Thursday, September 20, 2007

All Quiet on the Western Front

Based on the novel with the same name, All Quiet on the Western Front won the Academy Award for best picture in 1930. It was #54 on the original AFI list of top 100 films but does not appear at all on the 2007 update.

The movie is a grim look at war from the perspective of young German recruits during World War I.

Wilfred Owen was a World War I soldier whose poem Dulce Et Decorum Est was published posthumously:

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

There is a lot of information online about "The Great War". Here are links to a few general sites:

The PBS companion site to "The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century"



1001Flicks has a review.

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