"All Quiet On The Western Front" Is Released
All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 war film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name.
It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Arnold Lucy and Ben Alexander.
All Quiet on the Western Front is considered a realistic and harrowing account of warfare in World War I, and was named #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.
One of the most powerful anti-war statements ever put on film, this gut-wrenching story concerns a group of friends who join the Army during World War I and are assigned to the Western Front, where their fiery patriotism is quickly turned to horror and misery by the harsh realities of combat. Director Lewis Milestone pioneered the use of the sweeping crane shot to capture a ghastly battlefield panorama of death and mud, and the cast, led by Lew Ayres, is terrific. It's hard to pick a favorite scene, but the finale, as Ayres stretches from his trench to catch a butterfly, is one of the most devastating sequences of the decade. The film won Oscars for Best Picture and for Milestone's direction -- and trivia buffs should note that the actors were coached by future luminary George Cukor, while Ayres became a conscientious objector in World War II. The Road Back (1937) followed, and the film was remade for television in 1979. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide