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, <email@example.com>
When a picture bares the soul of an individual it is great, when it bares the soul of a generation it is TREMENDOUS and here is a TREMENDOUS human document. The heart-hitting story of youth face to face with disillusion and decay...the drama of simple emotions magnified by their very intensity into the most moving ideas ever pictured! You've seen the heroic, the colorful side of war screened many times. Now see the HUMAN side in this amazingly faithful talking picturization of the world's greatest story! See more »
Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies. See more »
When Paul talks to the dead soldier in the pit, the soldier is breathing visibly and at one point his eyes blink. See more »
Man cleaning doorknob:
From the Russians?
Man cleaning doorknob:
No, from the French. From the Russians we capture more than that every day.
See more »
Later reissues of the film mentioned that the film was an Academy Award winner in the opening credits. See more »
The cover for the 2002 Norwegian VHS by Basic Publishing states that the film runs for 130 minutes. However, the film itself is actually heavily cut, running for only approximately 98 minutes. See more »
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.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this