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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)
...
...
Peter
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Behn (as Walter Browne Rogers)
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Albert
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Mueller
...
...
...
Tjaden (as 'Slim' Summerville)
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Bertinck (as Pat Collins)
...
Paul's Mother
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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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,448,864 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,270,000 (USA)
 »

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

Around 2000 extras were utilized in the film, many of them Germans--including former soldiers--who had moved to the US after World War I. 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

Referenced in Entrenched: The Making of 'Gallipoli' (2005) 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

 
pure excellence in the war movie genre
2 March 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

From the fact it was made in 1930, you could class 'All Quiet on the Western Front' as a war movie museum piece, but Lewis Milestone's film is a seminal piece of anti-war propaganda, focusing on the Great War from the perspective of a group of German soldiers, in particular Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres). Ayres gives a sensitive and powerful performance: by the 2nd World War the actor chose to serve as a medic, where he gained distinction.

Remembered for the sequence with the butterfly at the end in particular, this early talkie manages to set its scene and transmit a powerful message. An involving and clever film which on its recent restoration and cinema re-release has taken on new significance in the 21st century.


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