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  • All Quiet On The Western Front [VHS]
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All Quiet On The Western Front [VHS]

52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Ian Holm, Patricia Neal
  • Directors: Delbert Mann
  • Writers: Erich Maria Remarque, Paul Monash
  • Producers: Martin Starger, Norman Rosemont, Ron Carr
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Carlton
  • VHS Release Date: 10 April 2000
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004I9M8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,275 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A second film version (the first was made in 1930) of Erich Maria Remarque's story about a group of idealistic young Germans recruited to fight on the Western Front in 1914. Amongst their number is the patriotic Paul Baumer (Richard Thomas), whose preconceptions are rapidly shattered upon witnessing the horror of life at the front. Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence and Ian Holm also star.

From Amazon.co.uk

Taken from the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front is a devastating portrait of a small group of German soldiers during World War I. In this 1979 made-for-TV version the star-studded cast is lead by Richard Thomas (The Waltons) as Paul Baumer, strongly supported by screen veterans Ernest Borgnine, Ian Holm and Patricia Neal. As both narrator and star, Thomas occasionally seems to reincarnate his familiar John-Boy persona, but does at least succeed in creating a character that has more levels than his television alter ego. After watching all of his high school buddies loose their lives, Paul returns home a changed man, conflicted in his feelings about the Army and war, and altered from an idealistic schoolboy into a fearful and humble veteran.

Although Lewis Milestone's 1930 films remains the cinema's definitive version, director Delbert Mann (Desire Under the Elms, Marty) has done a workmanlike job bringing the novel to the screen. The scenery and costuming in this period piece are well done, and surely contributed to its winning the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Made for TV. Also exceptional are the cinematography and special effects that, while realistically gruesome, truly emphasise the horrors of war. --Zachary Lively, Amazon.com --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 6 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although often dismissed - usually by those who haven't seen it - the1979 version of All Quiet On the Western Front is surprisingly impressive and well worth a look. Originally made for American television as one of a slew of superior adaptations of classic novels by producer Norman Rosemont that also included The Man in the Iron Mask, The Count of Monte Cristo, Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, this earned a theatrical release outside the US and certainly stood up admirably on the bigger screen.

Unlike the 1931 version, this version follows the flashback structure of Remarque's novel much more closely and provides a slightly different ending (because it was a new adaptation of the novel rather than a remake of the Universal film, they couldn't use the butterfly ending invented for the 1930 film), but still retains much of its power. The cast is starrier but good - Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasance, Patricia Neal and Ian Holm are all memorable - the attack sequences are well staged and the ugliness and daily horrors of life in rat-infested trenches are portrayed with more discomforting realism than you'd expect for 70s US TV. Indeed, footage from them has even crept into historical documentaries over the years. It may not be as great and enduring a piece of filmmaking at Lewis Milestone's version, but it's still a forceful and worthwhile adaptation.

The version currently available on DVD in the UK is the theatrical release, which is slightly shorter than the US TV version. The German DVD includes both the two-and-a-half hour TV version and the feature film version with English soundtrack option (though here are synch problems with the German soundtrack).
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Rob Parker on 13 Aug. 2005
Format: DVD
The most brilliant aspect of 'All Quiet on the Western Front' is the way in which the film remains strictly faithful to the wonderful novel of the same name, creating complexity of the war experience through a duality of the main character's emotional journey and the in-your-face horror of life in the trenches. Director Delbert Mann did such a great job with re-creating the battlefield that this film has become standard educational material for schoolchildren learning about 'The Great War.'
What is almost as remarkable is that this was a made-for-TV film, a category which usually guarantees lower than cinema quality. Not here. With a generous budget Mann and his team have recreated as close as possible the repugnance and terror of war on an epic scale, and imbued it was a cast of stars including Donald Pleasance, Richard Thomas, Ian Holm, and Mann's old sparring partner from their Oscar winning classic Marty, Ernest Borgnine.
The First World War has never been as accurately and as effectively depicted in film as the Second, but this classic effort, which remains one of the best kept secrets of the movies, deserves much great er exposure, especially given the fact that the last veterans of this terrible conflict as passing away, and given world circumstances the old adage of this being "the war to end all wars" seems more laughable than ever. Classic viewing, couldn't reccomend it highly enough. It's the story of a young man coming to terms with a vicious reality previously shrouded in a jingoistic myth, so even those with a dislike of history or military film genres can enjoy this epic. Lest we forget.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By The Old Git on 16 Nov. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I had this Film on DVD which for some reason failed to include 5 small and to me very important scenes in the version that i had on VHS,i am glad to say that these 5 removed scenes are now incorporated back into this Blu Ray version.The Transfer to Blu Ray is very good and certainly makes this Film look new and fresh.The first omitted scene where the over enthusiastic school boys jostle and belittle the infamous Corporal Himmelstoss (Sir Ian Holm)will shed some light on the corporals hatred for Paul Baumer and his class of "Fine Young Gentlemen".The Second Scene shows the burial of german dead,the 3rd scene shows the tired and worn out German soldiers lining up to get their rations after coming out of the line..this scene has been somewhat extended in the Blu Ray version scene 4 shows the French soldiers employing Flamethrowers (as first used by the Germans at Verdun),the last scene shows the Battalion on parade recieving their medals from the Kaiser..some of this scene is shown on the DVD version but not in its entirety.I have always rated this Film as one of my top 5 war films,and now having it on Blu Ray is certainly doing the Film proper justice.The cast are all very good and the battle scenes are very,very,convincing,as is the scene of Paul Baumer and his comrades actuallymeeting and speaking to French girls after they (the men) have been brutalised by war.This is one film where you can actually feel real empathy for the characters.A sad and poignant film,but a must watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Filmed mainly in Czechoslovakia, All Quiet on the Western Front for a TV movie has a cast of "name" actors including Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Ian Holm and Richard Thomas who give excellent performances, with both Borgnine and Thomas being particularly outstanding. With its PG rating, there are no severed limbs, gore or exploding heads, but within this constriction the film does a good job of depicting the grotesqueness of trench warfare; the mud, the corpses, the poison gas, the rats and the terror. The action scenes of soldiers attacking across a wasted landscape of mud, shell holes and wire, or of artillery bombardments in ruined, blasted villages, are tense and well done.
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