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All Quiet on the Western Front

Released 1930
Distributor Universal

Riots erupted in Germany when this anti-war classic debuted in cinemas. Lewis Milestone (who took home a directing Oscar along with the Best Picture award) imported tons of WW I German and French military equipment in his quest for authenticity. DP Karl Freund suggested the indelible concluding butterfly sequence, and the dead hand we see supporting the butterfly is Milestone’s. Star Lew Ayres, a genuine pacifist whose career suffered a decade later, served selflessly in WW II in noncombat positions. Banned in France until 1962.

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About Ed Neumeier

Ed Neumeier (RoboCop, Starship Troopers) is currently being rebooted.