FILM 1404: ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
TRIVIA: With the loss of limbs and gory deaths shown rather explicitly, this is undoubtedly the most violent American film of its time. This is because the Production Code was not strictly enforced until 1934, and also because Universal Pictures deemed the subject matter important enough to allow the violence to be seen.
Nazi rabble rousers stormed screenings of the film in Germany, often releasing rats or stink bombs into the theaters, as the wounds of defeat in the First World War still ran deep. This led to the film ultimately being banned by the Nazi party. It wouldn't receive proper screenings in Germany until 1956, though it did play to packed houses in 1930 in neighboring Switzerland, France and the Netherlands with special trains and buses being laid on to transport Germans to screenings.
Final film of Raymond Griffith, who played the dying French soldier Gerard Duval stabbed by Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres). He had lost his voice through illness as a child. A popular silent-film star, the coming of sound meant the end of his career.
Universal's first Best Picture Oscar.
The Greek writing on the blackboard in the schoolroom is the beginning of Homer's "Odyssey": "Tell me Oh Muse of that ingenious hero who traveled far and wide".
In part because of his experience in playing the part of Paul Baumer, Lew Ayres became a conscientious objector during the Second World War. His films were banned in over 100 Chicago theaters.
Around 2000 extras were utilized in the film, many of them Germans--including former soldiers--who had moved to the US after World War I.