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240 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:

At last....the motion picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second most popular movie at the U.S. box office for 1930. See more »

Goofs

When Paul and Alfred are in the Catholic hospital talking to Hammacher, Paul's hands jump from pulling up the sheets to by his side between shots. 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

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Still One of the Best Movies of Its Kind
16 May 2002 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Still one of the most worthwhile films about the hard realities of war, "All Quiet On The Western Front" has numerous memorable images and thoughtful moments. Too many war dramas, regardless of their perspective, resort to distortions of history and overblown characters that make them convincing only to those who watch uncritically. This one works nicely by keeping the characters low-key and by, for the most part, allowing the events and situations to speak for themselves. It's not perfect in this respect, and it is perhaps a movie more to be respected than enjoyed, but it has many notable strengths.

The characters, most of them young soldiers, are played very simply, even plainly, but this is by no means a weakness - rather, it allows the movie to show what war is like for real soldiers rather than for idealized or stereotyped characters. The two most important characters are developed more fully, and are played well. Louis Wolheim's resourceful 'Kat' is the liveliest of the soldiers, and as Paul, Lew Ayres is quite understated but very believable. His character is well-chosen as the focal point of most of the movie.

The close-fighting nature of World War I particularly lends itself to this kind of movie, and the atmosphere is convincing and detailed. The contrast with the civilian scenes is also set up well, although the civilian scenes sometimes seem slightly less convincing. The overall effect is a movie that, while you probably wouldn't call it exciting or fun, is one you won't forget.


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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 »
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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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