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USA 1979
Directed by
Delbert Mann
150 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

All Quiet On The Western Front (1979)

This re-tread of Lewis Milestone's 1930 classic, originally released in the US as a telemovie, then theatrically in Europe, as is so often the case, does not match the original artistically. Despite a good cast (including Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasance, Patricia Neal and Ian Holm), and a sizeable budget the sanitizing conveniences of the made-for-television production rob it of the impact required for its message to the effectively communicated (audiences, after all, were seeing Apocalypse Now the same year) whilst the film's slow pacing (it is 17 minutes longer than the original) only furthers fails to work against engagement.

Although credit goes to Remarque's novel as the inspiration for the screenplay, rather than Milestone's film, had the makers developed a new interpretation rather than largely reproducing the original this might have been a more effective film.

FYI: 60 year-old studio veteran Mann, who had spent the previous decade in television, had only ever had one moment of glory in film, the Oscar-storming Marty, in 1955, which had also starred Borgnine.




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