Erich Maria Remarque‘s groundbreaking original novel All Quiet on the Western Front was arguably the first major published work to explore the reality of modern combat and the horrors it brings with it upon its release in 1928. The story follows a young German man, just barely of age, who is drafted into the military at the height of World War I, which of course was one of the largest mass-casualty conflicts in world history. With the historical success of the hit novel, based on Remarque’s own time serving in the German armed forces during World War I as a young man, All Quiet on the Western Front is no stranger to feature film adaptations.
The first film was released in 1930, directed by Lewis Milestone (Mutiny on the Bounty) and starring Lew Ayres (Holiday). Like the book, the first feature adaptation of All Quite on the Western Front was a resounding success, winning both a Best Director Academy Award for Milestone and even the coveted Best Picture award. Another worthy version of the iconic story was the 1979 television film, directed by Delbert Mann (Marty) and featuring a star-studded cast consisting of Richard Thomas (Wonder Boys), Ernest Borgnine (The Wild Bunch), Donald Pleasence (All Quiet on the Western Front), Ian Holm (The Lord of the Rings), and Patricia Neal (The Day the Earth Stood Still). This version also proved to be a hit, winning the Golden Globe for Best Feature Film Made for Television.
So thus far, there has been one version of the story that won one of the greatest accolades in film and another that won one of the greatest accolades in television. A remarkably rare achievement that initially makes a further adaptation seems unnecessary, and yet, a new version of the story is set to hit screens very soon, this time from the book’s country of origin, Germany. Written and directed by Edward Berger (Jack), this version of On the Western Front helmed by a German filmmaker and starring a German cast (that includes the iconic Daniel Brühl) has garnered the same level of acclaim as the 1930 film, and has proved to be a force to be reckoned with in this year’s Oscar race. In fact, the film received nine nominations at the 95th Academy Awards.
To find out when the 2022 version of All Quiet on the Western Front is in theaters, on streaming, or both, simply read below to find out.
Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on January 25, 2023.
Is All Quiet on the Western Front Streaming or in Theaters?
Both! Netflix holds the rights to the highly anticipated film, meaning that will be the streaming service to tune into if you’d like to watch All Quiet on the Western Front from the comfort of your own home or on a mobile device. If you don’t have Netflix yet, there are currently three pricing plans available; basic, standard, and premium. Basic costs $9.99 per month and offers one screen data a time per account and one downloadable movie/show at a time. The standard plan costs $15.49 per month and offers two screens at a time per account, two downloadable movies/shows at once, and HD quality. Finally, premium costs $19.99 per month and offers four screens at a time per account, four downloadable movies/shows at once, as well as HD and Ultra HD Quality.
In order to qualify for the Academy Awards, films must now be released in at least a limited capacity to be eligible, so All Quiet on the Western Front was released in theaters as well. The film premiered exclusively at the Paris Theater in New York on October 7, 2023, and expanded to select theaters on October 14, before finally arriving on Netflix on October 28. The movie was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2022.
Because of its success at the Oscars, the film will be playing again in select theaters starting on Friday, January 27, 2023.
What Is All Quiet on the Western Front About?
The latest adaptation is not expected to deviate too heavily from the original source material, and the below official synopsis seems to indicate that will be the case:
All Quiet on the Western Front tells the gripping story of a young German soldier on the Western Front of World War I. Paul and his comrades experience first-hand how the initial euphoria of war turns into desperation and fear as they fight for their lives, and each other, in the trenches. The film from director Edward Berger is based on the world renowned bestseller of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque.
The trailer for All Quiet on the Western Front expertly showcases some incredible visuals and keeps the tone consistent with the grim reality of modern combat that the book exemplifies. The trailer even features a quote ripped straight from Remarque’s masterful novel, with the powerful words stating, “This is neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it.”
What Do The Reviews For All Quiet on the Western Front?
All Quiet on the Western Front is sitting at a more-than-healthy 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as an also impressive score of 76 on Metacritic out of seven reviews. All Quiet on the Western Front also was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it made its festival premiere. Critics so far have praised the film for staying true to the novel’s bleak tone and its opposition to the romanticization of war.
Collider’s own Maggie Lovitt reviewed the film back in October and had this to say:
Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front offers the same reminder that Remarque’s novel presented: nationalism kills only for the glory of ego and offers shallow graves in foreign lands instead of heroic homecomings. It is impossible to watch the film without being affected by the horrors of pitting man against man to placate the egos of tyrants with chips on their shoulders.
What Oscar Nominations Did All Quiet on the Western Front Receive?
All Quiet on the Western Front was nominated for nine Academy Awards at this year’s Oscars. Those awards being: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Visual Effects.
Are the Previous Versions of All Quiet on the Western Front Available to Stream?
The 1930 Best Picture-winning version of All Quiet on the Western Front is a bit hard to find on streaming online. However, the film is available to rent for as low as $3.99 from most movie rental sites like the Google Play Store, Apple TV, and Amazon Instant Video.
The 1979 Golden Globe-winning TV movie is available to stream free of charge (with ads) on a whole lot of streaming services including Roku, Tubi, Plex, Crackle, and Amazon Freevee.