All Quiet On The Western Front is the newest remake to hit the theaters, or in this case, Netfix. I think this is the third cinematic version by my count. Based on a book written by a German veteran of the Great War, it follows the depressing and bleak day to day life of a German infantryman as he tries to survive the bloodiest war ever fought.
The Netflix take is as bleak and depressing as the war and the book. Not to say that as a negative of the film. It should be those things. Unlike the idiotic WW1 film from a few years ago, 1917, this one gives some reality. There are no clean uniforms in this film. The daily squalor of the war is shown in all it’s detail. Historical accuracy was given more attention in this one. Uniforms, weapons and conditions.
The film is not a direct adaptation of the book or the last couple movie versions but it does hit the high points. Or, more like low points. The points that stick with you anyways. The famous bomb crater scene with the dying French soldier is in the film for example, as well as the fate of each character we meet. Things play out differently for most of them but the end point for each is the same.
Now, it is a war film and it is full of the tropes and cliches of war films. The reason for those tropes and cliches is because they are very real and common things in real war. Expect all that because this is no action-entertainment war movie.
Well shot with some great cinematography. There is some less that perfect CGI stuff and a few things I could gripe about. No real recoil from rifles when fired for instance. Though we do get to see some use of early tanks. The soundtrack has some strange choices for my tastes but it doesn’t hurt anything. Its properly somber and serious and fits unlike the soundtrack to your typical Italian cannibal movie. It is epic in length so get ready for a long sit. Not a problem for me though, longer the better for any movie for my personal tastes.
Over all it rates high on the tiny list of good movies about The Great War. 4 out of 5 stars.
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I was cautiously optimistic when I saw the trailer, glad it seems to have turned out alright
Just finished it. (Lucked into a few hours to kill at the right time) it’s definitely worth a watch.
At the end of the book, I recall there’s Ludendorffs quote about the “Black day for the German army” on August 8, 1918.
Thats a reference to the massive defeat of the Germans by the Australians at the battle of Amiens. My paternal grandfather, fought in that battle, and was decorated for gallantry in the field.
His unit was in danger of being wiped out in a local counter-attack, so the OC asked for a volunteer to run for help. The first volunteer was shot to pieces as soon as he left cover. The second volunteer also only made it about 50 yards. Then, for reasons known only to him, my Granpa put his hand up and ran several hundred yards through a hail of automatic fire and an artillery barrage and was successful in saving his unit.
All these years I’ve thought about that run, and what a miracle it is that he survived and I’m here today. He was a better man than me, thats for sure. In 2019 I went to the Battlefield and stood on the battalion start line, where he would have waited to jump off that morning. It brought tears to my eyes.
During the course of the war his Battalion was wiped out 3 times over…ie suffered 300% casualties during about 15 months in combat, and he never got a scratch.
got any pictures of the battlefield ?
That’s a great story. Can’t help but think of Gallipoli.
I had never paid much attention to WWI but got sucked into a long podcast series from Dan Carlin a couple years ago. It’s amazing how much effect the echos have on modern European politics.
Yeah, I have some pics. Would you like me to send them to you? I could even write a history post about the battle if you like.
yeah , send it to firstname.lastname@example.org