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The movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a World War I movie, meant to depict the German viewpoint of the war. This movie showed that both sides of the war suffered great losses during the war and in the end there were also several philosophical questions about war addressed. The movie starts out when there were problems between Serbia and Austria-Hungary over an assassination of an Austria-Hungarian important historical figure by a young radically nationalist Slavic man. World War broke out. This is the beginning setting of the movie. The protagonist of this story is Paul Baumer. He is first seen as a young student who daydreams about war. The first setting is of Germany in the beginning of the war. Schools were spreading propaganda, hoping to recruit young soldiers to fight the war, “for father Germany.” The professor with glasses that taught Paul’s class was very enthusiastic in his lectures of serving the nation. He said things like “your nation has served you well; now it is time for you to serve your nation!” Things like this inspired the schoolboys to become soldiers in the new German army. While the professor talked about how courageous heroes they could be if they joined the army, the young boys went off daydreaming about being victorious heroes in the war. It would be unfortunately otherwise after they start fighting in the war. The film continues following a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War 1 by their jingoistic teacher. The story is told entirely through the experiences of the young German recruits and highlights the tragedy of war through the eyes of individuals. As the boys witness death and mutilation all around them, any preconceptions about "the enemy" and the "rights and wrongs" of the conflict disappear, leaving them angry and bewildered. This is highlighted in the scene where Paul mortally wounds a French soldier and then weeps bitterly as he fights to save his life while trapped in a shell crater with the body. The film is not about heroism but about drudgery and futility and the gulf between the concept of war and the actuality.

Starring ... Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, George "Slim" Summerville,
John Wray, Raymond Griffith

Director: Lewis Milestone
Producer: Carl Laemmle Jr.


Year Released - April 1930

Length - 138 minutes

Music Composer: David Broekman

Movie Distributed by Universal Pictures



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