Remaking a classic movie is often viewed as a fool’s errand, but Netflix’s decision to reimagine 1930’s All Quiet on the Western Front could be a stroke of genius. That’s assuming its recently released trailer is representative of the quality of the final film, because this first teaser suggests the release could be truly exceptional.
Earlier today, Netflix gave us our first look at its version of All Quiet On the Western Front, and the two-minute long trailer doesn’t hold back in the slightest. It’s an unrelenting look at the brutality of war through the eyes of a young soldier. In fact, such is its stark portrayal of World War I that you might find some parts of the trailer difficult to watch. We can only imagine the horrors that will await in the full feature.
The streamer has also released a logline for the movie: “All Quiet on the Western Front tells the gripping story of a young German soldier on the Western Front of World War I. Paul and his comrades experience first-hand how the initial euphoria of war turns into desperation and fear as they fight for their lives, and each other, in the trenches. The film from director Edward Berger is based on the world renowned bestseller of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque.”
Of course, this is not the first time that Erich Maria Remarque's novel has been adapted into a film. The first came just a year after publication in 1930. That version of All Quiet on the Western Front won Best Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards and is still cited as one of the greatest films ever made. It was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 1991.
The second adaptation came in 1979, in the form of a television movie. It’s fair to say that this take on the source material wasn’t quite as successful (few films are), but it was still well received and won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy. So, Netflix’s version of All Quiet on the Western Front certainly has a high bar to meet, but based on this captivating first teaser trailer it may just succeed.
Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front will star Daniel Brühl, Albrecht Schuch, Felix Kammerer, Moritz Klaus, Aaron Hilmer and Edin Hasanovic, and is directed by Edward Berger. It’s currently scheduled to hit the streaming service on October 28, and will also premiere in select movie theaters on that same date.
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