All Quiet On The Western Front (1930/2022)

D: Lewis Milestone
Universal (Carl Laemmle, Jr.)
USA 🇺🇸 1930
130 mins


W: Del Andrews, Maxwell Anderson & George Abbott [based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque]
DP: Arthur Edeson
Ed: Edgar Adams & Milton Carruth
Mus: David Broekman

Louis Wolhelm (Katczinsky), Lew Ayres (Paul Baumer), John Wray (Himmelstoss), Slim Summerville (Tjaden), Russell Gleason (Muller)

Only the third film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Lewis Milestone's adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's pacifist novel is a remarkable anti-war film, with some incredibly well executed scenes of conflict, especially considering that the film was produced in 1930.
Set in 1914, the story follows a group of German teenagers who volunteer for action, only to become disillusioned with the political stance behind the war and accepting the slim chances of their own survival.
Though the film itself is dated in some aspects, the message it conveys is still an incredibly powerful one. 

All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front
Did You Know:
With the loss of limbs and gory deaths shown rather explicitly, this is undoubtedly the most violent American film of its time. This is because the Production Code was not strictly enforced until 1934, and also because Universal Pictures deemed the subject matter important enough to allow the violence to be seen. The scene where a soldier grabs a strand of barbed wire and then is blown up by an artillery shell, leaving only his hands still grabbing the barbed wire, was told to director Lewis Milestone by a former German soldier working as an extra, who saw that happen during a French attack on his position during the war. Milestone used it in the film.

Award Wins & Nominations:


Wins: 4 (Best Picture; Best Director; Best Screenplay - Adaptation; Best Sound)

Nominations: 3 (Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Special Visual Effects)


Wins: 2 (Best Picture; Best Director)

Nominations: 2 (Best Writing; Best Cinematography)


Wins: none

Nominations: none


National Board of Review (Top 10 Films of the Year)


D: Edward Berger

Netflix / Amusement Park (Malte Grunert, Daniel Dreifuss & Edward Berger)

Germany/US 🇩🇪🇺🇸 2022

147 mins


W: Edward Berger, Ian Stokell & Lesley Patterson [based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque]

DP: James Friend

Ed: Sven Budelmann

Mus: Volker Bertelmann

PD: Christian Goldbeck

Cos: Lisy Christl 

Felix Kammerer (Paul Bäumer), Albrecht Schuch (Stanislaus ‘Kat’ Katczinsky), Aaron Hilmer (Albert Klopp), Moritz Klaus (Franz Müller), Daniel Brühl (Matthias Erzberger)

Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel was initially brought to the screen by director Lewis Milestone in 1930, resulting in an Oscar-winning production that was named Best Picture of the year, and whilst it remains a classic for its time, I always felt that it was a story that needed a remake, but only if it was a German production, as it is based on a German novel, which experiences events of the First World War from a German perspective.

The story unfolds via the point of view of a young man, Paul Bäumer (newcomer Felix Kammerer providing a mesmerising performance), who enlists to the army with a trio of his school friends. The four of them roused by stirring speeches that excite them for their patriotic duty, yet fail to prepare them for the true atrocities and horrors of the battlefield that await.

In stark contrast to the action taking place on the trenches and no man’s land, there are also snippets featuring Daniel Brühl as German politician Matthias Erzberger, who along with other politicians and military generals discuss their plans from the comfort and safety of their offices of power.

Though the running time of 147 minutes does feel a little long, the unfiltered direction and set pieces showing warfare in all its explicit and violent nature would never have made this a comfortable film to sit through, especially when the story unfolds via the perspective of the “enemy”.

The story still remains one of the greatest anti-war accounts and this remake both does justice to the novel and improves on the 1930’s Hollywood version, especially with technical aspects and filmmaking effects which couldn’t have existed 92 years prior, though I do feel that both versions are amongst the greatest war movies ever brought to the screen.


Felix Kammerer in All Quiet On The Western Front
Felix Kammerer in All Quiet On The Western Front

Did You Know:

Felix Kammerer had to put on a 10kg vest and ran 10 km with it every day for months to prepare for his role.

Award Wins & Nominations: