All quiet on the Western Front (1930)

In honour of my birthday I will be reviewing 3 movies. 1 good, 1 bad and 1 ugly. Now the good movie will be a spectacular film, the bad an average film and the ugly a god awful peice of defecation. The movie I have chosen to represent good is All Quiet on the Western Front.

The film is set in early 1914, on the brink of war and is based around a group of freinds. They are inspired in class to enlist for the army and are soon sent out to the front. The movie focuses on the lives of these boys and their experiances in battle. There are some really brilliant and well thought out scenes, I especially like the scene where one character kills an enemy soilder and is stuck in a hole in the middle of no mans land with the body, forced to face what he has done. Brilliant and touching. The film also concentrates on the Ethics of war and there is a fantastic scene where the men are asking why war exists. The film, being made in the 30’s, is in black and white. This does not however,, diminish the brilliance of it.

This is a great film. The story is great, the characters enjoyable and the ethical questions just great. I love the scenes where these young men are trying to understand why they must kill other people in the name of the fatherland. My favorite scene by far is when one of the freinds returns to his classroom and is asked to talk about his experiances on the front to the class. The director purposly cast younger looking boys to add effect and the scene has some brilliant dialogue. Anything else? Oh wait thats right, THERE GERMAN! Evidently the director wanted to have his film carry meaning and basing it around German characters was the perfect way to do this, humanising what many people at the time thought were a barborous people. This film truly is a great and certainly deserved to win best picture at the 1930 Oscars.

A spectacular film, don’t be deterred by the fact that its in black and white, it is a masterpiece and well worth a watch!




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