HISTORY LESSONS: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Manage episode 346946163 series 2418218
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CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of Nazi Party reaction to the film, including antisemitism and antisemitic statements from Nazi leaders from 16:49 to 19:16. Also, discussions of war, dismemberment, mass death, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), “shell shock”, gruesome death and injury, fear, grief, murder.
Our next History Lesson takes us to the Great War and the German war machine leading valiant young men into the greatest human meat grinder of the 20th Century. At the Western Front of World War I, millions were killed in matters of days as generals and nobles led young boys and men into constant machine gun fire in battles that yielded little more than feet of territory. And this film depicts every bit of that, in fairly graphic detail, with one caveat - it’s our oldest film yet, premiering in 1930. Director Lewis Milestone had a vision for this film though, a bold, brash, and bleak vision of the horror of war, which complemented Erich Maria Remarque’s landmark novel perfectly. It’s a film so stirring in its visual depiction of the massive global trauma of war that its star, Lew Ayres, became a conscientious objector to World War II, an admittedly greater effort for the common good. And it’s all because of a truly masterful work, whose only flaw is its age - the style of acting, the dialogue and structure, it’s all a bit new to movies, and can be choppy at times. But it’s guaranteed that this film will leave you with lasting images throughout your life. Who will be the first to volunteer as we continue our History Lessons series with 1930’s All Quiet on the Western Front on Macintosh & Maud Haven’t Seen What?!
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Intro and outro music taken from the Second Movement of Ludwig von Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Hong Kong (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 HK) license. To hear the full performance or get more information, visit the song page at the Internet Archive.
Excerpt taken from the film All Quiet on the Western Front is © 1930 Universal Pictures Corporation. Renewed 1958 Universal Pictures Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpt taken from the film Lawrence of Arabia is © 1962 renewed 1990 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.