Writers: Erich Maria Remarque, Maxwell Anderson, George Abbott, Del Andrews
Starring: Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Arnold Lucy, Ben Alexander, Scott Kolk, Owen Davis Jr., Walter Rogers, William Bakewell, Russell Gleason, Richard Alexander, Harold Goodwin, Slim Summerville
More info: IMDb
Tagline: At last....the motion picture!
Plot: A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.
My rating: 8.5/10
Will I watch it again? Yes!
What a powerful film. It's violent and it hammers home its message without apologies. War is hell. This is one of the most brilliant anti-war films I've ever seen (if not the most). Antiquated acting style aside, even if you look at this through modern eyes, it's still a kick in the guts. That last scene had me tearing up. Man, it's bleak. I can only imagine how audiences felt when seeing this 86 years ago. I guess it would be akin to how we took in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) during the opening D-Day Invasion sequence. The action scenes are brutal and so much so that I'm sure veterans of the Great War reacted very emotionally upon seeing this. Wow. Reportedly Universal took a huge gamble spending $1M+ on making this in the beginning months of the Great Depression. It paid off and audiences have been better for it. I had no idea how heavy this picture was. Unfortunately the Universal DVD I have (now had) has lousy sound and sketchy picture quality. I hear there's a much better version out there. The only extra on my DVD is the theatrical trailer. This one definitely belongs in my collection but only the restored version.