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All Quiet On the Western FrontAll Quiet on the Western Front directed by Delbert Mann is based on the novel written by Erich Maria Remarque It tells the story of a German schoolboy Paul Baumer and a group of his classmates who journey from fantasies of heroic glory to the real horror of actual soldiering Their journey is a coming of age tale that centers on the consternation of war and emphasizes the moral spiritual emotional and physical deterioration suffered by the young soldiers Paul Baumer is a 19-year-old volunteer to the German army during World War I He and his classmates charge fresh out of high school into military service hounded by the nationalist ranting of a feverish schoolmaster Kantorek Though not all of them want to enlist they do so in order to save face Their first stop is boot camp where life is still laughter and games Where are all the medals asks one Just wait a month and Ill have them comes the boisterous response This is their last vestige of boyhood War slowly begins to strip away the ideals these boy-men once cherished Their respect for authority is torn away by their disillusionment with their schoolteacher Kantorek who pushed them to join This is followed by their brief encounter with Corporal Himmelstoss at boot camp The contemptible tactics that their superior officer Himmelstoss perpetrates in the name of discipline finally shatters their respect for authority As the boys fresh from boot camp march toward the front for the first time each one looks over his shoulder at the departing transport truck They realize that they have now cast aside their lives as schoolboys and they feel the numbing reality of their uncertain futures After their first two days of fighting they return to their bunker where they find neither safety nor comfort A grizzled veteran Kat suggests these fresh-faced boys should return to the classroom The war
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