Best Picture Winners Part 3 (of 87): All Quiet on the Western Front

Title: All Quiet on the Western Front
Year: 1929/30
Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray
Director: Lewis Milestone
Runtime: 2 hrs 16 minsIs It Any Good?: Great. It’s an early war epic. It’s anti-war sentiment is masked rather well, especially in the films first 15 mins, but as the script develops we see the sinister and dark side of the war. Whether they’re questioning the necessity of war itself, or contemplating their own existence in this conflict the films message is clear. It does war on a scale you can’t imagine came out of the late 20’s early 30’s. However the jokes in it a certainly from that period, and it is that very thing that takes me out of the film a bit.

Memorable Quote: Paul Baumer: “You still think it’s beautiful to die for your country. The first bombardment taught us better. When it comes to dying for your country, it’s better not to die at all.”

Competition: There were some great films this year. You had one of the sound eras first prison films (and still a revered one) in The Big House. The somewhat controversial film The Divorcee as well as Maurice Chevalier song and dance number The Love Parade and while the former two were probably better films in their day it is the latter that holds up more.

Next up is one of RKO Pictures first award succeses, and all one of it’s commercial failures. It’s a western with a huge scope, and we hope you’ll join us as our journey towards 87 continues!


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