The trailer for All Quiet on the Western Front looks anything but

Originally published at: The trailer for All Quiet on the Western Front looks anything but | Boing Boing


@dnealy - a circular link on the OP.

ETA I’m not sure I have the stomach for this. Wilfred Owen is enough for me.


The 1930 original is still a benchmark for WWI films. A must see war film.

The 1979 made for TV remake with Richard Thomas is eminently skipable.

This is the first German-made adaption that I know of. With the acceptability of war gore in mainstream films, I expect this one to be interesting.


I’ve kind of changed my view of war movies. No matter how much they try to show the real ugliness of war, they still seem to somehow make it seem worthy and honorable, rather than just a complete, massive, fucking waste of everything. Saving Private Ryan is a perfect example. The first few minutes show the absolute horror of war, and then the protagonists go on a heroes journey to save one man, and we all feel great about how brave they all were. Maybe this film is different, but I doubt it.


This makes it seem like a necessity of self-defense. But it certainly doesn’t hide the real ugliness of war. Imagine the first few minutes of SPR, but it’s pretty much the entire movie. It’s definitely a piece of war propaganda, but it’s still pretty good at putting the violence of war in it’s proper context.

But yeah… many western war films have that very real problem.


Thank you. I somehow had never heard of that film. I think reading the description on Wikipedia is enough for me, though. I’m just not in the mood these days for how horrible humans can be to each other. All I’ve been watching lately are reruns of NCIS. It’s so ridiculous that it might as well be fantasy, so it’s mindless watching for me. (I know it’s copaganda, but it’s so transparent and blatant that I just find it absurd)


Go for the book, if you don’t want to watch it. This is an important work. The Nazis feared it. That’s enough for me to recommend it.

Here’s some publicity piece on the 2022 film.


I remember reading this book in High School. I think I ended up reading it twice. It has been way too long for me to remember all of it, but bits stick out in my memory. It was probably my first exposure to “realistic” war stories. Where there isn’t any glory or adventure, just death and misery.


I think Letters from Iwo Jima, Cold Mountain, and Das Boot were exceptions. To tell that kind of war story it helps if the story is told from the side of the losers. But most of the time in movies and elsewhere it’s the victors that are doing the storytelling.


War movies are an odd genre. No matter how much we may enjoy their execution, most people find the idea of war repugnant.

I was going to say we feel the same way about horror films: we (as a society) love them, but we hate the idea of brutal murder. Then I watched the trailer for All Quiet on the Western Front and I realized it’s the same thing, only in this case the monster is us.

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I don’t think it’s well known in the US… I was aware of it from grad school.

It is not a light romp, so yeah… It’s worth watching at some point, but probably not during the dark times… It’s a movie that more people should be aware of, though. I think it’s one of the best war films of all times, if not the best.


You’re saying Hemingway wrote it? Cuz yeah, he didn’t.


Damn it - I am confusing it with A Farewell to Arms.

I read both books in High School and now they are blending into the same book in my head. :confused:



The first few minutes show the absolute horror of war, and then the protagonists go on a heroes journey to save one man, and we all feel great about how brave they all were. Maybe this film is different, but I doubt it.

Unless they drastically change the plot from the novel, this will be different. They would pretty much have to put the whole thing in the bin to have any kind of hero’s journey.


This might be interesting. Kubricks war films manage are also to be recommended. Paths of Glory from 1957 could be an interesting companion to show the horror, futility and stupidity on the other side of the trench. Paths of glory is truly a great film, and a true anti-war film.

WW2 movies are tricky because nazi germany needed to be defeated. The war became necessary. There is therefore s,omething inherently heroic in the fight against the nazis. The problem is that in many filma that easily slips over in to glorification of war and violence. Very few movies manage to treat this well. One movie that at least shows the horror of it all is the german film Stalingras from 1993. I did feel that Nolans dunkirk was a worthwile effort, even though heroic it did manage to show terror and

When it comes to show the genocidical horrors, the holocaust is beyond fictional film for me. The film that for me treats the subject best Conspiracy depicting the wansee conference in a very matter of fact manner. That film is truly terrifying.


I’m not sure I’ve watched one of the films, but I did read the book as a kid and the title is a kind of utterly grim irony. I know it’s a hundred years old but I guess this could still be in spoiler territory.

There’s no glory in the book. It’s all pointlessness, arbitrariness, and death.

ETA @squeakyanimal I owe you a carbonated beverage: what you said.


Have you read Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy? If you like the WWI English poets she does a brilliant job. At least the first one was made into a film as well, if not others but I’m hazy. Gonna blame my cold,

The last novel of hers I read was the Silence of the Girls which is The Iliad told from the perspective mostly of Bresias. I see she has a new one called the Women of Troy which has just joined my mental to read list!

Also: I agree, Paths of Glory is a superb movie.


CaS was a very tough watch (horrific/tragic images) but we could not look away. I would recommend it to anyone rightfully seeking to avoid yet another “worthy and honorable” depiction of war.


As far as plotting and narrative, it might be difficult for Netflix’s AQotWF to somehow bring up the numerous genocidal acts that took place during WW1 (and not just Armenians; several ethnic groups suffered.) The highest total estimates run to about 3.6 million deaths. Perhaps “cards” shown before the credits roll.


No, but on my list now - thanks!