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All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)

 
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All Quiet on the Western Front (1979) - 18/9/2012 4:51:26 AM   
Phubbs


Posts: 658
Joined: 3/4/2012
Remake of the classic 1930's masterpiece which of course these days is very very old itself. Never really given the respect it deserved and not classed as good as the original but I found it just as hard hitting.

First thing I noticed was the story has been mixed up a bit, its not in the same order as the original, everything seems to have been translated across but in different stages of the film. This does actually work because it doesn't just seem like a carbon copy, there is also allot more detail in some sequences with different ideas for setting and locations, new angles and edits upgrading the whole film somewhat.

On the whole it does look better in places, a good example I prefer is the bleak ending in this version over the original, its still the same but made slightly differently and NOT showing the sniper. All that is heard is the fire of a rifle and then a cut to 'Baumers' hands as they react and his body slumps into the mud, possibly more effective than the original sequence.

The cast are again decent for this adaptation with Borgnine playing the role of 'Stanislaus Katzinsky' perfectly and maybe better than the original, Pleasance as the German teacher whom regails the young German boys with propaganda and the glory of war, Holm as the over the top 'Corporal Himmelstoss' giving him a slimy, backstabbing, cowardly glow and finally 'Richard Thomas' looking just the part in his WW1 German uniform although being a little bland.

The scope isn't quite on par with the 30's version, its still very good and very bleak but its missing that epic feel which I guess is down to it being a TV movie but is still the business. Very authentic with costumes, vehicles, landscapes, weapons etc...the battles are good but not grand but the waste of life, cheapness of life, desolation and despair is well conceived throughout, no shyness when it comes to mud soaked trenches.

Its a shame this has been overshadowed somewhat as its a very good war film and manages to recreate WW1 just as well as its predecessor. Its rough, gritty and gives new views on what was shown before which add to the atmosphere making it a must see if you liked the 30's film.
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