All Quiet on the Western Front – Best Picture Winner, 1929/1930

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Basics

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) – Direstor, Lewis Milestone; starring Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray; Run time – 136 mins. – Drama, War

Prior Knowledge

Koob – I saw this movie around 15 years ago and I remember it having a pretty profound effect on me.  I have never read the book that this film is based off of, but I thought it did a great job of depicting the horrors of war and it was unique in that it depicted WWI from the German perspective.  It really shows that war is terrible for all sides involved.

Kristy – Unlike the first two movies we watched I have heard of this one and it has been recommended to me numerous times.  I know that it is another film set during WWI but this time from the German soldiers’ perspective.  I’m interested to see it because I’ve heard that it is sympathetic, in a way, to the young German soldiers who ended up in war.

Fun Facts from IMDB

-A silent version of this film was produced simultaneously for theaters not yet wired for sound but didn’t receive its US TV premiere until 2011.

-In part because of his experience in playing the part of Paul Baumer, Lew Ayresbecame a conscientious objector during the Second World War. His films were banned in over 100 Chicago theaters.

-With the loss of limbs and gory deaths shown rather explicitly, this is undoubtedly the most violent American film of its time. This is because the Production Code was not strictly enforced until 1934, and also because Universal Pictures deemed the subject matter important enough to allow the violence to be seen.

-Nazi rabble rousers stormed screenings of the film in Germany, often releasing rats or stink bombs into the theaters, as the wounds of defeat in the First World War still ran deep. This led to the film ultimately being banned by the Nazi party. It wouldn’t receive proper screenings in Germany until 1956.

Viewing Source

We rented it from Amazon Instant Video for $2.99 (no need to pay the extra dollar for HD).

Post Viewing Response

Ratings (with 1 star = the worst and 5 stars = the best)

Koob:  5 stars

Kristy:  4 stars

Double Gobble Score: 4.5 stars

The Takeaway

One of the classics of early American cinema.  A brutal depiction of the horrors of war. Definitely worth watching.

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3 thoughts on “All Quiet on the Western Front – Best Picture Winner, 1929/1930

  1. vinnieh says:

    I’ve been meaning to watch this film for ages, your excellent review has convinced me I should.

  2. […] LlAll Quiet on the Western Front – Best Picture Winner, 1929/1930 ( […]

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