Filmreport ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

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Paul Baumer is a German, young boy, who, together with his classmates, enlists for the army to fight in the Great War. Full of enthusiasm and adventurous thoughts, they arrive at the front, but then are faced with the horrific and soul-destroying war. One by one the classmates are fall in action… 1. What is the title of this film? When was it made? Who wrote the original novel? Title: All Quiet on the Western Front Made in: 1979 Author: Erich Maria Remarque 2. Why did the students join the Army? The students were taught fighting was something good.

War was an adventure. When being soldiers, the students did not have to attend school and they want to fight for their fatherland. 3. What role did the mailman (Himmelstoess) have? Was he particularly mean to the recruits? Give an example. Himmelstoess role was being in charge of the recruits, the newcomers. He was mean and cruel to them: he forced the recruits to obey ridiculous and dangerous orders, like marching in the mud and defying them when doing exercises. Himmelstoess did that simple because he enjoyed bullying them.

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4. How were the conditions at the Western Front different from their expectations in training camp? The conditions in the training camp were different from the conditions at the Western Front because in the training camp, nobody was killed. They were only preparing for the war. At the Western Front they killed enemy soldiers. In real. 5. What was the impact of the shelling on the new recruits? The new recruits were frightened by the shelling. You could hear the shooting and the bombing the whole time, which made soldiers go insane. Some also tried to escape from the trenches and go home.

The constant shelling was not something the recruits had expected. 6. What happened after the bombardment? At the front, the soldiers are sent to put up barbed wire. All of a sudden, there is an artillery attack and several men and horses are hit. One of the soldiers is hit by a shell fire and becomes blind. He runs, without seeing anything, towards the enemy line and is killed by a machine gun. 7. In the attack, what did the machine gun do to the glory of the war and individual heroism? By using a machine gun, many men could be killed in one time.

So the machine gun was ‘stronger’ than the individual soldier. Since the Allies outgunned the Axis in artillery and machinery, the German soldiers took refuge in trenches that were no match for the kind of warfare waged. This made soldiers feel impotent. New recruits quickly learn about reality in warfare. In World War I, it was rare when an individual was a hero. 8. How many of the company died in this first battle? How do you know? Why were they able to eat so well finally? In the first battle seventy men of the company died.

Kat says there are only eighty boys left, out of the original 150 soldiers. The cook made diner for the original amount, so therefore they had twice as much food as they actually needed. 9. Who did they blame for this war? Who did they omit in their list of potential villains? The blame the political leaders and the generals for the Great War, but they omit in their list the anonymous soldiers. 10. What happened to Kemmerich’s boots? How did the doctors’ react to Kemmerich’s plight? Kemmerich undergoes a leg amputation and therefore gives his boots to Muller.

Unfortunately, Kemmerich dies, because the doctor was too late to help him. When Muller dies, Paul inherits the boots. 11. How was Sgt. Himmelstoess received when he arrived at the front? They started mocking and humiliating him in front of the new recruits. Himmelstoess tries do demand respect, but they don’t take him serious anymore. 12. What was the pattern of a battle? What preceded the attack? What followed it? There was indeed a pattern in the battle: there was a kind of rhythm to the attacks. Before an attack, soldiers were standing in the trench.

When they heard a whistle, the soldiers climbed out of the trenches and tried to attack the trenches from the enemy by shooting (inclusive machine gun). After the attack there was a silence, no shelling. 13. What happened of Paul Baumer when he found himself in a shell hole in No Man’s Land with the French soldier? During an attack, Paul jumps into a hole and shortly after a French soldier too. Paul stabs him and watches him die. Before the man stops breathing, Paul takes his wallet and sees that he has a wife and a daughter. Paul is regretting and promises he will write to his family. 4. Why did the French girls -ostensibly the enemy- accept the German soldier? Paul and his friends promise the French girls to bring food. The French had not that much food to eat. 15. After four years of war, how has the German home-front been affected? Were there still the parades, crowded streets, and joyous sounds of going off to war? After four years of war there were no parades, crowded streets and joyous sound of going off to war anymore. People realized that war was horrible and about death. Not something to be happy about. 16. What were the attitudes of the men in the beer hall?

Were they willing to listen to what Paul had to say? The old men in the beer hall complemented Paul being a brave soldier, giving him cigars and beer. He tries to explain that Germany is not going to win: ‘The enemy has many reserves. ’, but the old men think Germany is close to winning. They do not know how the situation is at the front line. So they were not willing to listen to what Paul had to say. 17. How does Paul Baumer confront his former teacher? How do the young students react to his vision of the war? When he came home, he visited his old school and his former teacher.

He says to him that the people he teaches are only boys, who want to play, laugh and stay alive. Paul is against war, meanwhile his teacher is pro-war. Before Paul came in, the students were exited and wanted to fight for their fatherland, but when Paul left they were not as enthusiastic as before. 18. How has the company changed during Paul’s absence? During Paul’s absence Muller was killed in an attack. One week before Paul came back. 19. What is ironic about Kat’s and Paul’s deaths? (Note: The war ended on November 11, 1918) Kat and Paul were best friends; they would do anything for each other.

When Kat was wounded Paul carried him to a hospital, but unfortunately it was too late: Kat was hit by a shrapnel and died before Paul noticed. Shortly after the death of Kat, Paul dies too, when drawing a bird. They both died in October, one week before the end of the Great War on November 11, 1918. 20. Describe the attitude of this movie towards World War I and all wars. Symbolic in this movie (book) are the boots which go to one person to another when the owner of the boots die. This represents the cheapness of human life in the war.

Paul says: ‘There is no argument about the meaning of live, because it has no meaning. ’ Critical appraisal I think this is one of the best war films I have ever seen. For me a good film about war is when the story is realistic. The film is based on the book, written by Erich Maria Remarque, who was a soldier in the First World War. Therefore the film gave a good impression of how live at the front would have been and what a great affection the war had on the young boys. If they survived, there were not the same person as before the war. The film showed the horrific circumstances in the trenches.

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Filmreport ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. (2016, Dec 22). Retrieved from

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