Film 328 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1930’s “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Directed by Lewis Milestone and based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel of the same name, this war drama is about a young soldier named Paul (Lew Ayres) who faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I. This films rated PG? Sod off! This felt more like a 15, or an M for Americans. I will admit, this film really did feel like it was dragging for the first 40 or so minutes. After that, this film really gets into its stride. What this film did, which I think a lot of us knew already, was tell us that war is hell. And this film accomplished that. One question I do have to ask is… If this is a German army then why did the director cast Americans (and one actor from England) to play them? Surely you could’ve found German actors who knew English. Maybe that’s just me being nitpicky. Or was it was harder for foreign actors to get casted back in the early 30’s? Does this film still hold up after 86 years? Pretty much. It’s one I would recommend you watch once. Overall, this film started slow but delivered where it needed to. Fun Fact – Future director Fred Zinneman (High Noon, Oklahoma, From Here to Eternity) worked as an extra on the film but after six weeks he was fired. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I have to say while watching 1930’s “All Quiet on the Western Front”.
Film – All Quiet on the Western Front
Year – 1930
Director – Lewis Milestone
Written by – Maxwell Anderson, George Abbott, Del Andrews, C. Gardner Sullivan
Based On – “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque
Staring – Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray
IMDb Rating – 8.1/10
My Rating – 8/10
Length – 127 min (2h 7min)
Genre – Drama, War
Thanks opening credits for pausing the names off all the actors
Reading – “This story is neither an accusation nor a confession”
You’re complaining about not getting any post?
Look, I know you can’t hear me over the music but I’m gonna keep talking dammit!
We’re in Germany? Alright then
Did that brief clip try to tell me that all women like men with big guns?
HOLY SHIT!!!! I’ve found a Jamie Vardy lookalike!
This speech has gone on for far too long
Wait… If these are German students then why do they have American accents?
So… That’s what the horns on those helmets were made for
Wait… He went from postman to General within 3 days?!? How?
Is it a requirement for everyone to have a monologue?
Don’t you hate it when to try to sing your favourite song but you don’t know the lyrics?
Again… American actors playing Germans…
Let the training commence
Also… I have no idea who’s who
General returns back from the pub completely drunk allowing everyone to hogtie him, beat him with sticks and throw him in a muddy puddle
That sounded like someone whistling rather than a bomb dropping
I’ll trade you this pig to eat for some smokes
Also… One pig fed a cabin of 30 people?
29 minutes in and I’m a little bored already
That barbed wire must be rubbish if they dove on it and can touch it without gloves and not get sliced open
Now I can’t see anything because it’s too dark
And Behn has been blinded by shrapnel and shot to death
You can clearly tell this scene was filmed in a studio
That punch came nowhere near his face!!! That and the guy didn’t even act like he’d been hit!!
Also, where was the sound effect of a punch?
And Kemmerich has badly wounded by a bomb
“Tell the others he’s alright” – BULLSHIT!!! He’s on the verge of death
Great… Now our bunker is rat infested!
41 minutes and this film is really dragging
And here come the enemies… No idea who?
You can clearly tell none of them have been shot
Yeah… I don’t think the enemies were meant to be in your trench
That fight scene went on for about 9 minutes!
80 soldiers left? – I only counted about 50 in the entire army
Nothing like a baked bean sandwich to start your day
Thanks for explaining how wars are started
So… The French are the enemies because they want a mountain back?!?
Kat suggests war should be settle by country leaders having a boxing match
Are they admitting that their hospitals are rubbish?
Look, Kemmerich, you only have one leg now and two boots… Looks like we’ll be having them
So… We’re just gonna assume Kemmerich has died?
Thanks Paul for clearing everything up about Kemmerich being dead
And now for constant close-ups of feet
And it turns out Postman is a complete baby in combat
Looks like I’m stuck in his hole with a enemy soldier I stabbed
Make your mind up! Do you want him to die or not?
Yeah…. He’s dead! He hasn’t moved in ages
They really like showing us those boots
Now for food, beer and German singing
Are you two chatting up a girl on a poster?
Wait…. It’s September 1917?
How to impress French women while in a river naked with your mates – Show your ass at them
Really don’t care about this love angle now
Thanks girls for the one night stand
And they’ve just blown up all the coffins
And Paul has been wounded and ends up in a Catholic Hospital
And he’s been betrayed by the nurses
And Paul’s back! Turns out he’s being sent home
And Paul returns home and hears that his mom is ill
What is a potato cake?
Turns out the army wants Paul back but he just walks away
Is it a good idea to discuss war plans in a pub?
Paul then returns to see his old professor and tells all his new students to not bother joining the army
And Paul decides he wants to return back but not before some wise words from his mom
Turns out almost everyone returned home or died expect Kat
“Push on to Paris” – With hardly no supplies and half an army left
And now Kat has a broken shin because of a bomber plane
But the second one does get Kat and kills him
And that butterfly just got Paul killed