All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
October 29, 2022 11:41 AM - Subscribe

Paul Baumer and his friends Albert and Muller, egged on by romantic dreams of heroism, voluntarily enlist in the German army. Full of excitement and patriotic fervour, the boys enthusiastically march into a war they believe in. But once on the Western Front, they discover the soul-destroying horror of World War I.
posted by jouke (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's going to be penalized by many for lack of accuracy to the source material, but it's still a great film.
posted by miguelcervantes at 2:21 PM on October 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

I loved it but I'll never watch it again. War is hell, indeed.
posted by h00py at 1:47 AM on October 30, 2022

FYI: In addition to the original 1930 version, the 1979 Delbert Mann (Marty) remake with Richard Thomas is legitimately good!
posted by rhizome at 1:47 AM on October 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've seen the 1930s version. I'm excited about this one. If you know german it makes a big difference to hear the story in the original language.
posted by jouke at 7:43 AM on October 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I would like to see this but the trailer made it look absolutely horrific. Like, worse than Saving Private Ryan. I know it's a war film, and I'm glad war films have gone beyond John Wayne bloodlessly mowing down Nazis, but I'm not sure I'm up for too much human suffering these days.

Is it as awful as I think it's going to be?
posted by bondcliff at 10:48 AM on October 30, 2022

It's pretty gruesome. As is to be expected of a depiction of WWI. Men getting gased, bayoneted, hacked with trench shovel, torched by flame thrower, ....
posted by jouke at 12:10 PM on October 30, 2022

Ghosts of War ruined war movies for me. Spend the entire movie waiting for the Billy Zane reveal.
posted by Dynex at 2:20 PM on October 30, 2022

I was really disappointed. It was beautifully shot, but the departure from the novel was pretty severe and it wound up discarding a lot of the things that most affected me about the book - the characters, their relationship with each other, their experiences from school to training to army, the whiplash of going from the front to 'off' and back again. It could have had a different title and still been a reasonably decent WW1 film, but really suffered for lack of a plot other than "war bad, boy tries to survive."
posted by entropone at 9:16 AM on November 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

I am also in the camp of wishing they just gave it a different title. The departures are so severe that if you were to change the characters' names the only remaining "strong" link to the book would've been Kat and the goose.

With that said, as a depiction of WWI, I did like the contrast of the savagery in the trenches against the maneuverings to end the war. It's good that the book and film also center on the conflict being between the Germans and the French and that there aren't gratuitous token Americans or Brits inserted to pander to Anglophone audiences. The framing of the opening act of how Paul gets his uniform is horrifyingly effective.

The film is a good antiwar film, but it made a choice to discard a lot of other things that made the novel great (ie. their relationship with the drill sergeant, the utterly crippling injuries, the dissonance and alienation of going on leave). I would've enjoyed this film more if I wasn't primed to expect to see those.
posted by bl1nk at 4:46 AM on December 10, 2022

This has been on my radar for a while. We watched the 1930 film in 7th grade history and it's still vivid, almost 25 years later. (Lord, I'm old.) Especially the scene where Paul comes home on leave (whiplash is about right) and the scene with the boots.

If this remake is grit and gore, instead of the characters' relationships and disillusionment, though, I might just skip it.
posted by basalganglia at 6:59 PM on December 10, 2022

The 1979 one is free on Kanopy (and some pay sites), if you have access.
posted by rhizome at 7:43 PM on December 10, 2022

posted by jouke at 11:15 AM on December 29, 2022

I read the book long ago and don't remember much of it. So I'm judging this movie all on its own.

The little story of Paul's uniform was very good, but after that it got a bit standard. It's strange that they felt they needed to show some action type sequences. Like, they brought on some tanks ... did they need to show our heroes taking one out; that felt tonally incongruous.

The shorthand of showing the generals always eating.. They kept going back to it and it just annoyed me because I wanted them to go more into things about how command operates, which I thought we were going to get with the scenes about the leadership. During the scene where the Germans are trying to ask for the armistice, combined with the tank/flamethrower scenes, I was wondering, does this film think that only Germans are dying, and I was wondering for a second if it was trying to dish out some blame on France for WW2. I think probably it was just trying to find some disposable tension for the scene.

I think the movie was overall just... not sure what it wanted to say all the time.
posted by fleacircus at 7:52 PM on January 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

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