All Quiet on the Western Front


Action / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 98%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 49705


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 1,002 times
December 19, 2013 at 12:49 AM


Lew Ayres as Paul
Zasu Pitts as Frau Bäumer - Silent Version Trailer only
Fred Zinnemann as German soldier / French ambulance driver
926.76 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 25 min
P/S 1 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by soymilk 10 / 10

A moving and durable WWI classic

As I write, this is probably the oldest film I've currently seen (I haven't seen too many flicks pre-1950s - shameful, I know), but one that still holds astonishingly well to this day; a poignant and hard-hitting anti-war drama that details life in the German side of the trenches of WWI, it has lost none of its knuckle since it first veered onto the screens nearly 75 years ago. It makes its point and pulls no punches doing so, illustrating the impersonal coldness of war and the desolation in rendering an 'enemy' of someone who you'd really have no issues with on an individual basis. This message is particularly well-captured in one especially harrowing scene - I won't divulge in the details, for the sake of those still yet to witness this masterpiece, but needless to say, it's a real tear-jerker. The war depicted here is not one of glory and heroism, but one of hardship, horror and desperation.

(Also, isn't it kinda eerie how those dramatic battle sequences, in which the opposing soldiers become little more than human targets, now, with retrospect, echo the vicious gameplay of a shoot-em-up video game?)

The only really noticeable problem with this film comes in the heavy use of US accents, which clash somewhat with the German setting and therefore sound just a little offbeat. Nonetheless, the well-assembled cast more than compensate with some truly impassioned performances, notably from Lew Ayres, who is simply brilliant as Paul, the young protagonist coming of age in this harsh environment. His friendship with long-time solider Katczinsky adds moments of warmth as well as sorrow, and the dialogue exchanged between the close-knit group of soldiers is both absorbing and believable, drawing you closer into their world and experiencing their own frustration and disillusionment along with them. Right from the start, we know what's inevitable for the optimistic young soldiers as they head out to the trenches, but at the same time we value their hope and innocence and yearn that they might be able to retain it all the same, making it all the more tragic as the events of the battlefield lay waste to their youthful spirits.

With its gripping direction and powerful imagery, it's a film that manages to leave a considerable imprint on the viewer, and I speak from experience on that one - upon reaching the end, both myself and the entire party I viewed it with were left speechless, and it took a good couple of minutes before any of us could pluck up the courage to break that uneasy silence. I don't know for sure when I'll be up for watching it a second time, but that final feeling certainly won't be going away from me any time soon, and I can almost guarantee this the kind of film you'll be glad for watching at least once. 'All Quiet on the Western Front' remains one of the must-see movies of its decade, and it's easy to see why, after all this time, it still has such a firm hold on that classic status - it may have arrived on the scene as far back as 1930, but its emotive edge is timeless.

Grade: A+

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10

Wilhelmine Perspective

Erich Maria Remarque's novel and the film made from it may possibly be the greatest anti-war statement ever created. All Quiet on the Western Front won a deserved Best Picture Academy Award in the year it came out and brought great prestige to Universal Pictures as the first Oscar in that category won by that studio.

Lew Ayres is the student leader of a bunch of German school boys in 1914 who listen to the voice of their school master and enlist in the war that's just been declared. The whole class enlists and that's not hyperbole because in Germany at the time it was the boys who got the education and the girls if they got it, got it separately from the boys.

I'm sure that viewers of All Quiet on the Western Front today probably are asking why that school master and so many of his generation were urging their youth on to such folly. Very simply that their generation had a quick victory in 1870 in the Franco-Prussian War. Every generation since wars were recorded figures their war experience will be the same for their children.

Only it wasn't. On the western front the Allied and Central Powers armies were locked in a bitter stalemate that ran diagonally across France and Belgium from the English Channel to the Swiss border. This went on for a little over four years. In fact had it not been for the fact that America joined the Allied side and the French and British held out until they did, I'm sure an honest armistice would have been declared long before November 11, 1918.

You lived, fought and died in those trenches. Either you were defending or you were attacking the other guy's trenches against murderous automatic weapon fire and long distance artillery batteries. All Quiet on the Western Front was the first great war film of the American sound era and graphically shows that.

And it shows that from the enemy perspective. That's something today's audience can't appreciate, the fact that the film was from the Wilhelmine German perspective. Remember these were the enemy a dozen years before. But the experience in the trenches was universal.

Lew Ayres became a star with this film and it effected him so deeply that he became a committed pacifist which caused later problems in his career. He's the voice of reason and civilization and the voice of a lost generation of Germans who would never have listened to the demagogic appeals of the Nazis.

Louis Wolheim plays the veteran soldier who befriends Ayres and his school boy chums and teaches them how to survive in the trenches. It turned out to be his greatest role. He was a brutish looking man and played mostly those types in silent films. All Quiet on the Western Front would have been the start of a whole new career opening. But Wolheim died the following year just as he was to start filming The Front Page. Adolphe Menjou took the part of Walter Burns in that film which Wolheim was to have.

The third really stand out performance is that of John Wray who some might remember as the brutal prison guard in Each Dawn I Die. Wray plays an officious mail man who is in the German Army Reserve. He gets called up and this little nobody gets rather impressed with himself and his new found authority as a training sergeant to Ayres and his friends. Later on at the front, he gets a view of combat he wasn't quite ready for.

All Quiet on the Western Front with its eternal message of peace and life will be one eternal film, it will be shown and appreciated for many generations to come.

Reviewed by Righty-Sock ([email protected]) 8 / 10

The First Truly Great Movie Ever Produced

In 1930, three great pacifist films were released, in the United States, Lewis Milestone's "All Quiet on the Western Front;" in Germany, G.W. Pabst's "Westfront 1918;" and the English film by Anthony Asquith, "Tell England." Of the three, Milestone's film was the one that has received most acclaim...

Based on the novel by German author Erich Maria Remarque, "All Quiet on the Western Front" tells the story of a teenager brought up to believe in the values of patriotism, militarism and the glorious death... The teenager returns on leave to his school where the schoolmaster who has taught him the values that he now despises greets him with ecstasy...

As a fighter he is treated with great respect, and the eager young children wait to be aroused by thrilling tales... He has none. There is no heroism. There is no glory. 'We live in the trenches and we fight. We try not to be killed - that's all!'

The film is totally committed to its proposition war is evil; not only the First World War which is portrayed in the film, but all war.

The motion picture, considered among the screen's most powerful indictments of the futility of war, contains many excellent sequences and set-pieces which still keep their power: the pair of boots being continually taken over as successive owners are killed; Lew Ayres talking impotently on about the brotherhood of man and the futility of killing as he watches his French enemy die beside him in a shell crater; Ayres carrying the wounded Wolheim on his back and talking cheerfully to him, ignoring he has been killed by a shell splinter; and of course, the closing scene of the hand reaching out from the trenches to seize a butterfly only to fall back slowly as an enemy's bullet falls home...

Despite dated moments, this highly emotive war film retains its overall power and remains a great pacifist work... The film won won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director and was nominated for Best Cinematography & Best Writing...

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