All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

All Quiet On The Western Front
is a harrow tale of life during World War I. Oddly, the film, despite being made during the start of Hitler's rise to power, and being an American film, appears to be a relatively neutral recount - in fact, it is told entirely from the German point of view. This is a pleasant change from other films that were being used as propaganda all over the world (see Alexander Nevsky).

The film begins showing how many young men were signed up during the war - often under the influence of the men they looked up to such as their teachers. Rallied into believing the war was good for both their countries and their reputations, privates were signed up en masse, unaware of the horrors that would lie in front of them.

Interestingly, All Quiet On The Western Front, while having a storyline, often appears to be more of a documentary and doesn't wrap up war in cotton wool. Many of the horrors the soldiers faced are shown - from shell-shock to nightmares, and from rats to amputations. Because it doesn't glamorise these, the film is awarded a PG rating, and all the better for it.

The film's sombre and morbid mood continues throughout, and the ending is just as uninspiring towards war as the rest of the film. It is shocking, and leaves you thinking. While it was commonplace for film to have the credits at the beginning of the film in the 1930s, the stark statement of "The End" seems to hit home even harder here.

It will leave you with a whole new respect for those at war now.

5 stars