- Lewis Milestone
- Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray
One of the greatest antiwar films of all time, this adaptation of the classic novel by Erich Maria Remarque was one of the first movies to honestly depict the horrors of World War I, which was, at the time of the film’s 1930 release, still very fresh in the minds and memories of audiences around the world. Released in both sound and silent versions, the film is at once a brutally realistic documentation of trench warfare as well as a poetic memorial to a generation cut down in huge number and across many nations. This American film, honored with Oscars for best director and picture, turned to the story of a former enemy, the German veteran Remarque, to make its case for peace. Ironically, the film was subject to controversy in its German release, going so far as to spark the ire of the National Socialists, who released white mice in Berlin theaters as a protest against the film’s pacifism. Although many wars and war films have come and gone since its release, All Quiet on the Western Front’s blend of realism and sympathy are still compelling. In Leonard Maltin’s words, “time hasn’t dimmed its power, or its poignancy, one bit.” Restored print.