Author Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front has been a pillar of high school English classes for almost a century at this point, but the famous story is about to see what could be its most widely viewed and unsparingly brutal adaptation. Fittingly directed by German filmmaker Edward Berger, the new filmed version of All Quiet on the Western Front is headed to Netflix on Oct. 28, 2022, and released its first grisly trailer today. The film will likewise serve as German’s submission for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming Academy Awards.
All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic anti-war story set from the perspective of a young German enlisted man during the first world war. At first giddy with unrealistic patriotic fervor instilled in him by the nation’s unfettered jingoism and nationalism, he soon learns some exceedingly harsh realities about what life is really like on the front lines. Actor Felix Kammerer portrays protagonist Paul Bäumer, though western audiences should at least recognize the wonderful Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds, The Alienist) as Matthias Erzberger.
The original novel from Remarque was itself a radical depiction of the war that received a chilly reception from many contemporary German readers, who perceived it as potentially criticizing the conviction of the German war effort. The book was likewise opposed by the growing influence of the Nazi party in 1930s Germany, as its pacifistic message clashed with the rampant nationalism of the Nazis. When the Nazi Party seized control of Germany in 1933, All Quiet on the Western Front found itself banned and burnt.
In the trailer below, meanwhile, none of the “horrors of war” are spared—not even the soldiers being roasted alive in the trenches by squads carrying flame throwers. Watch at your own risk, and prepare for All Quiet on the Western Front to arrive on Netflix this Oct. 28.