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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Unrated | | Drama, War | 24 August 1930 (USA)
A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

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Writers:

(by), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kat
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Paul (as Lewis Ayres)
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Kemmerich (as Kemmerick)
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Behn (as Walter Browne Rogers)
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Tjaden (as 'Slim' Summerville)
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Bertinck (as Pat Collins)
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Storyline

This is an English language film (made in America) adapted from a novel by German author Erich Maria Remarque. The film follows a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War 1 by their jingoistic teacher. The story is told entirely through the experiences of the young German recruits and highlights the tragedy of war through the eyes of individuals. As the boys witness death and mutilation all around them, any preconceptions about "the enemy" and the "rights and wrongs" of the conflict disappear, leaving them angry and bewildered. This is highlighted in the scene where Paul mortally wounds a French soldier and then weeps bitterly as he fights to save his life while trapped in a shell crater with the body. The film is not about heroism but about drudgery and futility and the gulf between the concept of war and the actuality. Written by Michele Wilkinson, University of Cambridge Language Centre, <mw125@cus.cam.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At last....the motion picture!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

24 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sin novedad en el frente  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,448,864 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,270,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut) | (BBFC submission before censorship) | (restored) | (copyright length) | (DVD edition) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)| (synchronized music score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American Film Institute writes: "According to contemporary sources, the silent version with synchronized sound ran 15 reels. Var [Variety] reviewed the silent version when it opened in Paris in early Dec. 1930 under the title 'A L'Ouest Rien de Noveau'. The reviewer noted that a scene in which a French solider was killed in a foxhole was cut in the French release. Sequences with 'Zasu Pitts' as 'Paul's mother' were not in the sound version, which was viewed. In the sound version, Beryl Mercer portrayed the mother. The sound version was reduced to 10 reels for reissue in 1939." See more »

Goofs

During the attack on the town and the cemetery, for a brief shot Germans are all retreating. In the next shot, they are attacking again and running forward. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man cleaning doorknob: Thirty thousand.
Maid: From the Russians?
Man cleaning doorknob: No, from the French. From the Russians we capture more than that every day.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Later reissues of the film mentioned that the film was an Academy Award winner in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Half Shot Shooters (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

All Quiet on the Western Front
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Lou Handman
Lyrics by Bernie Grossman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Ultimate War movie
12 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

In 1981, we had a screening at the L.A. County Museum of Art of the newly discovered restored version. I took my girlfriend, who was not as savvy on film history as I was, and warned her not to expect much: that the movie was dated, the acting often awkward and broad, and some of the sound effects just plain weird, and so on. When the screening finished, she leaned over to me and said, "This movie hasn't dated at all." I could only agree, because the effect on both of us--and everyone in that theatre--was overpowering. It's curious to compare it with the very fine tv version with Richard Thomas. The latter version has more scenes from the book and better acting, yet it's still inferior. It suffers from the lack of detail that so many tv productions had then along with comparatively flat lighting. The first version, on the other hand, has a look that resembles a documentary on World War I. They filmed it only eleven years after the war ended, and it contains a power only possible by those who've lived through an era being dramatized. Also, like CITIZEN KANE and DODSWORTH, it baffles one as to how Hollywood of this time produced such a non-escapist piece of entertainment.


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