At the Oscars in just over a week, a film adaptation of "Nothing New in the West" could clear up again after 93 years. The Netflix production is nominated for nine awards at the Oscars on March 12th.
An early film version of Erich Maria Remarque's novel, the English-language flick "All Quiet on the Western Front", entered the Oscar race on November 5, 1930 with four nominations - and won two important prizes: for best picture and for directing Lewis Milestone. In the screenwriting and camera departments, he got nothing at the time.
The Jewish Swabian Carl Laemmle, who founded the legendary Universal Studios in Hollywood in 1912, and his son Carl Jr., who produced the film, were celebrated. At the third Academy Awards in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, which was demolished about 17 years ago, there were only eight prize categories, including actors, sound and equipment.
Milestone's talkie was a hit with critics and at the US box office for its blunt portrayal of World War I. "Variety", for example, praised the captivating realism at the time. The film is to be shown year after year in all languages and all countries "until the word war is deleted from the dictionaries," wrote the film newspaper.
Story of a movie
The theatrical release in Germany, on the other hand, was accompanied by violent protests, censorship requirements and bans. During the first screenings in Berlin in December 1930, the National Socialists rioted in the cinema under the guidance of Joseph Goebbels, who later became Nazi propaganda minister. The film was denounced as a disparagement of German soldiers, temporarily banned and only shown again after it had been cut. After Adolf Hitler came to power, the book "Nothing New in the West" was also banned - it was one of the works that were destroyed in the notorious book burning in May 1933.
The novel was filmed again in Hollywood in 1979. US director Delbert Mann won the Golden Globe for best TV film with his TV remake.
The first German-language version of Edward Berger now has a sensational nine Oscar chances, including in the top category "Best Film", international film, music, camera and adapted screenplay. At the British Film Awards, "Nothing New in the West" recently won seven Baftas, including for "Best Picture" and for Directing.
The Netflix production was enthusiastically received by most US critics. In Germany, on the other hand, there was also criticism - for example that Berger often deviated from the template, adding actions and people as sensationalism.
Oscars 1930 Hollywood Reporter FAZ review Süddeutsche review Bild review Slate review Oscar website Information on the nominations