as a group, they all enlist in the German army. While in boot camp, the students are excited and enthusiastic. But, soon enough, they experience the horrors of war. The fighting is hellish and brutal. One by one the students are killed. Paul Baumer, one of the students, returns home for a break, visits his old school, and in the presence of his gung-ho schoolmaster, tells the students what war is really about. The film depicts the suffering and the disillusionment the students experience. But it’s a story that would  apply to any war, even the ones that are going on today. The film was banned in Germany by Joseph Goebbels and was not shown in that country until the 1950s. Much of the credit for the success of this film must go to the director Lewis Milestone.

Cast
Lew Ayres (Paul Baumer), Louis Wolheim (Stanislaus Katczinsky), John Wray (Himmelstoss),  Arnold Lucy (Professor Kantorek)
Why Stream This Film?
This film should be mandatory viewing by every member of the United Nations and the U.S. Congress.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus) 100% 100%
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Outstanding Production and Best Director
  • It was the first talkie war film to win an Oscar.

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A harrowing, gruesome, morbid tale of war that’s so compelling in its realism, bigness, and repulsiveness. Nothing is passed up for the niceties; nothing glossed over for the women. Here war is exhibited as it is, butchery. It’s the best war picture every filmed.
Staff

Variety

In the years since it was made, ALL QUIET on the WESTERN FRONT has been much imitated but rarely approached as a film statement on the waste of war. The grittily photographed scenes of a company of young German volunteers, crew-cut kids fresh from the classroom, spilling their blood and the blood of the French youths for a few yards of devastated ground still brings home powerfully the madness of World War I trench warfare.
Walter Goodman

The New York Times

It is a great motion picture built firmly and consistently from a great book. It has a genius director, sensitive performances by a marvelous cast, and remarkable camera work.
Irene Thirer

New York Daily News

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