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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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Popularity
2,148 ( 1,829)

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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

As of 2016, this is the second of 11 movies to win the Academy Award for Best Picture without receiving a single acting nomination. The other ten, in order, are Wings (1927), Grand Hotel (1932), An American in Paris (1951), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Gigi (1958), The Last Emperor (1987), Braveheart (1995), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), and Slumdog Millionaire (2008). See more »

Goofs

In the last scene Paul reaches over the trench with his left hand to touch (?) the butterfly but the succeeding close up is of his right hand. 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 I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (2008) 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

 
Probably the greatest war film ever made
7 February 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The film begins in a classroom. Outside, martial music is blaring and the professor inside the room is lecturing the boys about their duty to the Fatherland and encouraging them all to as a group in the German army at the outbreak of WWI. The film is exceptional in how it captures the enthusiasm and naiveté of the boys--as they imagine glory awaiting them after they enlist! Even in boot camp, the mood is light and the new recruits are excited about seeing their first action. This perfectly sets the stage for the actual war--not the sanitized or "fun" war of many films but the hellish and pointless mess that was WWI. The rest of the film is brutally honest and harsh and shows how the students die off one-by-one and the remaining students become more and more jaded and emotionally dead due to the fighting.

I love this film and strongly recommend it to anyone who considers themselves to be a film buff. Part of my love of the film is because it was made relatively shortly after the war and the uniforms, trucks, etc. all appear correct for the period. Many years later, a made for TV version of this film appeared with Ernest Borgnine and Richard Thomas. It, too, was excellent but also was perhaps a bit too polished and pretty--lacking some of the grit of the original. Great acting, direction and production all made this original THE best of the anti-war films of the 1920s and 30s.

Other similar great movies I strongly recommend are J'ACCUSE (French), WESTFRONT 1918 (German), THE BIG PARADE (USA--silent) and THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK (USA). All excel at portraying war in a truthful and non-glamorized manner--it's just a shame that their impact of the world as a whole was negligible--particularly in Germany--where Fascism would soon replace the anti-war sentiment of the book ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. In fact, his books and this film were banned once the Nazis came to power just a few years later.


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