Lewis Milestone is the director responsible for this powerful film that follows the lives of a group of German recruits who innocently step forth in to the horrors of fighting on the front line. Filmed in America with mostly American actors this film succeeds where so many others failed, it makes you forget about "sides" and forces you to see all involved in war as equals no matter what side they are fighting for. We see boys become men overnight as they fight for their country, and frame by frame we see them lose their own lives and take the lives of others.
The central character is that of Paul Baumer, expertly played by the 21 year old Lew Ayres. It is through Paul's eyes that we see the disillusionment that young soldiers faced, even when he makes it home on leave he finds no solace and instead looks forward to returning back to the war he so despises.
All Quite on the Western Front is as poignant now as it was back then, the iconic imagery used is both stark and beautiful and the battle scenes rival that of any modern day film. It will sadden and uplift you, it has a wit and grace that I have so rarely seen in films charting war and if you haven't seen it yet, you are greatly missing out.
A vital part of anybody's DVD collection.