Many people make the mistake of thinking of this movie as a remake of the 1930 film classic. In reality, both movies are a visual telling of the 1929 novel by the same name; at different points in time. This 1979 film is just a retelling of that story, and it's obvious from its differences from the 1930 film.
Personally I like this version better…it's not overacted, it was filmed on location, it has a musical score, and it has a feeling of reality to it that the 1930 film just doesn't seem to have. No matter how many times I've watched it, the end always leaves me feeling as if I had been a part of the story and its effects linger with my being.
Also I must say, the English speaking “Germans” annoyed me a little. Maybe cause I'm German, maybe not, but if you saw Saving Private Ryan (as an American) spoken in German, what would you think?
So overall it is a great movie, definitely worth a watch!