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Posted: 12/20/2003 2:29:50 PM EDT
Copyright 1979. Starring: Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Ian Holm, Donald Pleasance, Patricia Neal. And oddly enough, filmed totally on location in the "Czechoslovach Socialist Republick"

I don't know how many of yous remember this movie but,
i just rewatched it because my daughter was doing a book/movie combination paper for class (high school sophmore) and picked this one.
I remembered it as a "war flick" from the seventies-now, as an adult, i see it as a parade of Mausers and Vickers. And What was that stupid machine-gun the french used (looked kind of like a Bren- but not as good)? All used to good effect.
The death and destuction was deadly and destructive. Artillery barrages that lasted DAYS! Rats and skeletons gallore. As well as gut wounds, and Mustard Gas, and "frenchies" blown up with grenades. Trench warfare at its best/worst.
No surprise really for a book/movie that was intended to be anti-war (and at one time was banned by Adolf Hitler, because he wanted Germans to be more Militaristic).
And it was. Nothing real stupid (like we see today) but when Paul's comrade in arms gets his leg amputated and then dies of infection in the army hospital, or when, on (convelesence)leave, Paul's father and his cronies are talking all about the Father Land, and have no idea of the reality of the thing. Basically at that point the war is lost and the soldiers know it, but the Kaiser and the Generals keep sending more and more, younger and younger, soldiers into a meat grinder with no hope of victory. But they do what soldiers do: fight and die.

Very excellent movie (although totally without AR's, but i might have seen an FAL).
RogerBall's rating: 5 bayonets! Must see.

P.S. she got an A+ on the book paper, now she does the movie review, then the combined analysis paper.

Roger out.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 2:37:32 PM EDT
I liked the scene where the recruit (Richard Thomas) knocks the bully drill instructor (Ian Holm) down during bayonet training...The D.I. is about to slap the recruit, but a haughty one-armed Prussian officer on horseback intervenes; I can't remember what he said, but he basically tells the bully to take it- if the recruit can out-fight the D.I., then good for him!
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 2:41:17 PM EDT
Haven't seen the '79 remake but I have seen the 1930 B&W original & have read the book. You should have your daughter check it out also to compare the 1930 & 1979 version of the movie..possible bonus points if the teacher is generous.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 2:51:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RiffRandall: Haven't seen the '79 remake but I have seen the 1930 B&W original & have read the book. You should have your daughter check it out also to compare the 1930 & 1979 version of the movie..possible bonus points if the teacher is generous.
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Hear hear. The black and white original is my favorite version. AQWF was my favorite book for a few years when I was a young lad, and I read it seven or eight times.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 2:52:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RogerBall: And What was that stupid machine-gun the french used (looked kind of like a Bren- but not as good)?
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Are you talking about the Chauchat? [img]koti.mbnet.fi/wolfman/legion/chauchat.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 3:00:29 PM EDT
yep. he's gotta be talking about the chauchat. a piece of crap - openings in magazine let in dirt and if it jammed it had to be taken down to clear it. one thing it did do, however, was address the portable firepower need - the squad automatic weapon. until the appearance of the BAR, there wasn't a reasonable SAW to be had.
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