All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

152 mins | Drama | 24 August 1930

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Producer:

Carl Laemmle Jr.

Cinematographer:

Arthur Edeson

Production Designers:

Charles D. Hall, W. R. Schmitt

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The opening title card reads: "Carl Laemmle presents All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque ." After the opening credits, the following written prologue appears: "This story is neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even thought they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war..."
       The 4 Jan 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that the production starting date was 18 Nov 1929.
       According to contemporary sources, the silent version with synchronized sound ran 15 reels. Var reviewed the silent version when it opened in Paris in early Dec 1930 under the title A L'Ouest Rien de Noveau . The reviewer noted that a scene in which a French solider was killed in a foxhole was cut from the French release. Sequences with ZaSu Pitts as "Paul's mother" were not in the sound version, which was viewed. In the sound version, Beryl Mercer portrayed the mother. The sound version was reduced to 10 reels for reissue in 1939.
       All Quiet on the Western Front won Academy Awards in the Outstanding Production and Directing categories.
       The film print for All Quiet on the Western Front was fully restored by The Film Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 by director Martin ... More Less

The opening title card reads: "Carl Laemmle presents All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque ." After the opening credits, the following written prologue appears: "This story is neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even thought they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war..."
       The 4 Jan 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that the production starting date was 18 Nov 1929.
       According to contemporary sources, the silent version with synchronized sound ran 15 reels. Var reviewed the silent version when it opened in Paris in early Dec 1930 under the title A L'Ouest Rien de Noveau . The reviewer noted that a scene in which a French solider was killed in a foxhole was cut from the French release. Sequences with ZaSu Pitts as "Paul's mother" were not in the sound version, which was viewed. In the sound version, Beryl Mercer portrayed the mother. The sound version was reduced to 10 reels for reissue in 1939.
       All Quiet on the Western Front won Academy Awards in the Outstanding Production and Directing categories.
       The film print for All Quiet on the Western Front was fully restored by The Film Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 by director Martin Scorsese. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald-World
4 Jan 1930
p. 59.
Exhibitors Herald-World
3 May 1930
p. 32.
Exhibitors Herald-World
10 May 1930
p. 31.
Film Daily
27 Apr 1930
p. 12.
Life
23 May 1930
p. 18.
New York Times
30 Apr 1930
p. 29.
New York Times
4 May 1930
p. 5.
New York Times
9 Oct 1939
p. 15.
New Yorker
10 May 1930
pp. 98-99.
Time
5 May 1930
p. 30, 32.
Time
2 Oct 1939
p. 49.
Variety
7 May 1930
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Adpt and dial
Supv story chief
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Spec eff photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
Film ed
Film ed
MUSIC
Synchronization & score
SOUND
Rec supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Im Westen nichts neues by Erich Maria Remarque (Berlin, 1929).
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 August 1930
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 April 1930
Production Date:
began 18 November 1929
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
17 May 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1323
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Silent
with synchronized music
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
152
Length(in feet):
12,423
Length(in reels):
14
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Paul Bäumer, a young German schoolboy, along with his friends, is inspired by his schoolmaster to "save the Fatherland" and joins the Kaiser's forces. Their illusions are soon dispelled, however, by the cruel realities of battle, relieved only by a brief romantic interlude with some French farm girls and the humorous interjections of Katz and Tjaden. When Paul, the only survivor of the group, returns home, he finds the professor still haranguing his young scholars to join the conflict; and when Paul denounces this attitude, he is proclaimed a coward by the youths. Tiring of the false impression of war at home, he returns to the front to instruct his new comrades in warfare. As the sole survivor of this group also, Paul reaches over the top of a trench to catch a butterfly and is killed by an enemy sniper. ... Quiet reigns on the front ... +


Paul Bäumer, a young German schoolboy, along with his friends, is inspired by his schoolmaster to "save the Fatherland" and joins the Kaiser's forces. Their illusions are soon dispelled, however, by the cruel realities of battle, relieved only by a brief romantic interlude with some French farm girls and the humorous interjections of Katz and Tjaden. When Paul, the only survivor of the group, returns home, he finds the professor still haranguing his young scholars to join the conflict; and when Paul denounces this attitude, he is proclaimed a coward by the youths. Tiring of the false impression of war at home, he returns to the front to instruct his new comrades in warfare. As the sole survivor of this group also, Paul reaches over the top of a trench to catch a butterfly and is killed by an enemy sniper. ... Quiet reigns on the front lines. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
World War I


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.