All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

This classic monochrome film can still generate discussion and sentiment decades after it was released.

Young American men portray Germans eager to defend their country at the beginning of the Great War. No where in the film are the soldiers explicitly defined as German nor their enemies the British, French, and Americans. This is done on purpose so that a viewer would be able to sympathize with the war weary Germans even though they had been the enemy just over a decade previous to the making of the film.

The men, who are just barely men are broken in several ways by the trauma they witness on the front lines.

In fashion with its period, the film does err on the side of melodrama, but this adds to the potency of the film setting it right before the Second World War.

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