All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Paul Baumer
as Stanislaus Katczinsky
as Paul's Mother
as Josef Behm
as Albert Kropp
as Friedrich Muller
as Frank Kemmerich
as Peter Leeer
as Kemmerich's Mother
as Paul's Father
as French Brunette
as French Blonde
as 3rd French Girl
as Sister Libertine
as Paul's Sister
as Gerard Duval
as Young Recruit
as 2nd Recruit
Critic Reviews for All Quiet on the Western Front
Audience Reviews for All Quiet on the Western Front
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.
Not as good as the original
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.
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