All Quiet on the Western Front
1930, War, 1h 45m80 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings
What to know
Director Lewis Milestone's brilliant anti-war polemic, headlined by an unforgettable performance from Lew Ayres, lays bare the tragic foolishness at the heart of war. Read critic reviews
You might also like
Where to watch
Rate And Review
All Quiet on the Western Front Videos
All Quiet on the Western Front Photos
Cast & Crew
Himmelstoss , Postman , Sergeant
News & Interviews for All Quiet on the Western Front
Critic Reviews for All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front will grip you and leave an indelible mark upon your soul.
[All Quiet on the Western Front] strips war of all its glory and bares its sickening brutality with a tragic grimness that spares nothing and leaves the spectator shaken and speechless.
How it was passible to attain such remarkable accuracy in the battle episodes is a story in itself. But the delicate and intimate touches in the production are exceptionally fine, and though the story is somber there is the relieving humor here and there.
There is not much characterization in the picture. This is another reason why it is not a masterpiece. Many times it seems like a news reel actually taken at the front during 1917. It is this photographic detail which limits it as a work of art.
All Quiet on the Western Front is unquestionably the greatest screen document of war and its bitter, terrifying futility that has yet been presented.
All Quiet on the Western Front is beautifully photographed, and the difficult trench scenes have been reproduced with distinctness and clearness of detail.
Audience Reviews for All Quiet on the Western Front
Jan 14, 2016Magnificent film about war that has anti-war messages which may seem somewhat simplistic today, but are presented in a cinematic way that is anything but so. For example, one could point to the wonderful shot in the beginning that shows German soldiers in the small town - the camera moves backwars and we find ourselves in a school where the teacher, instead of teaching Homer (as the first lines of Odyssey are written on the blackboard), makes a propaganda, ultra-patriotic speech that inspires the students to become soldiers. Here the transition of one plane to the other is beautiful and full of meaning. The cinematography is strikingly clear and makes excellent uses of contrasts of more than one planes throughout the film. The battle scenes are some of the best depicted on camera, at least from the other films I have seen. They are not at all overdramatized with fast montage and sensational camera angles as Hollywood tends to do, especially with more modern films (see Saving Private Ryan); on the contrary, with clear, long takes and tracking shots depicts the attacks and counterattacks of the two armies, making the peculiar madness of the WWI trenches battles a devastaing view. The only filmmaker I know who later followed similar techniques to depict war scenes was Kubrick in that other masterpiece, Paths of Glory. The performances are all excellent. The narrative rhythm of the film might seem problematic at first but it is not if one understands that it comes in chapters, and individual episodes instead of a single escalating crescendo. These indivudual episodes are excellently paced themselves. The film shows true feeling and compassion for its characters, who fight a war they know nothing about. The unpatriotic politics behind the film are subversive enough to make the film count as an oddity in American cinema. On the surface the feilm may look as if it wants to promote a cheap humanism, but that is never the case when we examine the individual, rich episodes in meaning and conflict the heroes are dealing with. For example, when the protagonist kills a French soldier and stays in a crater wih him for a whole day, he feels guilty. When his older fellow after the event tells him not to think about it - it was not his fault and such things, he seems to accept it easily as a consolation and erase his own agency from the event. Such events highlight the characters' faults and do not present them only as innocents caught in a bad war.George M Super Reviewer
Jul 05, 2014A classic anti war film, All Quiet on the Western Front is a masterwork of filmmaking. Over 80 years after its release, the film is still very effective, and ranks among the genres finest works. With stunning performances from its cast, the film occur during the First World War, and it shows us the chaos, and considering the fact that this was made in 1930, it's an impressive feat in filmmaking, as what we have here is a picture that captures the fear and agony of combat, and it's a well made movie for its time, and it still looks great after all these years. What stands out with the film is the superb direction from director Lewis Milestone, who captures every moment on camera and does so in away where you're plunged directly into the action and terror of the war. War films are always tricky to do, a lot of them inaccurate, overdone, and it lacks the effectiveness of capturing War carnage on camera by overdoing IT. However here, since this was made in the early days of cinema, All Quiet on the Western Front delivers a straight to the point story with subtlety and it is an engaging and captivating viewing experience. This film is the definitive WWI picture, with great direction, well done effects and memorable performances, this one gets it right. The film does a fine job at presenting the facts, and with that being said, it's a genre classic that is a must watch for war or history enthusiasts,. The film's message really sets this film apart. With the way that it tackles its subject, All Quiet on the Western Front gives you that anti war message without overdoing anything, and that's what's great about this. This is a movie that is horrifying in the way that shows young men torn apart by the horrors of war, but it does so in a very tasteful way. Remember that the war to end all war ended in 1918, and this picture was made 12 years later, still fresh in people's minds. This is a flawless picture, one that stands among the most powerful genre pictures ever made as well as a defining cinematic accomplishment.Alex r Super Reviewer
Oct 21, 2013A group of German schoolboys enlists to serve in the Great War. As vital, disturbing, and powerful now as it was when it was written and filmed, All Quiet on the Western Front is an excellent film about war and both its inhumanity -- the moments when people are turned into monsters and pawns -- and its humanity -- the moments when despite the contexts people attempt to regain their decency. Very few war films are able to conflate so much of war's aspects. The film also serves as a visual representation of much of the poetry that came out of WWI. "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon's poems are reminiscent of this film, or vice versa. I particularly liked the scene in which soldiers, one of them pretending to be the kaiser, debate the necessities of war in a conversation that is wise in its simplicity. The final scene get a little maudlin; there's a line where a film deserves its sentimentality, I think this film dances around it. Overall, this is a profoundly effective war film that rivals anything current.Jim H Super Reviewer
Dec 04, 2012Whilst gritty but not gruesome, All Quiet on the Western Front is a raw portrayal of trench warfare that serves to dispel any notions romanticizing war. War is dirty, confusing, and the men (and women, now) who fight them come back changed people.Jeff L Super Reviewer
All Quiet on the Western Front Quotes
|Paul Baumer:||You still think it's beautiful to die for your country. The first bombardment taught us better. When it comes to dying for country, it's better not to die at all.|
|Paul Baumer:||And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death.|