27 of 39 people found the following review helpful
The abbreviated life of Paul Baumer,
This review is from: All Quiet On The Western Front [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The movie is an honest attempt to portray the story in the book. However it misses the mark and is highly edited to show evidently what director Delbert Mann and writer Paul Monash [Salem's Lot (1979) (TV)] thought you would want to see and not what Erich Maria Remarque wrote about. Do you remember the scene that Remarque wrote about befriending a cat while enjoying the spoils of protecting the abandoned town? How about the night they crossed the river to meet some girls at their house? The time he faked sick to get off the train and stay with his buddy? No? I wonder why?
You are right movies cant be books. But the Lewis Milestones 1930 classic comes a lot closer. It is sort of distraction to see Johnboy playing Paul Baumer. Younger viewers at least wont have that distraction. If this is the only exposure to the story you have then it is masterful. However it is only reflection of the book or other movie versions. If you only taste ersatz coffee you may still drink coffee but you will never know what it is like to drink real coffee that does not say "cinnamon crumb cake" on the label.