All Quiet On The Western Front - Film Versus Novel Essay

All Quiet On The Western Front - Film Versus Novel Essay

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“All Quiet on the Western Front” is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, published in 1928 about Paul Baumer, a 19 year old student, who is persuaded by his schoolmaster to join the Imperial German Army. He goes to the western front where he and his comrades witnesses the horror and brutality of war through a series of deadly, meaningless battles that left an entire generation traumatized. The book was adapted to a movie in 1930 as well as 1979. Having recently viewed the latter, I would strongly recommend that anyone read the novel rather than watch the 1979 film. To clarify, I am not immediately against a film remake just because it is not the original; at times it is interesting to see how a book is interpreted, however books are often difficult to make into a film and unfortunately, “All Quiet on the Western Front” was no exception. Not only was the film an poor adaptation, but it also was not visually appealing, the acting was somewhat poor, the wrong parts were emphasized and the atmosphere of the movie was inferior to that of the novel.
When any book is made into a movie, one of the most difficult tasks is interpreting the visual aspects, and viewers are often disappointed by the result as it is not how they imagined it while reading the book. While the “All Quiet on the Western Front” novel was limited only by the reader's imagination, The movie's action scenes were anything but realistic and the special effects did not stand the test of time as modern films contain much more sophisticated special effects... While movies should never be judged by special effects alone, the film was certainly not enhanced by them. In fact modern audiences might even consider the effects as humorous which was certainly not the intention.
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...the 1979 film adaptation of “All Quiet on the Western Front” failed to live up to the novel. Because it was made in the 1970's, the special effects were unrealistic and inferior to what one pictured while reading the novel. Compared to the novel, the film was also practically censored in terms of how graphic it was. Remarque intentionally made the novel graphic in order to present the anti-war theme, therefore the effectiveness of the film was diminished. The acting in the film was also mediocre and disappointing, and the cast was not well chosen. The trenches in the movie were also slightly softened from how they were described in the novel. Paul Baumer's thoughts and feelings were also not presented as well as they were in the novel. Ultimately, the novel was much more effective at delivering its anti war message, and telling the story. I is not happy. Penispuffer.

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