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

All Quiet on the Western Front Reviews

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½ August 13, 2015
good film in its own right and not a remake!
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2015
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.
February 20, 2015
This inferior made-for-TV remake of the 1930 original does not come near the grandeur of its source material (either the film or the book). Some of the dialogue is so badly written and poorly delivered that I found myself laughing out loud, which is not the kind of response you want in a tragedy. Many of the clever ideas of the original (the severed hand on the barbed wire, the mano et mano struggle in the foxhole) reappear here (though not the final scene of the butterfly and the helmet) but with much less effectiveness so that nothing very original is offered. It is difficult to buy Ernest Borgnine and Richard Thomas (John-Boy Walton) as German soldiers. The special effects are clunky with some techniques that went out in the 50s. The set piece battles are unconvincing especially compared with the magnificent achievement of the original. Please do not settle for this poor remake when you can enjoy the original which is a classic of its type.
November 2, 2014
Decent war movie has some very powerful/memorable scenes and good characters.
July 29, 2014
Not as influential as the original, but then that film hasn't aged well. Apart from a few odd casting decisions (isn't Ernest Borgnine a bit old and fat for this role?) and sometimes limited production values this film manages to capture the tone of the novel extremely well.
July 16, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

(1979) All Quiet On The Western Front
WAR

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
½ December 9, 2013
Several good moments, but it is a remake. The magic isn't quite there.
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.
June 7, 2013
Paul Baumer (Richard Thomas), enlists in the Imperial German Army during World War I with many of his high school friends, after being indoctrinated by their teacher (Donald Pleasence) as to the glory and superiority of German culture. After surviving training camp under the brutal Corporal Himmelstoss (Ian Holm), the young men board a troop train bound for the front lines. Ominously, at the same moment, they notice another train arriving in town loaded with wounded returning soldiers, who are carried off on stretchers. Once at the front lines, they are placed under the supervision of Stanislaus "Kat" Katzinsky, (Ernest Borgnine). Kat teaches them how to best take cover, how to find extra food, and other survival skills. Originally thinking war would be a great adventure, Paul and his friends discover exactly the opposite as the war drags on and one by one the members of the class are killed in action until only Paul remains...

"All Quiet on the Western Front" (Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front. The novel was first published in November and December 1928 in the German newspaper Vossische Zeitung and in book form in late January 1929. The book and its sequel, The Road Back, were among the books banned and burned in Nazi Germany. It sold 2.5 million copies in twenty-five languages in its first eighteen months in print. This 1979 version of "All Quiet on the Western Front" was made for tv and that is quite obvious when seeing it. The biggest problem in this movie is the uneven and way too theatrical acting in my point of view and the ever so irritating idea of having german characters played by english actors. On the plus side is the props, environments, weapons, uniforms etc. That part creates an authentic World War I feeling and vibe. Only really by the end there were some true sparks and intensity in the acting and storyline, but then it was too late to really excite me. Thus, I was hoping for something more convincing and less tv balanced.
March 11, 2013
It's not a bad movie, but I certainly like the original 1930 version a hundred times more than this film.
½ February 6, 2013
ok but skip this and see the 1930 best picture oscar winner version of this.
January 9, 2013
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.
December 7, 2012
Might be worht seeing...

Might be very boring...

Ah well get it over and done with.
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.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2012
Not as good as the original
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
April 18, 2012
A good re-make of such a great movie. Though I did like the ending to the 1930 version better.
January 2, 2012
Joyeux Nol aside, I think it's about time this story received a modern remake. The 1930 classic is all but unwatchable by today's standards and this 1979 version, although solid, could only benefit from a visually realistic approach la Saving Private Ryan...
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