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Netflix's All Quiet On The Western Front Won't Just Be A Simple Remake Of The Original 1930 Film

Audiences in 1930 were not prepared for "All Quiet on the Western Front." Based on the 1929 novel of the same name by German author Erich Maria Remarque, the film recounts the harrowing events of World War I through the eyes of Paul Bäumer (Lew Ayres), an impressionable yet enthusiastic youth who must endure the harsh realities of the war. 

The film was critically acclaimed, with a Variety review from the time calling it, "A harrowing, gruesome, morbid tale of war, so compelling in its realism, bigness and repulsiveness." It would go on to be one of the first films to win best picture at the 3rd Academy Awards, alongside another win for Lewis Milestone's direction and two additional nominations for best writing and best cinematography (via IMDb). Today, it continues to win over audiences for its realistic filmmaking and performances, sporting a shining 98% on Rotten Tomatoes

On October 28, 2022, a new film adaptation of the eye-opening story will be released on Netflix. The third film adaptation of the novel following both the 1930 film and a 1979 Golden Globe and Emmy-winning adaptation made for television, the Netflix film will be directed by Edward Berger and stars the likes of Daniel Brühl, Albrecht Schuch, and Felix Kammerer as Paul Bäumer. While it seems there's nowhere else to take the concept after two acclaimed cinematic versions, this adaptation has more up its sleeves rather than being a simple remake. 

The 2022 film takes a German perspective on the story

"All Quiet on the Western Front" will see the classic novel through different lenses as the first German adaptation. Director Edward Berger told The Hollywood Reporter, "I watch a lot of American and English films, as we all do ... And I find them extremely entertaining ... But I feel they never show my perspective, the perspective I have as a German." The Netflix film's cast boasts a strong German roster, most of which are largely unknown to American audiences, except for Daniel Brühl, best known for "Inglorious Basterds" and Helmut Zemo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

There are also notable plot details that have been changed, including how Paul Bäumer gets enrolled in the military and his fate following the events of the film. There will also be additional focus on the political side of the war, contrasting the harsh realities for the soldiers against the profitable lives of those making the decisions, which was done to give the story historical context for modern-day audiences (via Hollywood Reporter).

Regardless of what differs or stays the same, Berger's heart is in the right place. In an interview with SlashFilm, he stated, "It's part of our national treasure, it's part of our culture. And so, to make this book and turn it into a German language film just felt like the right moment."