All Quiet On The Western Front Movie
Paul Baumer (Felix Kammerer) is a young man who doesn't want to be left behind when all his friends head off to fight in World War I at the start of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. He forges his parents' signature and enlists. All the new young recruits are pumped with energy and enthusiasm about fighting for their country. Within mere hours after setting off with their troops, these men realize just how terrible the conditions are for soldiers, and how devastating war is on the psyche. Men die by the thousands, including all of Paul's friends. An older soldier, Kat (Albrecht Schuch), takes him under his wing, but nobody can truly be protected in the trenches and on the battlefields on the disputed western front. Meanwhile, the liberal politician Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Bruhl) works to sign a peace deal with France in time to save some lives.
All Quiet on the Western Front Movie
Quiet is shot in grey, blue, and brown tones, and painstakingly conveys the soldiers' horrific, near-starvation, mud-caked, boot-soaked conditions. These are compared in overlapping scenes with the exquisite luxuries military leaders are afforded. Soldiers are killed, dismembered, exploded, set on fire, and sent into a last deadly battle just minutes before the armistice. The film has a clear theme of how little the lives of the young men seem to matter to some of the higher-ups, or to the enemy. "Soon Germany will be empty," one character says. End credits tell us almost 17 million people died in World War I, three million battling uselessly over the western front. Scenes capture how single trenches get passed back and forth on the same fought-over land between opposing sides for years, and how the uniforms of the dead are practically yet cynically washed, sewn back up, and handed out to new recruits, with perished soldiers' names on labels ripped out and tossed to the floor.
When the movie begins, Paul Baumer is a fresh-faced high school graduate filled with patriotic fervor for the German "Fatherland" as a result of the speeches given by his teacher, Professor Kantorek (Arnold Lucy). He joins the army, goes through the equivalent of basic training, and is shipped to the front to fight the French. There, all is chaos. Organization has broken down. Rank is not respected. There is little food and less sanitation. Paul becomes attached to a grizzled veteran, Kat Katczinsky (Louis Wolheim), who teaches him the ropes. In large part because of Kat's advice, Paul survives attacks by planes, night battles in the trenches, a brutal hand-to-hand struggle with a French soldier whose life ebbs away while Paul watches, and other situations. He watches his hated former drill master, Himmelstoss (John Wray), turn into a coward on the battlefield. He huddles in a bunker in the trenches while enemy shelling threatens to tear it apart. He fights with rats for morsels of stale bread. And he watches as, one by one, his friends die. Finally, when an injury allows him to return home for a brief time, he cuts short the furlough to go back to the trenches - the only place he now considers to be "home." 041b061a72