All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front still image from film

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (Click Picture to Watch Movie on Amazon)


  • Read the article “War, Memory, and Politics,” and contribute to discussion.


One of the most influential anti-war films ever made, this drama follows a group of idealistic young men as they join the German Army during World War I and are sent to the Western Front.
  • Starring: Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres
  • Directed by: Lewis Milestone
  • Runtime: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Release year: 1930
  • Studio: NBC Universal

Based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque (1929). The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. Other nominations included Best Writing Achievement and Best Cinematography.

The film follows a group of young German men from pre-war through the Great War, to their homecoming. The film is an epic on the futility of war and is pacifist in nature.

Criticism of the portrayal of German people were cited as the cause of riots when All Quiet on the Western Front was shown publicly in Germany. Political pressures led to a censorship and fan of the film in Germany shortly after.   The international reaction to the ban prompted an additional discourse of the film.The Manchester Guardian summed up the foreign response (December 12, 1930):

For years the German Republic has led the world as a land of intellectual freedom. This
is no longer so …. What has happened now is not merely the suppression of a film … ,
not merely a militarist victory, but a capitulation before the organized mob, a mob that
demonstrated against the world peace as symbolized by this film, a capitulation that is
therefore a betrayal of the world’s peace …. That there is a revival of German militarist
emotion has been clear for some time. That the force opposed to it is so weak is a
startling and sinister revelation.



by Wilfred Owen

War broke: and now the Winter of the world

With perishing great darkness closes in.
The foul tornado, centred at Berlin,
Is over all the width of Europe whirled,
Rending the sails of progress. Rent or furled
Are all Art’s ensigns. Verse wails. Now begin
Famines of thought and feeling. Love’s wine’s thin.
The grain of human Autumn rots, down-hurled.

For after Spring had bloomed in early Greece,
And Summer blazed her glory out with Rome,
An Autumn softly fell, a harvest home,
A slow grand age, and rich with all increase.
But now, for us, wild Winter, and the need
Of sowings for new Spring, and blood for seed.