Home
Textual Analysis
Film History
Independent Study
Presentation
Film Project
Case Studies
Forum
Student Work
Shop EU
Shop US
Links
About
IB Film - Case Studies
All Quiet on the Western Front
Director: Lewis Milestone 

Release Date: 24 August 1930 (USA) 

Genre: Action, Drama, War 

Awards: Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations 

Synopsis: A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

 

  

 
All Quiet on the Western Front is considered a realistic and harrowing account of warfare in World War I, and was named number 54 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies. However, it fell out of the top 100 in the AFI's 2007 revision. In June 2008, AFI revealed its 10 Top 10-the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres-after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. All Quiet on the Western Front was acknowledged as the seventh best film in the epic genre. In 1990, this film was selected and preserved by the United States Library of Congress' National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. And it was the first film in history that was an all-talking non-musical to receive a Best Picture Oscar. It's often called the greatest war film ever made. Suspect critics say that it is unduly influenced by its historical significance as the first important war film to be made after the talkies were introduced. By today's standards the movie does not hold up nearly as well as the book. It's somewhat melodramatic, slow in places, and overacted. This is not to put down director Lewis Milestone, Lew Ayres as the disillusioned German soldier Paul Baumer or any of the others associated with the film. This is just how early Hollywood films were made. Three years after the first talkies appeared, All Quiet on the western front still seems like a silent picture in many ways. A very good one though. The visual storytelling is brilliant-from one of the initial scenes of troops marching past school windows flanking the jingoistic old teacher haranguing his young students to the last scene of the soldier's dead hand reaching for a butterfly. Throughout, the use of shadow, the juxtaposition of odd images, and dramatic camera angles provides fodders for film-study classes.

Isabella Bogdain

 
 

  

   

free hit counters