014 - 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 Mr. Hitler's rise to power and being an American appears to be a 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 - under the influence of the men they looked up to, their teachers. Rallied into believing the war was good for both their countries and their reputations, privates were signed up en mass, unaware of the horrors in front of them.

Theatrical Poster
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 glamourise these (see Inglourious Basterds), the film is awarded a PG rating, and all the better for it.

Finally, I should probably mention the ending, which is as uninspiring towards war as the rest of the film. It is shocking, and leaves you thinking while the film simply says "The End". Even the credits don't roll as they are at the start.

For simply leaving me with a whole new respect for those at war now, the film can have no other rating than the full five stars.