Remarque's novel follows Paul Baumer (played by Lew Ayres in the 1930 adaptation) and his friends as World War I breaks out. Stirred by patriotic speeches and national pride, Baumer and his friends volunteer for service in the German Army. They quickly learn the realities of war: endless waiting, bursts of frenzied action, the loss of friends to physical and psychological injuries and death, the.onset of cynicism, self-doubt, and doubt about the merits of the war. It's a bleak, uncompromising novel of life during wartime from a common soldier's perspective. All Quiet on the Western Front and Remarque's sequel, The Road Back, were banned and burned by the Nazi Party after Hitler took power in 1933 for their anti-war (true) and anti-German (not true) themes.
Originally intended as a silent film, Milestone's 1930 adaptation was reshot with sound. In addition to the subject matter, All Quiet on the Western Front remains notable for Arthur Edeson's black-and-white cinematography. Edeson was nominated for an Academy Award, but didn't win. In 1990, the United States Library of Congress' National Film Registry selected All Quiet on the Western Front for preservation for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
Radcliffe's fans, however, will have to wait at least until 2013 before All Quiet on the Western Front appears in multiplexes. It won't begin shooting until Radcliffe completes a post-Harry Potter stint on Broadway next year in How to Succeed Without Really Trying. Radcliffe won't be free until the spring of 2012.
So what do you think of Radcliffe in a World War I film? Good choice? Bad choice? Will you see it, skip it, or decide closer to the 2013 release date?