Monday, 27 April 2020

im westen nichts neues

After serialisation in a Berlin newspaper, eighteen months in print as a best-seller and translated into twenty-two languages, World War I veteran Erich Maria Remarque’s (*1898 - †1970) anti-war novel All is Quiet on the Western Front, adapted to film by Universal Pictures Studios and premiered in New York City on this day in 1930.   It went on to win two academy awards for its producer and director—notably the first non-musical to be awarded Best Picture.
A censored version shown to a select, restricted audiences on 2 September 1931 (one of the first American films dubbed for the German market already back in December), the film was banned by the Nazis, citing the provocation of having a German soldier portrayed by an American actor and the Jewish heritage of the producer, Carl Laemmle Jr (*1908 - †1979, Imitation of Life, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, Show Boat), and director, Lewis Milestone (*1895 - †1980, The Front Page, Of Mice and Men, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Pork Chop Hill, Ocean’s Eleven and Mutiny on the Bounty), rather than its message of pacifism and honest and grim portrayals, and did not have a full and proper screening again in Germany until 1952.