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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Cast: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, more...
Director: Lewis Milestone
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Classics, War, Precode
Running Time: 130 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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One of the most powerful anti-war statements ever put on film, this gut-wrenching story concerns a group of friends who join the Army during World War I and are assigned to the Western Front, where their fiery patriotism is quickly turned to horror and misery by the harsh realities of combat. Director Lewis Milestone pioneered the use of the sweeping crane shot to capture a ghastly battlefield panorama of death and mud, and the cast, led by Lew Ayres, is terrific. It's hard to pick a favorite scene, but the finale, as Ayres stretches from his trench to catch a butterfly, is one of the most devastating sequences of the decade. The film won Oscars for Best Picture and for Milestone's direction -- and trivia buffs should note that the actors were coached by future luminary George Cukor, while Ayres became a conscientious objector in World War II. The Road Back (1937) followed, and the film was remade for television in 1979. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Amazing Cinematography. by DRamos March 28, 2008 - 10:48 AM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
For a 1930 film this movie looks very clean. No crackles, pops, or visual distortion. It must have been retouched. I was amazed with the cinematography of this early film. The camera angles and subject shots were well thought out. I was also amazed to learn that over 1.5 million (1930s) dollars was spent to make this movie. The battle scene was created using real explosives in order to make the field look authentic.

I suggest you read the movies historical files and actors bios (all within the extras on the DVD) before playing the movie.


GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.09)
116 Votes
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Auntie War
Best Picture Oscar Winners: 1930s.
(Note: The '32-'33 winner Cavalcade is not available on DVD; one of only two Best Pic winners to not be on DVD in the States.)

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