Pabst's first talkie offered a grim, humanitarian perspective on trench warfare, not unlike that in the almost contemporary All Quiet on the Western Front. Hardly any film since has given such an unremittingly horrific picture of warfare-in-action, from the agonising lulls to the surprise attacks, from harsh resilience to the release of madness or a death wish. The point is ultimately a simple pacifism, with all the political limitations that implies. But Pabst's brilliant tracking shots along the trenches, through ruins, and across no man's land, remain more haunting than anything in 'expressionist' cinema.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Ladislao Vajda, Peter Martin Lampel|
Hans Joachim Moebis