All Quiet on the Western Front - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

All Quiet on the Western Front Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2011
Remake of the classic 1930's masterpiece which of course these days is very very old itself. Never really given the respect it deserved and not classed as good as the original but I found it just as hard hitting.

First thing I noticed was the story has been mixed up a bit, its not in the same order as the original, everything seems to have been translated across but in different stages of the film. This does actually work because it doesn't just seem like a carbon copy. There are also a lot more details in some sequences with different ideas for settings and locations, new angles and edits upgrading the whole film somewhat. Basically upgrading most aspects giving them a new modern spin (for the time).

On the whole it does look better in places, a good example I prefer being the bleak ending in this version over the original. Its still the same but with a slightly differently approach and NOT showing the sniper. All that is heard is the fire of a rifle and then a cut to Baumers hands as they react and his body slumps into the mud, possibly more effective and harrowing than the original 1930's sequence.

The cast are again solid for this adaptation with Borgnine playing the role of Stanislaus Katzinsky perfectly and maybe better than the original actor in 1930. Donald Pleasance is the German teacher whom regales the young German boys with propaganda and the glory of war. Holm as the over the top Corporal Himmelstoss giving him a slimy, backstabbing, cowardly glow and finally Richard Thomas looking just the part in his WW1 German uniform although coming across a little bland.

The scope isn't quite on par with the 30's version, its still very good and very bleak but its missing that epic feel which I guess is down to it being a TV movie. A shame really because this story deserves a much wider scope, none the less this version is still the business. The whole production is very authentic with good costumes, vehicles, landscapes, weapons etc...The battles are good but not overly grand whilst the waste of life, cheapness of life, desolation and despair is well conceived throughout. No shying away from the grim horrors of war when it came to the mud soaked trenches.

Its a shame this has been overshadowed somewhat as its a very good war film and manages to recreate WW1 just as well as its predecessor. Its still rough, gritty and somewhat shocking as it offers new perspectives from the last movie version of the story. Its easily a must see if you liked the 1930's film, its just as interesting, memorable and poignant.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2009
Despite some lackluster production, the performances were good (though I didn't realize Germans spoke with American, English and various ambiguous European accents). I read the book about a million years ago and didn't remember it much, but it was good to see a war story told from the perspective of a German soldier. It reminds the viewer that when it comes to fighting in a war, we're not very different.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2012
Not as good as the original
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ March 21, 2011
Though offbeat and with superb production value, the 1979 TV remake of "All Quiet On The Western Front" is fair watch, but could be greatly improved, were it to drop slowness and length, aswell as some confusion.
½ April 22, 2009
decent made for TV movie, based off a great book about the need for peace instead of war during the WWI era
January 30, 2008
It's extremely powerful and sad for a movie that we watched in school. The ending made my mouth fall open.
½ January 23, 2008
Oscar Winning Performance by Borgnine cheated because of the "rules", as this film was shown as a TV Movie in the US and a Movie in the rest of the world, the classic "Cliff-Notes" version for those who were not forced to read the book in school is compelling and closer to the book than the earlier version. Sir Lew Grade, of that generation, spared no expense to "get it right", and so many years & wars on, tells the specifically timeless tale of the horrors of WW1 (gas attacks, trench warfare, mindless Prussian militarisim which was to return under Hitler, etc)...Veterans will appreciate the gritty realisim...This may be the only war-oriented "date movie" you can watch with your babe of choice, assuming she has enough brains to deal with the materiel....Not to be missed...(PS: I created a skin dedicated to this film)...
August 12, 2007
Terribly sad movie, and somewhat long, but a good way to get a German's view point of the war for once.
½ August 13, 2015
good film in its own right and not a remake!
November 2, 2014
Decent war movie has some very powerful/memorable scenes and good characters.
July 16, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

(1979) All Quiet On The Western Front

Without viewers seeing the original 1930 "All Quiet On the Western Front" version, wouldn't be able to understand this made for TV version starring Richard Thomas as the title character, Paul. The main difference with the two versions is that in this one, Paul 'narrates' his war experiences who initially had aspirations to become a writer. Some of the other differences also include Paul playing dead , as well as the horses being caught in the crossfire. And war medals are given out
November 15, 2013
I meant to watch the original version but got this by mistake. Still a pretty solid movie, one of the reasons i was the solid cast. I don't understand the title they were constantly fighting. It does a good job of showing how much trench warfare suckkked. Its also weird to see a war movie from the German side.
September 29, 2013
Ever since I saw this film I never looked at war the same way. Its harrowing account of death, its heartfelt view of soldiers and its aura make this one of my all time favorite war films alongside Downfall. Great acting and great sets despite the lack of funds, it combines humor and great sorrow in a very realistic tale of the German side of the Great War , although after watching this film you'll wonder why great is the word used to describe WW1.
March 11, 2013
It's not a bad movie, but I certainly like the original 1930 version a hundred times more than this film.
December 17, 2012
I watched this film before I watched the 1930's original, thankfully, so I could give this film a better judgement it deserved since it's forever overshadowed by the original. This film is the first film about WWI that I ever watched. Unlike the WWII themed ones it's so hard to find a good movie set in WWI, and this movie is definitely one of them. I was so captivated by the idea of an anti-war story delivered from German's perspective, and this film nailed it. The authenticity, the sincere casts, the hollow musics and of course, the thought-provoking dialogues. A must watch for you if you haven't watch the original and do not want to watch a very old movie. And if you have, trust me, it will worth the time.
½ September 11, 2012
As a movie, the action sequences are dated (however, the explosions, effects, and direction are very well done even by today's standards), and it isn't the easiest movie to watch. However, as a piece of art highlighting the tragedy of war and those involved in it, it carries all the emotional strength necessary to make it an excellent movie.
September 3, 2012
Amazing film from the perceptive of a unusual character everything works with no complaints.
April 22, 2012
I watched this in my history class, although I have been told the black and white version is better we were shown this one instead. All in all a great movie and worth getting for anyone who is really crazy about World War I. It is from the German's perspective so you'll see what they saw on the losing side
½ September 14, 2011
All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic anti-war drama.
½ March 30, 2011
Better than most TV movies, but doesn't come close to matching up to the original film that won the Best Picture Oscar in 1930. Acting is OK, with Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasance, and a surprising appearance by a young Ian Holm. Only watch this if you have already seen the original. If not, go see the original instead.
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