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 <email@example.com>
Richard Thomas was 28 when he made the film, making him 10 years older than the character he was portraying. See more »
During the scene with the French flamethrower team when Leer is trying to drag the dead Liutenant to cover, the Liutentant moves his left arm out from under him and turns his head when Leer is tugging at his Y-straps. 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.
See more »
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.......
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?