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9.33% of people buy All Quiet on the Western Front and To Kill a Mockingbird - 50th Anniversary Edition ~ Blu-ray.
The classic (& Oscar winning) anti-war film detailing the the slow but steady extermination of a group of young idealistic German soldiers.
Lewis Milestone's low-key unpolished and deeply-felt screen adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque anti-war novel has lost little of it's original impact. Years after it's release it was still being banned in countries mobilizing for war.
The plot follows a group of young German recruits in WWI through their rites of passage from idealism to disillusionment. As the central character Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres) declares, “We live in the trenches and we fight. We try not to be killed-that's all”. All quiet is an anthology of now famous scenes; Ayres trapped in a shell crater with a man he has killed; the first meeting of the recruits and the veterans; infantrymen being mowed down to machine-gun visual rhythems; a moonlight swim with French farm-girls; Ayres pacifist speech to his astonished schoolmates; and the final shot of a soldiers hand reaching for a fatal butterfly.
Ranked #54 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies list.
“One of the most powerful anti-war statements ever put on film, this gut-wrenching story concerns a group of friends who join the Army during World War I and are assigned to the Western Front, where their fiery patriotism is quickly turned to horror and misery by the harsh realities of combat. Director Lewis Milestone pioneered the use of the sweeping crane shot to capture a ghastly battlefield panorama of death and mud, and the cast, led by Lew Ayres, is terrific. It's hard to pick a favorite scene, but the finale, as Ayres stretches from his trench to catch a butterfly, is one of the most devastating sequences of the decade. The film won Oscars for Best Picture and for Milestone's direction – and trivia buffs should note that the actors were coached by future luminary George Cukor, while Ayres became a conscientious objector in World War II. The Road Back (1937) followed, and the film was remade for television in 1979.” ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
1930 Won – Oscar: Best Picture, Best Director
1930 Nominated – Oscar: Best Cinematography, Best Writing
1930 Won – NBR Award: Top Ten Films
1930 Won – Medal of Honor Photoplay Awards, Carl Laemmle Jr.
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