Paul Baumer is a young German who, along with his graduating high school classmates, enlist in the German Imperial Army during the First World War. Originally thinking war would be a great adventure, Paul and his friends discover exactly the opposite as the war drags on and one by one the members of the class are killed in action until only Paul remains. Written by
Anthony Hughes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the scene of Kaiser Wilhelm pinning medals on the soldiers, the Kaiser uses only his right arm and hand, while an aide holds the soldiers' tunics - a nice historically accurate detail, since the real Kaiser Wilhelm had a stunted and withered left arm that was virtually useless. See more »
After the scene when Leer dies it shows the Germans in their trench and they all have mud on their helmets. It then shows Westhaus and his helmet is clean, but it is muddy again in the next scene when he is shot exiting the trench and falls back into two of his fellow soldiers. See more »
[to a dying Frenchman]
If we threw away the guns, the grenades - we could have been brothers, but they never want us to know that.
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It is difficult to go wrong with such a magnificent story, one of the most affecting literary anatomisations of the tragedy of young men destroyed by war. And yet, this 1979 television remake of the Lewis Milestone original adds many elements to cherish of its own. Most notably, the casting of Richard Thomas, best known for being John-Boy Walton, in the role of Richard Baume. His characterisation is wonderfully profound, and poignant, and the scene in the trench with the French soldier is a virtual masterclass of compassionate acting. Thomas has never become a superstar; and for this reason he is one of an evergrowing army of neglected romantic leading men. The battle scenes are breathlessly exciting; and yet they do not dwell on carnage, and it is to their credit...and yet still they elicit pity and horror from the viewer. The music is magnificent, the structure craftmanlike, the acting (by Thomas, Borgnine, Holm) superlative, and the work itself suffused through with compassion.......
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