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A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily terror fills their lives as the attacks on and from the French army ebb and flow. One of the men, Karl, goes home on leave only to discover the degradation forced on his family by wartime poverty. He returns to the lines in time to face an enormous attack by French tanks. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Filmed the same year as the American "All Quiet on the Western Front" this is NOT another 'nice boys learn the horrors of war." It is 1918 and this men are long serving vets with few illusions left. The effects are stunning and (one must assume) realistic. The impact of a big screen and large speakers must have shocked contemporary audiences.
Many scenes do seem to run on a bit--but no more than other films of the period. As one who does not speak German, I would have wished for more subtitles. If the songs were worth including, they are worth translating.
If only for the fact that it was one of the first films banned by the Nazis, it's worth a viewing.
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