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244 user 102 critic

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Passed | | Drama, War | 24 August 1930 (USA)
A German youth eagerly enters World War I, but his enthusiasm wanes as he gets a firsthand view of the horror.

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Writers:

Erich Maria Remarque (by), Maxwell Anderson (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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:

The Human Side of the War as Seen Through the Eyes of Youth! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Raymond Griffith, who played the dying French soldier Gerard Duval stabbed by Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres). He had lost his voice through illness as a child. A popular silent-film star, the coming of sound meant the end of his career. See more »

Goofs

When the young recruits go out on their first patrol, to string the barbed wire; the veteran uses a mallet to drive the post into the ground. While the movie went to the trouble to have the right kind of post they used it completely wrong. That post was developed by the Germans to allow them to put up barbed wire much more quietly then the Allies. The bottom portion of each post is twisted into an auger; this allowed the soldiers to simply put the post on the ground; put a rod through one of the holes in the post and screw it into the ground. This was one of innovations that the Allies copied. Both sides had listening posts near the wire on their sides to listen for infiltrators and wire crews; once detected they would be cut to pieces by machines gun or mortar fire. 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

The silent (synchronized sound, non-dialogue) version is 133 minutes long and was restored by the Library of Congress. It was prepared for Universal's own cinemas (they were one of the last exhibitors to convert to sound) and shown in France and Australia and possibly elsewhere, but never in Britain until Sunday 23 November 2003. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Justified: Reckoning (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

All Quiet on the Western Front
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Lou Handman
Lyrics by Bernie Grossman
See more »

User Reviews

 
WW! from a German soldier's viewpoint
13 December 2016 | by dfwesleySee all my reviews

I was in high school when I first saw this great war film and I am now a senior, senior, citizen and have seen it a few more times. ALL QUIET remains right at the top of my list of outstanding war pictures. Here was a unique depiction of life in the trenches from an enemy point of view, a novel approach.

Lew Ayres gives a memorable performance as Paul Baumer, the sensitive German soldier, and has a fine supporting cast. The vivid battles in the trenches remain in my thought, and though they lack the technological know how of today, are indelible.

One of the most touching scenes is when Baumer kills the Frenchman in the shell hole and remorse overcomes him. Another tragic part is when his buddy is dying in the hospital and is visited by his comrades. A lighter scene is when the company has an over abundance of food due to its losses and the men become satiated. They are so comfortable that they are inclined to philosophize about the causes of war and its solution.

When Paul loses his friend, his depression grows and his death at the hands of a sniper is a fitting end to it all. The remake, with Ernest Borgnine, was satisfactory, but could not approach the quality of the original which I often find to be true.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Latin

Release Date:

24 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

All Quiet on the Western Front See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
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:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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