Went and saw…

“All Quiet on the Western Front”.

Beautiful cinematography, incredibly well acted, suitably impressive score. Lots of vignettes from the book, although not in the same sequence, almost to the point of jumbling.

And yet, I say, this version misses Remarque’s point entirely. Lost its way especially in the last fifteen minutes.

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Not a fan of war films.

But I guess The Milagro Beanfield War was all right.


It’s my understanding that the German people really panned this film. I believe it was precisely because it lost its way.

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I have not seen the movie, but I have seen several snippets on the YT, as The Lion says it is stunning to watch for all the above reasons.

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I watch a number of documentaries about war and the politics leading up to it. For the most part I find it grim to watch; I watch because I want to understand.

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Fair enough.

Wanting to understand is always a laudable goal.

But I want to contend that war movies and documentaries about war are two different things. The latter are often illuminating, offering as they do some explanation as to why, after all these centuries–indeed, millenia!–we’re still tied to our nature as tribal primates, whereas the former too often get the Hollywood treatment, where human nature gets to be viewed through the narrow crucible of some personal but ultimately meaningless drama.

Really, who cares about Private Ryan when thousands are dying on all sides for the sake of some jingoistic ideologies that are here today and gone tomorrow?

That being said, Gwynne Dyer’s War was almost as good as The Bridge on the River Kwai.