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All Quiet on the Western Front [Region 2]
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Top Customer Reviews
You are right movies cant be books. But the Lewis Milestones 1930 classic comes a lot closer. It is sort of distraction to see Johnboy playing Paul Baumer. Younger viewers at least wont have that distraction. If this is the only exposure to the story you have then it is masterful. However it is only reflection of the book or other movie versions. If you only taste ersatz coffee you may still drink coffee but you will never know what it is like to drink real coffee that does not say "cinnamon crumb cake" on the label.
Much like the book and the original movie, the story takes place in 1914 central Germany at the eve of World War I. Many schoolboys (and yes, just like the original film, they oddly speak English with American and British accents, yet its...Germany?) are destinted to join up with the Kaiser's army and fight for the "Fatherland". Paul Baummer (Thomas) is an eager young boy who doesn't exactly look like the fighting type (truth be said, Thomas is giving into too much of his John-Boy image from "Waltons", but nevermind that), in fact he gets distracted easily. But he and his school buddies join the resistance. After going through harsh training with anal Himmelstoss (Holm), they are sent to the frontlines of France. There, they meet Katczinsky (Bognine) AKA "Kat", a seamlessly old warhorse that takes the boys in and teaches them how to fight. And unless you haven't read the book or just know the story like everybody knows the Cinderella story, one-by-one the boys die horrible deaths in the trenches and it's to a point where even some lose their minds. Paul is sent back home because of injuries but returns because he feels like the trenches are his home.Read more ›
Along with the great production values are the terrific performances. Richard Thomas was a household name at the time due to his role as John Boy on the TV show "The Waltons." His performance in "All Quiet in the Western Front" is very good. He certainly had the talent to move on to bigger and better things, but he was never able to fully shake that image of John Boy. Ian Holm is great as the spiteful, martinet drill instructor. And Patricia Neal does a fine turn as Paul's ailing mother. Borgnine is ok; but he is a little too old and fat to be believable as an infantryman.
The original is an undeniable classic. Still the greatest anti-war movie ever made. Yet the remake is not a pale imitation and some viewers might prefer it to the original simply because of its more modern acting techniques and color cinematography.
World War 1 is the forgotten war, one that few people can even name the causes of. This movie not only looks at the war, it takes it from the point of view of the Germans. However, you will forget that they were our enemies in this stunning portrayal of 20 young men enlisted in the German army. From the first scene with the teacher telling the men to defend the Fatherland, to the final moments of the war, when the desperate Germans are calling 10 year olds to the fields, it will have you hooked. A good movie for kids, as it really brings out the human aspect of world war 1. Along with the 1930's version, a definite must-see. One of the greatest war stories of all time.
Most recent customer reviews
A superb anti-war movie. The book is superb and this version of the movie is the fairest portrayal of the book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Horace Raschpiggi
A very well done movie that covers the feeling of futile loss throughout.Published 14 months ago by Brian Talty
Fantastic movie! I use this in my history class and although it's an older movie, students are interested from beginning to end. Read morePublished on July 29 2013 by Holly
This film is great! I remember watching it when I was 8 or 10 and it fascinated me. Great action, great battles, great movie! Definitively for all war-movie buffs. Read morePublished on July 14 2004
This is a very good and tough movie. It is a big improvement from the 1930 version.Published on March 9 2004 by greatgm