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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 24 August 1930 (USA)
A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Writers:

Erich Maria Remarque (by), Maxwell Anderson (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:
Louis Wolheim ... Kat
Lew Ayres ... Paul (as Lewis Ayres)
John Wray ... Himmelstoss
Arnold Lucy ... Kantorek
Ben Alexander ... Kemmerich (as Kemmerick)
Scott Kolk ... Leer
Owen Davis Jr. ... Peter
Walter Rogers ... Behn (as Walter Browne Rogers)
William Bakewell ... Albert
Russell Gleason ... Mueller
Richard Alexander ... Westhus
Harold Goodwin ... Detering
Slim Summerville ... Tjaden (as 'Slim' Summerville)
G. Pat Collins ... Bertinck (as Pat Collins)
Beryl Mercer ... 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Latin

Release Date:

24 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sin novedad en el frente See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,448,864 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,270,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lewis Milestone deliberately made the film without music so as not to take away from the seriousness of the subject. Much to his chagrin, however, some movie theaters added music in of their own choosing, as they weren't used to having films delivered to them without any form of background scoring. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Re-issue prints (particularly for 1940's and later TV releases) were cut to 108 minutes, and the soundtrack was altered by the distributor, especially during the final sequence where music was added contrary to director Lewis Milestone's wishes. In 1980, before his death, Milestone asked Universal to restore the film and remove the music to the final scene. In 1998, about 26 minutes were reinstated to resemble the original 1930 cut, and Milestone's wishes were finally honored. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wiseguy: No One Gets Out of Here Alive (1987) 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 didi-5See 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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