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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)


antoniacarlotta
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I'm embarrassed to say I'd never seen All Quiet all the way through before making this video - but WOW what an impactful film! Considered one of the greatest anti-war films of all time, it was a grueling, brutal look at the effects of war on those who endure it. It won Universal its very first Oscars, but was also banned in countries across the world! 

What do you think of All Quiet? Can you think of any modern-day (or even just more recent) films that have had this kind of impact? 

 

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9 minutes ago, antoniacarlotta said:

I'm embarrassed to say I'd never seen All Quiet all the way through before making this video - but WOW what an impactful film! Considered one of the greatest anti-war films of all time, it was a grueling, brutal look at the effects of war on those who endure it. It won Universal its very first Oscars, but was also banned in countries across the world! 

What do you think of All Quiet? Can you think of any modern-day (or even just more recent) films that have had this kind of impact? 

 

 

 

The Most Loved and Hated Novel About World War I

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/most-loved-and-hated-novel-about-world-war-I-180955540/


 

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No, it's impossible for any movie today to be ranked as comparable in any way, to a flick like this. Different world, different movie-industry. Although, the same capitalist powers-that-be which rule our world today, are certainly no wiser, more prudent, more humane, or more conscientious now than they were when they set that conflict in motion.

If I remember a-rightly, the key point made by Remarque in his novel was that men in small bands fight for each other, even when every other reason for waging war has turned insane. The world at the time was wondering why teh fighting went on, and (according to Remarque) that was the reason as far as the men were concerned. Correct me if I misrecall this, by all means.

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3 hours ago, antoniacarlotta said:

I'm embarrassed to say I'd never seen All Quiet all the way through before making this video - but WOW what an impactful film! Considered one of the greatest anti-war films of all time, it was a grueling, brutal look at the effects of war on those who endure it. It won Universal its very first Oscars, but was also banned in countries across the world! 

What do you think of All Quiet? Can you think of any modern-day (or even just more recent) films that have had this kind of impact? 

 

Can't think of any modern film with an ending as eloquent as the one in this film of Erich Maria Remarque's classic story.

That sequence sticks in my mind as strongly as when I first saw it.

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21 minutes ago, GordonCole said:

Can't think of any modern film with an ending as eloquent as the one in this film of Erich Maria Remarque's classic story.

That sequence sticks in my mind as strongly as when I first saw it.

Except for an incredible continuity error when there was a closeup of a right hand after we saw Lew Ayres reach out with his left.

I would say that Kubrick's Paths of Glory matches All Quiet in emotional impact as an anti-war statement, even though the emphasis is upon military corruption rather than the futility of lost lives on the battlefields.

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4 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Except for an incredible continuity error when there was a closeup of a right hand after we saw Lew Ayres reach out with his left.

I would say that Kubrick's Paths of Glory matches All Quiet in emotional impact as an anti-war statement, even though the emphasis is upon military corruption rather than the futility of lost lives on the battlefields.

Right on. Bizarrely as I wrote my post I was thinking that Paths of Glory really was All Quiet on the Western Front's chief contender for great anti-war movie, so thanx for bringing it up.

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I must say that I have a genuine affection for Louis Wolheim's performance in All Quiet. I'm glad this gruff looking character actor had the opportunity to play this role, thus having a touch of film immortality, shortly before his death. He's the face of experience, combined with a kind heart, and a comforting father figure/friend for young Ayres.

all-quiet-on-the-western-front-lew-ayres

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

I must say that I have a genuine affection for Louis Wolheim's performance in All Quiet. I'm glad this gruff looking character actor had the opportunity to play this role, thus having a touch of film immortality, shortly before his death. He's the face of experience, combined with a kind heart, and a comforting father figure/friend for young Ayres.

all-quiet-on-the-western-front-lew-ayres

No doubt Wolheim learned all those traits in his previous career as a mathematics teacher.

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57 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

No doubt Wolheim learned all those traits in his previous career as a mathematics teacher.

Due to his smashed nose and brutish looks, Wolheim was predictably cast as a villain in his early silent film appearances. But he later started playing more playful, fun loving types in late silents such as Two Arabian Knights and Tempest.

One of his best performances was in The Racket, playing a gangster with considerable charm and great screen presence. Thomas Meighan plays the cop who wants to put him away but he's so bland and so blown off the screen by Wolheim's charisma that I found myself rooting for the gangster.

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Apparently the kind heartedness that Wolheim portrayed in All Quiet was a reflection of the actor himself. After his death friends and cohorts collected money and sent it to a charity to feed the poor in the actor's name.

Wolheim's death from cancer came as he was in preparation to play the role of the crafty newspaper editor in The Front Page, the role then cast with Adolphe Menjou. Difficult to think of two more physically contrasting actors than Menjou and Wolheim.

And in the area of coincidences Menjou would later be cast in a key role in Paths of Glory, a major competitor with All Quiet as the greatest anti-war film ever made.

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There's something about Louis Wolheim's face that I find so interesting. Like, yes it's different, and I can see how it could be seen as "brutish" or rough, but he really just has this look I find so endearing to me. I can see why he would be cast as villains, but I have a feeling as I explore his work further, I'll enjoy his playful/fun-loving characters more.

Though there have obviously been many films (and even TV shows) covering the topic of war, I'm a little surprised that neither Vietnam nor our more recent involvement in Iraq/Afghanistan elicited any great anti-war films like All Quiet or Paths of Glory (which I have yet to see.) I think the environment is actually pretty perfect right now for a film like that to make a mark...

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I think most of the best Vietnam films are anti-war films: Apocalypse NowPlatoonFull Metal Jacket all have strong anti-war sentiments, and at least express the ultimate waste of life that war brings. The films made about the latest wars (Iraq, Afghanistan) seem to focus more on the individual, or the "band of brothers" aspect of serving in those conflicts.

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i think All Quiet is when talkies grew up and became the force that showed the world the possibilities of motion pictures. there were glamor stars and directors before and since that showed a bit of what film could be, but All Quiet is perfection. it's the marriage of book and screen, acting style and interpretation that rivets a looker. it's been achieved by some (too few, actually, considering the number of pictures made.) i keep looking and hoping to have my attitude changed the way Quiet did.

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As fine a film overall I feel that AQOTWF is, what first impressed me the most( especially after growing up seeing plenty of WWII movies) was the story being told from the side of who eventually became our ENEMIES in that conflict. I was 14 when I first saw it on a "late show".

I also feel films like SINCE YOU WENT AWAY('44) and THE SEARCH('48) have strong "anti-war" sentiments since they show it wasn't only the soldiers that suffered any hardships during war.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

 

I also feel films like SINCE YOU WENT AWAY('44) and THE SEARCH('48) have strong "anti-war" sentiments since they show it wasn't only the soldiers that suffered any hardships during war.

 

To me Since You Went Away shows the nobility and suffering of families on the American home front, as you said, Sepia. But they were also supportive of what their male family members were doing in the service. That hardly makes the film anti-war. It was, quite the opposite, a "We're all in this together" propaganda piece designed to rally the spirits of those at home.

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But then, what you stated could have been the intent of the film maker.  How it affected the audience could have( as some "elders" in my family and other's told me) had the opposite effect.  For instance---

What I've long called the "Ron O'Neal effect";  his hope when taking on the role of Youngblood Priest in SUPER FLY was to show how scurrilous a character dope dealers had, and their violent ends would make young black men be repelled from that lifestyle.  Instead, the movie sadly had the opposite effect.  

Sepiatone

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Sure, All Quiet is one of the best dramatic anti-war films of all time, BUT I suppose you folks DO know what the best COMEDIC anti-war film of all time is, don't you?

Do the lines - "You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines, And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in here thinking what a sucker you are!" - ring a bell at all?!

(...and now one MORE hint here...the title of this movie has something to do with a certain kind of water fowl, AND is something that tastes good and warms ya up nicely on a cold winter's day...got it yet?) ;)

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2 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

got it! Ovaltine!

LOL

Ooooh, SO close here, slayton!

BUT, how exactly would that whole "certain kind of water fowl" thing I said play into your answer here?

(...remember here, that stuff's called "OVALtine, NOT, well, "certain kind of water fowl-tine", dude...and heck for THAT matter, even that 'tine" part was wrong...wanna try for another guess here???) ;)

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Anti-war movies by war:

WW I:

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

The Big Parade (1925)

 

WW II:

Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

 

American Civil War:

Gone With the Wind (1939)

 

Korean War:

Pork Chop Hill (1959)

 

Vietnam War :

Take your pick, mine is The Deer Hunter (1978)

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10 hours ago, slaytonf said:

You never heard of oval-teals?

SURE I have!

BUT, as you may not know here slayton, the term "oval-teals" is actually a misnomer...and misnomer, like Miss AntoniaCarlotta here, the originator of thread, is quite the looker ya know. But, I digress here.

(...now where was I?...oh yeah, "oval-teals"...oval-teals are NOT actually oval...nope, they're really much more true round in shape...I think anyway, and so don't quote me on this)

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On 2/8/2019 at 3:08 PM, GordonCole said:

Right on. Bizarrely as I wrote my post I was thinking that Paths of Glory really was All Quiet on the Western Front's chief contender for great anti-war movie, so thanx for bringing it up.

For me, The Star (2002 remake of the 53 classic) ranks up there with All Quiet as one of my favorite anti-war films of all time. The scene where the soldier returns to his village to find all the civilians hanging from nooses by the Germans is very powerful. 

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Paths of Glory as mentioned before is also a favorite.

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Here's one of the better anti-war films that often seems overlooked by many for some reason...

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(...I remember after watching this one years ago thinking: Well whaddaya know, that pretty boy Cruise kid CAN act pretty well after all)

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6 hours ago, slaytonf said:

Vietnam War :

Take your pick, mine is The Deer Hunter (1978)

Actually, COMING HOME('78), which has NO actual battle scenes is my pick for Viet Nam "anti-war" flick.  The Deer Hunter(to me) suffers from a TRAGIC lack of discriminate editing.  I'd say(and IMHO) that a good 45 or more minutes could be cut from that flick and it'd STILL make a pretty good movie.  

Made me think that perhaps MICHAEL CIMINO owned a LOT of stock in the company that made his FILM.  ;)

Sepiatone

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