All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★★½

A real masterpiece from Edward Berger … and according to Netflix, this was their most expensive German movie! This is the third time that this story has been told. The other two are the well-known All Quiet on the Western Front by Lewis Milestone (1930), winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the lesser-known All Quiet on the Western Front by Delbert Mann (1979).

I read the first time Erich Maria Remarque's classic 50 years ago, as a thirteen years old, and I was impressed with this anti-war novel so much that I forced my mother to buy all his books, sold as a package and bound in maroon coloured leather! Later she finished reading them, too. But, I have to admit, this is not actually an adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's novel. Although a few tiny passages from the book are incorporated, the title is Remarque's most significant contribution to the movie. My opinion is that the title is a little deceptive given the ending of the movie (as opposed to the book), but it's such a classic that even I can justify the filmmakers' choice.

Superb acting… in the midst of the constant carnage, Felix Kammerer and Albrecht Schuch effectively capture the anguish, hopelessness, and fear that troops experience in the trenches.

Berger showed us that he was a perfect choice for directing a war movie - you almost feel sick from his depiction of violence in the surreal environment. Killing fields, close fighting, flamethrowers, tanks, blood, explosions, shooting, and horrible agony… the meaningless of a war fully exposed!

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