The first adaptation of the classic novel by Erich Maria Remarque, All quiet on the western front, hit theaters in 1930. It has been adapted to many different media in the 92 years since that film was released. At the end of this year, Netflix will offer a new adaptation that gives All Quiet on the Western Front a modern style that will work well come Oscar time. But if you’re expecting this movie to glorify war, then you’ve come to the wrong place. This is not a film about personal glory or the righteousness of patriotic fervor. This is a horror story, and war is hell.
Conflict exists in nature, but war is a human invention. And as seen in the trailer above, there is so much death and destruction for so little gain. There are even some truly terrifying moments, including the scene where flamethrower-wielding soldiers incinerate their counterparts on the other side. It is much more than the young Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) expected. In 1917, this German boy lies about his age so he can join his friends on the front lines of World War I. It’s a decision Paul will regret.
Like many of his countrymen, Paul was a true believer in the German cause and was romanticized that going to war would make him a hero. The reality of his situation quickly heals Pablo of these delusions, and yet he remains trapped by his choices and forced to bear witness to the senseless deaths of soldiers on both sides of the war.
Albrecht Schuch co-stars in the film as Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky, an older veteran who takes Paul under his wing. The film also stars Daniel Brühl as Matthias Erzberger, Moritz Klaus as Frantz Müller, Aaron Hilmer as Albert Kropp, and Edin Hasanovic as Tjaden Stackfleet.
Edward Berger directed the film based on a script he co-wrote with Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson. Netflix will premiere All Quiet on the Western Front on Friday, October 28.