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A movie review of all quiet on the western front

Excellent wrudd 12 April 2005 This was very, very good. Considering it was made for TV I thought the action and special effects were great. Richard Thomas was perfect as the boy who finds out what war is really like.

Ernest Borgnine fantastic, what a great actor.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1979) - Movie Review

It does a very good job of capturing the book which is to show the war from a common man's point of view. Hungry, dirty, seeing all your friends die, etc. The guy that wrote the book lived through the war but all his friends were killed.

He drifted from job to job, had trouble sleeping, etc, what they call now post-trauma, then to get the stuff out of his head he wrote it down in 1929. It's a bestseller, he has money, goes to Hollywood, marries a move star Paulette Goddard and travels around the world. The Nazi's hated him so he couldn't go back to Germany until after WWII but as you look at the movie it's amazing the guy's life turned out like it did.

His life would make a great movie. Was this review helpful?

  • Hey, this is no parade ground;
  • However, enough of the French get through and they leap into the German trenches - there is fierce hand-to-hand combat;
  • We try not to be killed, but sometimes we are.

Sign in to vote. Why this is I haven't been able to find out but was missing is important plot info that makes many scenes understandable. Why was the video edited? To much anti war stuff, these scenes are the most edited.

All Quiet on the Western Front (United States, 1930)

Second version from an excellent novel. I can say that it is the best anti-war movie released so far. Unexaggerate but impressive exposition gives many messages about the meaningless of big war and leaves permanent tracks on minds.

It deserves more than just a TV movie specially after seeing supposedly big budget anti-war movies. In addition this picture has one of the best unexpected and shocking ending in the movie history in my opinion. I recommend All Quiet on the Western Front 1979 TV to any person who wants something special from a movie besides of just spending time. The first war movie that ever affected me. Even at that age, when I might not fully appreciate the deprivations and horrors of war, I remember thinking that it really was pretty brutal and utterly tragic how all of these men Germans, French, British, Russians, Americans were all sent to die by the thousands.

  1. We didn't neither of us want any war, so I'm going home.
  2. Of course you cannot separate him from his signature role of "John-Boy Walton" but Paul Baumer is simply a German version of the sensitive Virginian that Thomas played.
  3. The pace accelerates and the speed of the charge increases as the French front line gets closer.
  4. There, all is chaos. There is little food and less sanitation.
  5. There, they hear the scream of enemy shells for the first time.

WW1 is without a doubt the most tragic war ever fought. I have since seen the the original 1920's version with Lou Ayers and Louis Wholheim. It was good and featured ground breaking sound quality at a time when movies had only recently begun using sound, but I really liked this remake. It was sufficiently depressing to facilitate the theme of the "Lost Generation" or perhaps better the "Betrayed Generation" groomed for military service as soon as they graduated high school.

  1. The young men who will soon become the central characters of the film are introduced. The Kaiser, to establish his place in history?
  2. Paul is easily distinguishable, because the spike on his helmet has been shot away. However, enough of the French get through and they leap into the German trenches - there is fierce hand-to-hand combat.
  3. Suddenly, the bombardment eases and the men run outside to take their positions in the trench. I know that in one of the schools, the boys have risen up in the classroom and enlisted in a mass.

It's a time when they have their entire promising lives ahead of them and they are stuffed full of patriotic slogans and propaganda about glorious sacrifice for the "Fatherland". This movie conveys that very effectivly. Richard Thomas John Boy is very good as Paul Baumer, the Romantic of the group through who's eyes we see the tragedy unfold in the muddy trenches, filthy hospitals, and countless flashbacks of his bucolic life before the war.

There was additional footage when the it first aired in 1978-79 and it has always been cut short when it has subsequently been aired on TV since then, but I do recall scenes such as Baumer narrating the first time his unit encountered flamethrowers on the western front and the scene in which he and his friends tease and taunt a seemingly innocuous Mailman on their way to enlist in the German Army and that Mailman turns out to be Cpl. It makes more sense when you later see how cruel and authoritarian Himmelstosse is when he becomes their drill instructor.

Why scenes like that are never on TV except the original broadcast and are not even on the video tape is beyond me. It shows good attention to historical detail. In addition the gloomy skies, constant rain, mud all add to the sense of tragedy and betrayal. Donald Pleasence has a rather small part but is really great as the nationalistic school teacher who chastises Baumer's idleness and romanticism.

His shaved head and Goatee give him a great period look.

User Reviews

Kudos the makeup and costuming people. In my estimation it is one of the best TV-movies ever done and one of the few worthy of a theatrical release, which the movie did have in Europe. Other reviewers get on Richard Thomas playing the lead of Paul Baumer. I thought that Thomas was excellent in the role.

Of course you cannot separate him from his signature role of "John-Boy Walton" but Paul Baumer is simply a German version of the sensitive Virginian that Thomas played. Baumer's struggle to survive and maintain his humanity in the midst of perhaps the most horrific warfare that has ever taken place, is heart-rending.

The movie has a very authentic look. I believe it was filmed in Czechoslovakia and it is obvious that a tremendous amount of detail was spent in getting the uniforms, weapons, vehicles and other props and backgrounds correct. Ernest Borgnine was excellent as the veteran soldier who mentors Baumer but I thought that Borgnine was also too old for the role and certainly too heavy. While his character "Kat" was supposed to be a scrounger non pareliel, I doubt that he would've maintained Borgnine's girth after several years in the trenches.

That being said, this movie clearly had an influence on war movies that were to come such as "Saving Private Ryan" and "Enemy at the Gates.