Westfront 1918 [Criterion Collection]

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Synopsis

Westfront 1918 (aka Comrades of 1918) was the first talkie effort from German filmmaker G. W. Pabst, which he made for Nero Films, a production company headed up by Seymour Nebenzahl. Like the contemporary Hollywood production All Quiet on the Western Front, Pabst's film is a bitter, melancholy antiwar statement. The story concentrates on four German soldiers, sent to the front in the waning days of World War 1. The futility of killing an enemy who is already dead spiritually, and of being killed for a cause that has for all intents and purposes been resolved, is brought home to the viewer with both barrels. The astonishingly fluid camerawork of Fritz Arno puts the spectator in the thick of the battle, and the effect is both terrifying and heartbreaking To watch only a few moments of Westfront 1918, one might think that Pabst had been making sound pictures all his life, rather than a mere couple of months. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
1/30/18 
Studio
Criterion
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
1 hour, 36 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Mono
  • Dolby Digital Stereo
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
Subtitles
  • English
Video Features
  • 2K Digital Restoration
  • Hour-long French television broadcast of World War I veterans reacting to the film in 1969
  • Interview from 2016 with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak
  • New restoration demonstration featuring Martin Koerber and Julia Wallmüller of the Deutsche Kinemathek
  • Brief Audio Interview from 1988 with Editor Jean Oser
  • New English subtitle translation
  • Plus: An essay by author and critic Luc Sante
Number of Discs
1

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