1930’s All Quiet on the Western Front’s Timeless Message Caused Controversy

One of the most anticipated films of the 2022 fall festival season is Edward Bergeris the ambitious reinterpretation of the classic anti-war novel nothing new in the West. The grizzly World War I epic received rave reviews on its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Germany has selected the film as its official entry for the Oscar for Best International Feature Film. Given the incredible response the film has received and the benefit of Netflix’s awards campaign, it’s likely nothing new in the West will be one of the category leaders.


No wonder the film has become such a phenomenon, given that it is based on one of the most important works of literature of the 20th century. Erich Maria RemarqueThe 1929 novel of the same name was stunning when it was first published; The book’s grim perspective on the lives of German soldiers in the trenches and the carnage they witnessed shocked mass audiences. The novel had no sense of patriotism; It concluded that the war solved nothing and that only a truly depraved nation would be embroiled in another global conflict. The lines on a map mean nothing to the young men who suffer.

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Berger’s version of nothing new in the West was a bit apprehensive because it wasn’t the first time the novel had been adapted for the screen. 1930, Lewis milestoneThe groundbreaking adaptation of became one of the first American classic films to truly portray the banality of war. It was the first film to win both Best Picture and Best Director Oscars. Although some “Old Hollywood” classics are more influential than meets the eye, nothing new in the West is as haunting today as it was on its first debut. Given its publication before the start of World War II, nothing new in the West‘s cynicism about pacifism is even more effective.


What is “All Quiet on the Western Front” about?

nothing new in the West follows the life of young recruit Paul Bäumer (Lev Ayres) and his colleagues during their recruitment and indoctrination into the German military. In the opening scene, Milestone subverted the rousing “call to arms” sequence common in Hollywood epics of the time. The boys’ teacher, Professor Kantorek (Arnold Lucia), gives them an inspirational speech about the merits of military service and the honor it brings to their families. It seems to create a very clear journey for the characters; Military service is simply a right of passage. Only at the end of the film does Paul realize how hollow his professor’s words were.

A bit of historical context explains why nothing new in the West was so influential. Cinema was more popular than ever in the 1930s, but “war movies” generally didn’t focus on events that were as topical. Wartime newsreels grew in popularity during World War II, and by this time Hollywood filmmakers were taking an active interest in creating films centered on the nascent conflict itself. Therefore a film like Casablanca was able to incorporate events of World War II into his plot, and The best years of our lives reacted quickly to the end of the war. During World War II, cinema really began to develop, and as a result, World War I epics were rarer.

The mere idea of ​​seeing realistic depictions of war combat was startling to early cinema audiences; This was the kind of footage they could only speculate about. It dates from the pre-code era, before restrictions on cinema content were introduced in 1934. nothing new in the West didn’t shy away from making the trench warfare sequences as graphic as needed. The widespread use of sound was also a novelty, since “talkies” had only become a genre in 1929.

Part of ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’s Fascination Ties to When It Is Released

nothing new in the West is also a fascinating historical artifact due to its publication before World War II. The war itself is dubbed “the war to end all wars,” though the film ultimately concludes that humankind will always be drawn into bloody conflicts. Milestone placed great emphasis on accuracy, even recruiting veterans as extras and technical consultants to oversee production. That makes nothing new in the West both an insightful perspective on the war and an activist message that sadly went unheeded.

The battle sequences weren’t the kind of rousing, patriotic set-pieces one typically sees in mainstream war films. Milestone captures the fear these young men faced; They can barely see who they are fighting and their faces are covered in smoke and gas. Several well-known directors have taken Milestone’s style as an influence. Steven Spielberg credited nothing new in the West as a great inspiration The soldier James Ryan. The film’s tracking shots inside the trenches were similar to those Stanley Kubrick would use in it ways of glorya similar anti-war epic that challenges the very notion of patriotism.

“Everything quiet on the western front” was banned in Germany

Although we can look back now nothing new in the West A timeless masterpiece, its impact was evident soon after its release. Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP opposed the film’s message and successfully banned the film from German cinemas. Although an edited version was allowed to play briefly in 1931, the film was withdrawn again after the Nazi Party seized power in 1933. The film was not approved again until the 1950s; it was also banned in Austria, France and Italy.

Netflix nothing new in the West should hopefully attract more viewers to the original film and shed a new light on the conflict. It’s hard to overstate the courage Milestone took to present such an unflinching account of recent events, but without nothing new in the West, we probably wouldn’t watch the war films we make today. The fact that the film was so controversial upon its release only goes to show that it has successfully conveyed its timeless message.

https://collider.com/all-quiet-on-the-western-front-1930-original-movie-controversy-explained/ 1930’s All Quiet on the Western Front’s Timeless Message Caused Controversy

Sarah Ridley

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