Tuesday, 21 April 2015

All Quiet on the Western Front

Another war movie, this one being the black and white 1930 version of All Quiet on the Western Front.

We start with "we're off to war, isn't this jolly good fun chaps" (only in German, as this is about the Germans, although the experiences could easily be swapped around), off to the training camp and the overly officious and nasty corporeal, then out to the front. Where it falls down pretty quickly, not much food, dead man's boots handed around, and the constant threat of death, either from above or in front, and occasionally having to deal with handing it out yourself. This movie goes into all that, and near the end compares the youthful ideals with the broken men who come back on leave. And, because this is a depressing war movie, the final shot is the final shot for the main character.

And certainly we don't get the glory of war here. Good acting all around so it's easy to connect with the characters, and there's a wonderful moment where the director shows the progress of those who have those boots.

That said, at over two hours, it packs a lot in. I think we could have gotten the points in a shorter version. But this is still quite watchable.


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