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 »
Future director George Cukor, having recently been brought out from Broadway (where he was a renowned stage director), was employed as a dialogue coach on this film. His job was to lessen the regional dialects of the actors so that American audiences could more greatly identify with the characters. See more »
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 »
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 »
Originally premiered on April 21, 1930 as a silent film running 152 minutes. See more »
World War 1 and a young German, Paul Baumer, enthusiastically joins the Army. With romantic notions of war and idealistic dreams in his head he undergoes training and then is sent off to the Western Front. In due course the romantic notions are replaced by the harsh reality of war and he becomes disillusioned with it all.
Great World War 1 movie, made when the war was still fresh in everyone's minds.
Might well be the first anti-war war movie, as it depicts the grim realities of war, rather than the romantic, heroic non-existent version of it.
Harrowing, shocking, original, unpredictable, and just as relevant today as in 1930.
Surprisingly good production values for 1930.
Solid performances all round.
Far far better than the 1979 remake.
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