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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
3,977 ( 1,083)

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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

During the attack on the town and the cemetery, for a brief shot Germans are all retreating. In the next shot, they are attacking again and running forward. 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 »


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

 
A detailed and thought-provoking account of war
4 January 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Before watching this epic masterpiece, I never quite understood what it is that makes people want to fight a war that was started by some politician, and after watching this film; I'm even more baffled. With it's ambiguous portrait of war, All Quiet on the Western Front never actually condemns (nor condones) the act of war, but through it's portrait; the anti-war message more than shine through. Multiple scenes show the hideousness of war, and through watching this film it becomes apparent that war is futile and a disgraceful waste of human life. We follow the (mis)fortune of a group of young adults who, due to the patriotic words of their teacher, decide to join the war effort. The rest of the film pans out as a sort of coming of age story in the middle of a great feud. We watch the protagonists as they stare death in the face and learn what is and isn't important when you risk your life at every passing moment.

This was one of the first films to announce America as a major film-making nation as with it's epic battle sequences and first class acting, All Quiet on the Western Front impresses on a technical level, as well as impressing with it's detailed and thought-provoking account of war. The film features numerous excellent scenarios, all of which are thought provoking in the context of the film, but also in life on the whole. Consider the part where one young man is told that maths problems are a waste of time as he could stop a bullet at any time, or the sequence that sees a soldier try to save the life of his fellow man that he has stabbed in the stomach (a French soldier, but still a fellow man). Not to mention the classy finish. Whichever way you look at it; this film is a masterpiece. It succeeds on a technical level and also does what films were created to do; entertain and inspire thought from their audiences. There are some films that every film buff must see regardless of their genre preferences. This is one of them.


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