Reviews of All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and related work

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930Moving picture, 136 minutes)

A realistic portrayal of trench warfare from the point of view of an “enemy” soldier. Jolly school boys sign up to fight for das Vaterland in the War to End All Wars.

Apart from various technical aspects this could be modern, despite having been filmed in such early days of sound cinema. The acting is overrated, but the film as a unit is much stronger than The Big Parade (1925).

fiction moving picture

All Quiet on the Western Front (1979Moving picture, 150 minutes)

Fresh memories of Vietnam do nothing for this production. The differences are small and partly counterproductive (the jumps in time simply damage identification; Ernest Borgnine is fat). Some nice additions, such as the explanation of the title, diapers and Paul’s “dreamer” nature, fail to make this more worthwhile than the historically significant original. Surprisingly, there is no increase in gore: the Production Code which fell in 1967 was only just approved, not yet reinforced, in 1930, yet neither film is gruesome.

fiction moving picture same source material

“All Quiet on the Western Front”: The Story of a Film (1998Text)

Andrew Kelly (writer).

document non-fiction text