Erich Maria Remarque’s novel was forced on me by an English class when I was 14, and it was depressing as hell. The film which won Best Picture in the 3rd Academy Awards might be even more depressing. It follows Paul Baumer (played by Lew Ayres) through WWI as he changes from a school boy to a man who has seen the horrors of war- living in trenches, fighting, and trying not to be killed. It kinda makes me wanna sing, “War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing!”
This film is much easier to watch than its winning predecessors as the directing and acting are more realistic. And Lew Ayres’ boyish good looks are also easy on the eyes in the midst of explosions, like the one pictured above. Gross. The film quality and sound seems to have improved vastly as well.
Stay tuned for the next film: Cimarron