All Quiet on the Western Front (1979) Script

He's known as Kat but his full name is Stanislav Katczinsky.

He's the leader of our group with a remarkable nose for good food and dirty weather, but most of all for food when there's none to be had.

My name is Paul Baumer. I am 18 years old.

A few months ago, six of us were classmates, our heads were stuffed with knowledge, filled with ideals and hopes.

Josef Behm, who will study theology.

Albert Kropp, who will study law.

Friedrich Müller, who will study everything.

Franz Kemmerich, who will be a forester.

Peter Leer, who will travel and make love.

We are with our friends: Tjaden, a locksmith before the war.

The biggest eater of the company.

Haie Westus, who dug peat for a living. A good man to have on your side.

And Detering, a farmer who thinks of nothing but his horses, his farmyard and his wife.

For months we've fought the French for a hundred yards of earth.

They attack our trench. We attack their trench.

Then, to keep the score even, they will attack our trench once again.


What are you doing? Wait.

Over here. Here, over here.

You'll be OK.

OK, here we come. Come.

Quick.

Easy... easy.

It's his leg. He's lucky.

He'll be all right.

You are our Iron Youth.

Iron Youth becomes Iron Heroes.

It is my duty. Uh, it is my honour, to prepare you for the part you must play in this great war.

Our homeland has need of men of character and strong will.

It is my duty to prepare your minds so that you will be better able to train your bodies for your Kaiser, for your Fatherland, for your God.

For upon you rests the fate of the Fatherland and upon the fate of the Fatherland rests the fate of the world.

Germany is the nation of progress, the nation of culture... the nation of science, the nation of ideas...

the nation of Beethoven, of Schiller, of Goethe...

Baumer.

Sir.

What is that?

A bird, sir.

A bird? Yes, sir.

A lark?

Yes, sir. Very good.

On the window.

This line... The window.

Very exact. Thank you, sir.

But you do not come here to draw, to write poems... or to dream.

Do you Baumer?

No.

Sit down.

Gentlemen, you have all passed your examinations.

As you know, you are graduated.

The time for class is over.

The time for duty has begun.

You are dismissed. Herr Baumer...

You may stay.

Cigarette?

No, thank you, sir.

Oh, you don't smoke.

Well, it is not a good habit.

But all good habits, makes a dull person.

What do the English say?

All work and no play makes... A dull man.

A dull... Yes, yes, very good.

So you see, you have learned something here after all.

There is a time for work and there is a time for play.

You are graduating. The time for play is over.

You are a dreamer, Baumer.

You draw little sketches and write little poems.

But now you're a man, you have your duties as a man, your duty to the Fatherland.

Will you wait to be called up or will you enlist?

Well...

Of course, you'll respond to your call of duty.

You will all respond.

The entire class will go as one man to serve the Fatherland.

I know I will be proud of you, Baumer.

If you could get enough sleep, it wouldn't be a bad little war.

If you could get enough food. If you could get enough women.

Come on, Heinrich, open up, we're hungry.

You know the regulations. You must all be here.

We are here!

Don't lie to me. I've got food for 150 men and I don't serve until the rest of you get here.

The rest are either in the dressing station or pushing up the daisies!

Well, I've cooked for 150 men.

Ah! So then we'll all have enough. For once!

You've got bread for 150 men? Yeah.

And sausages? Tobacco?

Yeah, but... Good, let's have it!

So let's see, that's enough bread for er...

Double portions!

Is that right? Double!

I can only issue rations to 80 men.

Here's Lieutenant Bertinck.

The beans smell delicious, Sergeant.

Thank you, sir.

It would be nice to see this once in a while at the front. Eh, Katczinsky?

Yes, sir! That's right, sir.

Eat hearty.

Thank you, sir.

Come on, belly robber, you heard him. Yeah, but he didn't say...

Look, you... We are the Second Company.

You are the cook for the Second Company.

You didn't make food for 80 men, you made food for the Second Company.

And we, damn you, we are the Second Company!

Well, it isn't right.

Come on!

Come on, stop cheating.

It's not right. There should be a system.

It's not right. I cook all this food...

Come on, come on! Double!

Today is wonderfully good.

Every one of us has eaten for two men and the mail has come.

The grasses sway like tall spears.

The white butterflies float on the soft warm wind.

How often in the last few days have we come to the edge of death?

Let's not even think about it.

Let's just enjoy the world.

Everything is new and brave.

Red poppies, the good food, cigarettes and the summer breeze.


Paul? Paul?

We're going to see Kemmerich.


Nurse, can you tell me where Franz Kemmerich is?

Yes, he's through there.


Franz.

How are you?

Someone stole my watch.

Bastards! I warned you, Franz.

I know. We'll tell the doctor.

You'll be going home soon.

Do you think?

Any day. You look fine, Franz.

I feel... I'm all right.

My foot. It's so painful.

It's so cold.

That pain is your ticket home.

You should be grateful to that pain.

In a week you'll be smoking cigars on Frau Hammerschmidt's front porch, telling big fat lies to Katrine Hammerschmidt.

We got you some smokes and a piece of cheese from Kat, and your comb is in the tobacco tin.

Put them under the bed, please.

Hide them. You know they stole my watch.

Franz, will you be taking these back home with you?

Why not?

Well, you don't really need boots back home.

We could do a trade. I've got...

No! My mother gave me those boots.

Maybe you could lend them to me? No.

You'll be home a lot sooner than us.

That's right, you won't have to wait for leave now.

Orderly. Orderly!

They don't come. They never come.

We'll get someone.

It'll be different when you get home. When you come back...

We'll be together. We'll come tomorrow.

I'll come tomorrow. Thank you. Thank you.

I'll be back.

Make sure you get my watch.

We will.


You think I don't care about Franz.

Of course I care.

If I could save his leg or life, I'd walk over barbed wire. You know that.

But where he's going, he isn't going to need his boots.

He isn't going to need anything.

And my boots hurt. They really hurt.

Why should some damn orderly get his boots and not one of his friends?

He's right, Paul.

I know.

Very good, Kemmerich.

Very good, Kemmerich.

They've amputated my leg.

Could be worse.

Wegler lost his right arm, which is very much worse.

Besides, you're going home.

Do you think so?

Of course.

Do you think so?

Once you get over the operation.

I don't think so.

Don't talk nonsense.

I wanted to be a forester once.

You will.

They... They make wonderful... artificial limbs... now.

Attach them right to the muscle. You can do anything.

If you find my watch, send it home.

You'll go to a convalescent home.

Maybe the one in Klosterberg.

Remember how we used to hike up there?

Remember the poplars?

The stream full of fish?

Franz, Franz... When I come back, we go up to the mountains again.

You can name all the trees for me.

Tell me all about them.

Franz, nothing will change.

We'd be together again.

Franz? Franz.

Give... Müller... my... boots.

Doctor? Doctor? Where's the doctor? Doctor!

Doctor!

Where's the doctor? Doctor?

Doctor! Quickly, Franz Kemmerich is dying.

Which one is that? Bed 36, amputated leg.

How should I know that? I've amputated five legs today.

You see to it.

One operation after another since five o'clock this morning.

Today there have been sixteen deaths, yours will be the seventeenth.

There'll probably be twenty altogether.

We'll have to take him away at once. We need the bed.

They're lying on the floor outside.


Don't forget, change your socks every day.

Oh, Mother! I won't.

Paul. Yes, Mrs. Kemmerich?

Please, may we speak a minute?

I want you to promise me something. What, Mrs. Kemmerich?

Look after Franz. Of course...

He looks up to you. He'll do anything you ask, you know?

Make him stay away from danger. You know how reckless he is.

I'll make sure he behaves himself. Thank you.

God bless you, Paul.

Maria, Maria.

Look after your brother.

I'll see you soon. Take care. Bye-bye, Mother, bye-bye.

Take care, Father!


Right, come on, boys. Wake up!

Let's go. Hey, wake up there. Come on.

Come on, come on, Come on!

It's beautiful here. Come on.

Let's go. Wake up. Food.

Come on.

Oh, Kat. I don't know how you do it.

Next time you come with me, I'll show you how to find food.

Someday when I'm not here, it'll come in handy.

What? You'll always be here.

Ah, up here "always" isn't a long time.

Anyway, you'd better learn so you won't go hungry.

You pay attention to the teacher.

He's coming. He's coming.

What did he want? Doesn't matter. We're free.

It is time for work, for duty. You will enlist, the entire class.

Of course. Behm, you too.

They might not accept me. My eyes. They will.

But not tonight. Tonight we get drunk.

Iron Youth. Iron Youth.

To Max's!

♪ Who'll be the guardians of the Rhine

♪ O Fatherland...

Well, young men. Off to join the army?

Yes, yes!

Well, so am I. I've been called up.

You, Himmelstoss?

I'm in the reserves.

Himmelstoss is in the reserves.

I'm going on active duty.

Himmelstoss on active duty!

Yes, you fine young gentlemen. This is my uniform, do you understand?

This is my uniform!

You fine young gentlemen!

Your heads stuffed with garbage from books!

You'll soon be learning other lessons!


Almighty God, we give thanks for the food you have set before us.

We trust in you to protect the Kaiser and the Fatherland and all our brave soldiers... and our son, Paul Baumer, who is soon to serve his Fatherland.

We ask for your proetection for Paul Baumer.

Amen.

The war will be over in a few months.

The Russians are finished, the French are crumbling, our U-boats are starving England.

The Americans will never fight.

Victory is in our hands.

Oh, I envy you, Paul.

You'll march through Paris, the bands blazing, the banners flying.

I envy you.

♪ Fatherland beloved

♪ Faithful and true

♪ Along the Rhine we'll stand

♪ Watch o'er the Rhine

♪ Defend our Fatherland... ♪

♪ We'll be the guardians of the Rhine

♪ O Fatherland beloved

♪ Faithful and true

♪ Along the Rhine we'll stand

♪ Watch o'er the Rhine

♪ Defend our Fatherland ♪ Halt!

Left... face.

Form in three ranks.

Three groups.

At ease.

Gentlemen, you are welcome.

You will be my guests for the next ten weeks.

In those ten weeks, you will become German soldiers.

You will leave here to go to your front line units, where you will be privileged to serve the Kaiser and the Fatherland.

Gentlemen, you are welcome.

Good morning, my fine young gentlemen.

My name is Himmelstoss.

Corporal Himmelstoss. I'm your training officer.

You will find I'll be a good teacher. Do you know why?

Because what I teach you, you will never forget.

Never.

Squad, attention!

Squad, at ease.

Attention!

Squad, at ease.

Attention!

Right face.

Left face.

Right face.

Forward march.

Left, left, left, left, left.

Left, left, left.

Left, left, left. Squad...

Right turn... march.

Turn! Left! Left! Left! Left! Left! Squad!

Attention!

Right face!

Eyes front!

Right face!

Forward march!

Left! Left! Squad!

On the double.

Quick march!

Left, left, left. Squad!

Right turn... March!

Left, left, left, left. Left, left, left, left... Squad!

Right turn... March!

Left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left, left... Squad! Lie down!

Ready.

Stand up!

Advance.

Lie down.

Ready...

Stand up!

Advance.

Lie down!

Ready...

Stand up.

Advance.

Into the barracks. Inspection in 30 minutes.

Dismiss!


Lie down!

Ready...

Stand up!

Advance.

Lie down!

Ready...

Stand up!

Advance.

Lie down!

Ready...

Stand up!


Again.

Come on, up, up, up, up.

Come on. Come on.


You.

Again!


Baumer.

Again.

You'll pay for this, Baumer.

Rifle. Fill your pack.

No, no, Corporal.

You must keep your eyes open, Corporal.


Attack!

Lay down!


Your training days are over.

You are soldiers now in the Imperial Army.

Fit and ready to do battle for the Kaiser and the Fatherland.

In the front lines you will understand the value and the purpose of everything you have learned here, everything your officers have taught you.

Their ways may have sometimes seemed harsh to you, but you will thank your fine instructors for the lessons they taught you in this camp.

They have taught you to be soldiers.

To be soldiers in the service of Almighty God, the Kaiser and the Fatherland.

Right... face.

Forward... march.


Forward... march.


Open up.


Shoulder weapons.

Right face.

Board the train.


No smoking.

No smoking.

Fifth Company, get down. Hold up.

Second Company. This way. Fall out, two ranks.


So... Here you are.

It's the custom to assign one old hand to every new platoon.

You're the new platoon.

I'm the old hand.

In training camp they filled you with fancy information on how to be a soldier.

We're going to work hard to forget all that.

I'll teach you practic... Listen to me, boy.

I'll teach you practical things.

Like how to put your diapers on in the front lines.

And how to kill Frenchies.

You won't have long to wait before I baptise you.

First we'll give you some hot food, let you get some sleep, then I'll take you out on your first patrol...

...tonight.


Those deep booms, that's the heavy artillery.

They're heading behind us, so don't worry.

They always come in threes, they always fall close together.

You've got five to ten seconds between each round to get where you wanna go.

You can hear them coming a long way off, that's the good thing.

Same with the mortar.

But the thing you gotta listen good for is the "Eeee!"

Like a mosquito.

That's the small stuff they call daisy-cutters.

You've only got three seconds before they hit you.

Don't wait for anything!

Up here you've got to learn to trust your animal instinct.

You understand?

So... Don't wait. Move. When you're up this close and you hear something, anything, hit the ground - fast.

You understand? Yes, sir.

All right, boys. There's gonna be some fireworks.

Frenchie wants to say hello.

You just stick close to Kat, and move when I tell you to move.

All right, take cover. Get off the road. Quick, quick!

Get down. Off the road.

Take cover. Off the road!


Shoot the wounded horses!

Shoot them!

Shoot them, can't you?

Shoot them!

Hey! You crazy? You want to kill somebody?

Get down.


Why? What have they done? They haven't done anything.

Using horses is wrong. It's wrong killing horses.

All right, boys. Frenchie's finished with you.

Come on, let's go, boys.

Get up.

Up. Come on, boys.

Everybody here?

Huh? Link up, boys.

That's just a taste of the real thing. You'll get used to it.

You ready?

All right.

Well, you're almost getting to be soldiers now.

You stick with Kat and you'll be all right.

We have been at the front for a year. We are soldiers now.

We know this place well.

We are at home.

Only Kemmerich is dead but we keep hearing about others in our class - dead, wounded.

Always, over every one of us, hangs the element of chance.

If a shot comes, all we can do is duck, because we can never know where it will fall.

I can be smashed to bits in a bomb-proof dugout, or I can survive ten hours unscathed out in the open.

Of course, every soldier believes in chance and trusts his luck.

But no soldier outlives a thousand chances.

Flamethrowers. A new invention.

To the list of ways by which the keenest minds in the world are making it easy to kill one another, add this miracle of modern industrial ingenuity.

Incineration.

The rats here are particularly repulsive. They are so fat.

We call them corpse rats.

They have shocking evil faces and even on our empty stomachs, it is nauseating to see their long naked tails.

The bait is bread, which is so rotten that even we won't eat it.

These rats are so brazen. If we make a pile of rotten crusts, they'll come right among us to snatch them away.

It's a way to pass the time.


Gas gas! Gas gas!

Gas, the most feared, the most obscene weapon of all.

We remember the awful sights in the hospital.

The gas patients who, suffocating, cough up their burnt lungs in clots.

Better to take your chances in the open rather than stay in the hollows where the vapours settle.


The new recruits give us more trouble than they are worth.

Between five and ten of them get killed to every old hand.

And they get killed simply because they are so inexperienced.

They know nothing, so they die like flies.

No, don't! No!

Get him.


Hand me a rifle. Hand me a rifle.

Kat, wait!

A baby.

Just a baby.


Mind the wire.

They're in position.

Nearby? Yes, sir.

How long has it been?

Weeks, months, years?

Only days.

Yesterday we were under fire. Today we can rest.

Tomorrow we go up to the trenches again.


Boys, boys, come here.

Look, you fellas go on that side.

Over here. This way.

Easy, easy.

Get around, get around up there.

Come on! Get it!

Get him!

Somebody eat the liver. I'm on a diet.

My old woman would have used lots of bay leaves, basil, paprika, and the stuffing would have been something very special.

But all things considered...

It was a feast. I feel like a king.

Ah, not bad, not bad.

Like I say, it's not a bad little war.

You never answered my question, Josef.

What question?

What'll you do after all this is over?

What we'll all do. Get drunk.

That's the most intelligent answer I've heard yet.

Of course he'll get drunk.

Then it's back home and mama and all that.

But what else?

Tell him, Josef. Don't be ashamed.

I'm not ashamed.

He's going to theology school to be a minister.

A year at the front and you haven't changed your mind about that?

Is God still in his heaven?

Nothing ever changes that.

And you, Müller? I'm going to be an engineer.

That's all I've ever wanted to be. I'm one of the lucky ones.

Why? I've always known what I wanted to do.

Like Behm.

Like the farmer boy. Eh?

Straight back to the harvest, Detering?

Back to my horses and my sheep and the harvest.

And my wife.

What will you do, Tjaden?

Make sure Himmelstoss doesn't get past me.

I know what I want.

We all know what you want.

I want to undress every mademoiselle from here to the Rhine.

We're talking about future careers, Leer.

I fully intend to make a career of my lifelong hobby.

I'm gonna become the world's first professor of lust.

What about you? Back to the cobbler's bench, yeah?

And the children.

How many you got?

Don't ask. Good thing I'm a shoemaker, or I'd go broke just buying shoes.

What about you, Westus?

A feather bed.

Yeah. And a fat girl.

I won't get up for a week!

The question is, what will you do for a living?

Mm?

You know what? I think I'll stay in the army.

Are you crazy? Well, in peace time the food's good, you sleep in a bed and every week you get clean underwear.

In the evenings, you're a free man, you go off to the beer hall.

It's a much better life than digging peat.

Much better.

More coffins. A bigger load than usual.

That means a bigger offensive.

How considerate they are at headquarters.

They even send us the stuff to fill them with.

Come on, get this one down.

Haul them up.

Careful, careful.

How old are you?

Sixteen.

Next year, right out of the cradle.

Did you notch this bayonet? Yes, sir.

Who told you to?

At the training camp... Training camp, eh?

Sonny, if the enemy ever caught you with this, they wouldn't kill you, they'd plump your eyes out and fill them full of sawdust.

Nobody uses these things any more.

It's by mutual agreement, on both sides.

I didn't know.

First time at the front? Yes, sir.

Don't "sir" me. I'm a private.

Sorry, I thought...

Don't think. Just listen.

Yes, sir.

Your spade is better.

You hit a man under the chin, you can take his head off.

It's a good club, too.

Cos it's heavy.

Hit a man between neck and shoulder. Right here. Split him right in two.

Mother of God! It's cleaner.

Bayonet gets stuck in ribs, you have to kick him to pull it out.

Time it takes, you're a dead man.

Understand?

Now, where is your platoon leader?

Corporal Himmelstoss said he would meet us here.

Ah.

Corporal who?

Himmelstoss.

From Oldenberg training station? Yes, sir.

I don't believe it!

Vengeance is mine!

How did he mess up his playground? He didn't volunteer for the front?

No, sir. He got into trouble.

Overdid it with a couple of trainees on the muddy field. You know the muddy field?

Do we know the muddy field?

He went too far. He almost killed them.

And he didn't know the son of the local magistrate was watching.

So they sent him up here. Wouldn't you know he'd spoil it for himself?

Wouldn't you know he'd go just too far?

Oh, Lord. I can hardly wait.

Oh, well. Look who's here.

Out of the way!

Well, we meet again.

Kropp, isn't it? You remember me, Corporal Himmelstoss.

Müller, you here too? Oh, yes, I remember you very well.

Leer, Behm, Baumer... Baumer.

Nothing wrong with my memory!

Well, I told you that what I taught you, you'd never forget.

I see you've all managed to stay alive.

Not Kemmerich.

Kemmerich? I don't remember Kemmerich.

The rest of you seem to have learned your lessons pretty well.

Here's your lesson, Himmelstoss. When you get to the front, don't you turn your back.

What did you say?

So this is the great Corporal Himmelstoss?

And who are you?

I asked you a question, soldier.

Himmelstoss. There's a latrine down the road.

Why don't you take a jump?

Do you realise that I'm your superior officer?

Do you want to be court martialled?

Stand up straight, heels together, when your superior officer speaks to you.

All of you!

Squad, attention!

Right... face.

Right turn, forward... march.

Left, left, left, left.

Left, left, left, left, left, left.

They are being good to us. They brought us delicious edamer cheese.

We eat and drink of course but there is no joy in it because they always feed us like this before they send us into hell.

Kat has lost his fun.

When he smells cheese he also smells trouble and of course it comes.

Easy, boy, easy. It'll be all right.


Ah, you see the way he blows up? Boom, like that.

Want to kill Frenchmen?

Hey, give me the tin when you finish. I can use the fat to polish my boots.


You'll be all right, boy.

You'll get used to it.

They always shell us like this before a big offensive.

To soften us up so we can't sleep.

Huh, then when they attack, we won't be able to fight back because we're too tired.

Two days and nights. How much longer?

Not too long, not too long.

Why don't they stop?

Where are you going?

I'll be back... in a minute.

No, just relax. Wait. It'll be over soon. Come on, sit down and relax.

Let me go. I must get away. I must go!

Sit down and calm down.

Now, go and sit down. Behave yourselves. Be easy, quiet.

Listen...

Attack!

Come on, let's go. Come on... Come on!

No longer do we lie helpless, awaiting destruction.

We can destroy and kill to save ourselves and to be revenged.

When we see their faces, we become wild beasts.

We turn into thugs and murderers.

Into God only knows what devils.

If your own father was with them, you wouldn't hesitate to fling a bomb into him.


Forward!

What the hell is this?

Come on, let's go. Come on, you all.

Come on. You too, soldier.

Come on, let's go. Let's go, let's go! Damn it, let's go!

What's happening down there?

Come on!

Charge! Come on!

How long is it? Days, and weeks, and months, and years.

Attack, counter-attack. And the dead pile up.

Winter, summer... The days are hot and the dead lie unburied.

The shells will bury them.

But when the wind blows, it brings the smell of blood, which is heavy and sweet.


No, shh... shh...

Shh! Shh!

No, no...

No, shh. Aider. Je vous...

Je vous... help... I want to help you.


Ohh!

I didn't want to kill you.

But you jumped in here like that.

What would you have done? It's...

It's just I'd never met you before... like this...

face to face.

I just saw your rifle...

your bayonet... grenades.

If we threw all those away...

we could be brothers.

But they never want us to know that, do they?

They never want us to know.

We each have mothers... fathers...

the same... fear of death.

The same... pain.

The same...

everything.

Everything.

Forgive me, comrade.

I could write... to your family.

Yes...

Yes, I'll write!


"Gerard Duval, compositeur."

I have killed Gerard Duval the printer.


Battalion, attention!

Present arms!

Eyes left!


Battalion Commander, sir.

Your Majesty, I have the honour to bring you the salute of the 150th Infantry Battalion.

Your Majesty, Soldier Bernard.

Your Majesty, Soldier Langer.

Your Majesty, Corporal Himmelstoss.

Battalion! At ease!

Officers, non-commissioned officers, enlisted men.

The men who have received decorations this day have all performed actions worthy of our great cause.

Henceforth, Germany expects each of you to follow their example.

From this day on, your Kaiser urges you all to aspire to such strength, to such bravery, to such obedience to your God and your country.

If you do, my soldiers, I am certain that every one of you will one day wear a medal pinned on you by your Kaiser.

You have all done your duty in the noble tradition of the German warrior.

You have shown the world our might.

You have stricken our enemies with fear.

With God's help, you are winning a glorious victory for the Fatherland.

The Kaiser! Just wait till I tell my father.

Oh, yeah? What'll you tell him?

I'll tell him I saw the Kaiser!

Up this close - he's never gonna believe it.

He seemed like a very nice man. Yeah, really nice.

Do you think it's true they forced him into this war?

I wouldn't say that. Why not?

It's the generals' fault, he had to say yes.

So the generals started the war? The French generals, yes.

The French generals told the Kaiser we had to have a war?

No, you don't understand...

Be careful with these uniforms, boys.

They have to be handed down to the next bunch of heroes that gets reviewed by the Kaiser.

Kat, why do you think we're in this war?

Protect the Fatherland. What are the French fighting for?

Protect the Motherland.

And who's right?

Whoever wins.

That's not very patriotic.

Not very what? Patriotic.

Maybe not. Maybe it's not very patriotic to use your head.

Maybe the real patriot just goes out and gets his head blown off.

And gets a medal for it. Like Himmelstoss?

Can you imagine that little peacock getting a medal?

From the Kaiser?

Be fair, he deserved it.

He behaved like a true German soldier.

He ran ahead when he was told to run ahead and he ran back when he was told to run back.

The only thing he didn't do like a German soldier... was die.

Do you think that's what we're fighting for? Just to die?

Well, do you know what we're fighting for?

Does anybody know what we're fighting for?

Does the Kaiser?

Maybe if he'd stayed out of it in the first place there'd be no war.

Corporal.

Come in.

Sit down.

Listen, their country insulted ours - that's how it started.

"Their country insulted ours"? I don't understand.

A mountain in France insulted a mountain Germany?

Ah, you know what I mean.

One country offended the other. Then what am I doing here?

I haven't been offended.

How could I be offended? I've never even been to France before.

In all my life I've only known a handful of Frenchies.

They seemed all right to me. Human, people.

Let me tell you, the only reason we're fighting this war is because it's useful to somebody.

Hm? But who?

Not for me.

Let me tell you something else - about those generals.

They're getting something out of all this too.

What do they get?

Famous!

Hey, anybody ever heard of Vitry-les-Bois?

It's a French pastry!

It's an occupied French village and we're all going there.

What for? For seven days' leave!

Ever seen anything as beautiful as that.

Never.

How old would you say she is?

21, 22.

Oh, no. I don't think she'd be older than us.

I'd say... 17 at the most.

Oh, she's so clean.

Why not? I bet she take a bath every single day.

Mm, twice. Three times a day.

There's no dirt under those fingernails.

How far do you suppose he could march with shoes like that?

Do you remember white trousers? Do I!

I have a pair like that at home.


It would be nice, wouldn't it, Albert?

Maybe we could go over to the de-lousing station.

Why? You'll be covered again in half an hour.

I just feel so dirty.

Hey! Get your hands off her, she's mine!

Oh my!

What are these filthy-minded Krauts been saying, sweetheart?

Come on, shutzy, throw a little my way.

You know, she looks a lot like the first one I ever had.

Olga.

Olga, my little peasant calf.

Come on, you never had anything like that.

Oh no?

See you later.

Where are you going? Sightseeing.

What's wrong with this sight?

It'll take six weeks to get to the skin!

Can I have a piece of that soap? How's the water?

Beautiful! Come on in!

Hey! Look at that!

Hello! Bonjour, bonjour! Jolies! Jolies!

Somebody do something! Just don't let them get away!

Allo, Mademoiselles! Allo, Mademoiselles!

Ami! Ami, mademoiselles!

Une minute, madame!

Attendez, s'il vous plait! Tell them to come over.

Er, yes, er... Mademoiselle, you come over this side, oui?

Vous venez, s'il vous plaît.

Ask them what they're doing tonight. Don't let them get away!

Er, nous vivons à vous parler, all right?

Tell 'em we want to talk. Talk?!

Parlez vous, Mesdemoiselles! Hey! Hey, wait a minute!

Tell them... Mademoiselles!

Venez assi!

No, that's not it, it's venez ici.

Frauleins, I'amour, yes?

You coming over, we have I'amour, yes?

Oui, oui, oui.

Don't go! Yoo-hoo!

Girls! Fraulein, bread, yes? You want bread?

Look! Regardez!

Yum-yum-yum-yum-yum, yes? Bread!

You come over here, oui?

Vous!

Venez!

Ici!

Maintenant!

Oui! Oui!

What did she say? They want us to come over. No...

Pas possible! No, we can't!

We can't! There's guards, sentries, you understand? Watch.

We can't, they're up there.

Ce soir!

Vous venez!

Lá-bas!

Nôtre maison!

They want us to come to their house tonight!

Oui! Avec quelque chose à manger, oui?

With something to eat! La maison là!

Maison!

Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! Bye! Bye!

Drink up, Tjaden.

It's bad luck there's four of us and three of them.

Mm-hmm... Bad luck.

See, I just don't think it's fair to the girls.

Drink up, Tjaden. How often do you get good French wine?

Not fair to the girls... No.

One of us will have to make the supreme sacrifice.

Mmm?

Bottoms up, Tjaden, you're not keeping up with us.

Maybe we should draw lots?

You lose.


Bonsoir. Bonsoir.


This looks like the right line-up, huh?

I'm all for this one.

You like yours, Albert?

Yes.

Paul?


Mais tu es blanc comme neige, toi.

Er...

Est-ce que je me trompe, petit bon homme?

Oui!


Mon petit soldat.

Viens. Viens.

Non, non. Ici.

Quelle âge as tu? Eh?

Ton âge? No...

Quelle âge as tu? Ah! I'm nineteen.

Nineteen.

Nineteen... Oh!

Vingt-cinq ans? Vraiment? Tu exaggeres, non?


The room grows dim and dissolves in the half-light and only the face near mine lives and is clear.

The face is touched with a tenderness that comes out of the night... and I let it all fall from me.

War and terror, and grossness, in order to awaken young and happy.


Look out! Look out! Take cover!


Come on! Come on, Albert!

My leg! Come on, Albert! Up! Up!

Come on, boys, a little bit more.

Down! Stay down!


I'll be right back!


Hey!

Easy!

Paul!

Take care!

Kat.

Kat!

Kat, come on!

All right. Easy, easy.

It's from Kat. What is it?

We got a long ride. You could get hungry. Oh, bread and cheese!

He could find a lobster dinner in the middle of the desert!

Goodbye.

Take care, Paul. Bye.

Whistle blows)


Albert and I are in a Catholic hospital.

This is a piece of luck because Catholic infirmaries are noted for their good treatment and good food.

We were wheeled in the night before and none of us slept well.


Won't see him again. Why not?

They've taken his clothes. That means he's off to the Dead Room.

The "Dead Room"?

What's the Dead Room?

The Dying Room, whatever you wanna call it.

It's in the basement.

Whenever anybody wants to say "goodbye, life", they take 'em there.

It's convenient really. It's next to the mortuary.

No one ever comes back from it.

The beds empty quickly and new occupants take their places.

It is going badly with Albert. He is in much pain.

Last night one of our wardmates awakened with a severe haemorrhage.

He is only semi-conscious today. The doctors look in more often.


They won't take me! No! No!

We're taking you to the bandaging room.

I won't go to the Dying Room! Stay here! Stay here!

We're going to the bandaging ward.

Then why are you taking his tunic?

I'll be back. I won't die! Why are you taking his tunic?

I'll come back! I won't die! I'll come back!

Liars!

They're lying.

Liars!

I'll come back! I'll come back! I won't die...

I am learning to walk again but always in the corridor.

I can't bear Albert's gaze if I move abut the room.

He has a strange look. I know what it is because I know Albert.

He is bitter and jealous that I am getting better and he is not.

And I know he has a terrible guilt that he feels jealous of me.

I know Albert.

He's always been my best friend.

I get to know this hospital very well, where they keep the abdonimal and spinal cases, the head wounds and double amputations, the jaw wounds, the tesictle wounds, the gas cases, the blind cases, the lung wounds and intestinal wounds.

And this is only one hospital. One single station.

There are thousands in Germany.

How many thousands are there in France? In Russia?

In England?

How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done and thought, when such things are possible?

The culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out.

A hospital alone shows what war is.

Stop it!

Stop it! Stop that! Orderly!

Get the orderly! Doctor!

Orderly! Orderly!

He's trying to kill himself with a fork!

Why didn't you leave him alone?

You are doing so well, Paul.

Soon we'll throw away the cane.

Sister. Yes?

I'm worried about my friend.

I think... he is making a very good recovery.

He worries me.

Since the operation, he...

He's in a terrible state of mind. He hardly speaks to me any more.

There is always such a reaction after an amputation.

Always!

Now, stop worrying.

Albert will get over it.

Go, tell him your good news.

That should cheer him up.

Albert?

How do you feel?

Albert, they're giving me 16 days' convalescent leave.

I'll be going home.

They'll be sending you home, too. Very soon.

Baumer! Hey, Baumer. It's me, I'm back.

Franz! Didn't I tell you I'd come back?

I don't believe it. Death Room, Dying Room.

What the... hell are they talking about?

Old Man Death didn't catch me.

I caught him out!

He did say he'd come back.

Didn't he?

Albert, is there anything I can get you?

A gun.

A what?

You want to get me something? Get me a gun.

Are you going to get me a gun or not? No! Don't talk nonsense!

No, you talk sense.

Albert...

I'm sorry.


Paul?

Paul! Why didn't you tell us you were coming?

Mother. Mother!

Paul? Come up.

Give me your handkerchief.

How is she?

She's in bed.

She's sick, Paul.

What is it?

We don't know.

But... Dr Bradermeier thinks... it's probably the cancer again.


Thank God.

Oh, thank God.

Thank God.

Are you wounded, Paul?

No... No, I'm just on leave.

Oh, Paul. How are you feeling?

I'm going to try to get up a little today, I think.

Good.

They must have known you were coming. Ernst is making your favourite potato cakes.

And there's a bottle of whortleberryjam with them.

You like that, don't you? Yes, I haven't had any for a long time.

Where's Father?

At the sulphur factory.

He's working overtime.

My Paul.

Look.

Bread.

And cheese and... butter!

They feed you enough where you are?

Not always enough, but we manage.

Is it very bad there?

No.

Not so bad.

Heinrich Bradermeier was here and said it's terrible out there, with the gas attacks and all the rest of it.

It's just talk.

Just talk.

Look at me, I'm well and fit, aren't I?

Yes.

But then...

I still don't understand why you want to take off your uniform.

It's just more comfortable, Father, that's all.

But I... I want to show off our soldier boy to the fellows at Max's.

You look well, Paul. Fit. War agrees with you, eh?

I suppose, in a way.

Have a cigar. No, thank you.

If you're old enough to kill Frenchmen, you're old enough to smoke.

Hans, another beer for our young warrior.

What's the spirit like out there? Excellent, eh?

I can believe it. The thing to do now is finish off the Froggies.

The enemy has many reserves, Mr. Hollerstein.

The war may be different from what people think.

You only see your little sector, sometimes you lose sight of the large picture.

The important thing as I see it is the breakthrough, here in Flanders.

This is Frenchie, this is us.

We have to come round the Belgian side and ram through.

There's no other way.

How can we do that before we beat them on the Hindenburg line?

It is borders that are important.

You're quite wrong. A good soldier never stays planted on a border like a turnip.

He advances. I agree with Ludwig.

Offence is the key to modern warfare. Look what happened in 1870.

Nonsense. We're talking about modern warfare, not what happened 50 years ago.

You're lying to me, Paul. I know that you are.

I swear to you, he died instantly.

You promised me he wouldn't get hurt. Mrs. Kemmerich, I...

Why are you living when he is dead? Why?

What right have you?

Tell me again.

Did you... see it?

Yes, I was right there next to him.

He died at once. He never suffered.

I know that you're trying to comfort me, but don't you see it is harder this way than if you told the truth?

I want to know the...

I want the truth!

I have to hear it!

Mrs. Kemmerich, I promise you, that's exactly how it happened.

He died immediately. He felt absolutely nothing at all.

His face was quite calm.

Do you swear it? Yes.

By everything that is sacred to you?

By everything that is sacred to me.

He died at once.

And do you promise never to come back... if it is not true?

May I never come back... if he wasn't killed instantly.

Carry that lesson to the front lines and you will be better soldiers in the service of the Kaiser.

You are dismissed.


Baumer.

Paul Baumer!

Baumer!

Here, have a cigarette. No, thank you.

You still haven't picked up the habit. Well, that's good.

It's not a good habit but a man has to have some vices.

How does it go? All work and no play... You remember?

Yes...

How is it, Baumer? How... how is the spirit?

Excellent, eh? Excellent?

Behm is dead.

Behm?

Josef Behm.

Oh. You know, I didn't think he would enlist.

But he went.

Yes...

Kemmerich is dead, too.

I was told.

And Kropp has lost a leg.

Er... Oh, Albert Kropp, yes.

I don't know about all the others. We were separated, but Leer's alive and Müller is alive and I'm alive.

I'm glad to hear that.

Tell them...

Tell them I'm proud to have taught them to be good Germans.

To know that you have all done your duty by the Fatherland.

Can you imagine how that makes me feel?

You were a good class. Good boys.

Good boys all.

And this class? This lot?

Not like you. Defeatism, it has infected them.

They haven't got your spirit, Baumer.

Not the Iron Youth, eh?

Mm? I'm sorry...?

No Iron Heroes?

Just boys.

Want to play.

Laugh.

To stay alive.

Only boys.


Mother, it's late. You should be asleep.

Did I wake you, dear? I'm sorry.

You'll catch cold here. Go, sleep.

I can sleep enough later.

Are you very much afraid?

No.

I'd like to tell you to be on your guard against the women in France.

They're no good.

Mother, where we are there aren't any women.

And be very careful at the front, Paul.

Yes, I will. I pray for you every day.

I know, Mother.

Perhaps you can get a job that is not so dangerous?

Yes, perhaps in the cookhouse. That could be easily done.

You do it, then, and if the others say anything...

I won't let that bother me.

Now, you must go to sleep, Mother. Come on.


You must get well, Mother, before I come home.

Yes, my child.

And you must not send any more things to me. We get plenty to eat out there.

You can make much better use of them here.

Oh, I have two pair of underpants for you.

All wool.

They will keep you warm.

You must not forget to put them in your bag.

I won't, Mother.

Good night.

My son.


Mother, I used to live in this room. All my things are here.

All my books, my beloved books, but they no longer speak to me as they used to, for I am not what I was when I lived in this room.

I am a soldier. My business is not reading, it is killing.

My knowledge of life is limited to death, and I know now I should never have come back.

Out there, all men think as I do.

There's no argument about the meaning of life, because it has no meaning.

My companions at the front are the only truth I know.

They are now my books, my family, my life.

I depend on them and I depend on nothing else.

Mother, it's a terrible thing to say, but I feel I am now going back to my real home.

Paul!

Well, you're back, my boy. Yes, I'm back.

You're a fool for coming back. I'm glad to see you, anyway.

I'm glad to see you, too, Kat.

They're getting younger and younger, Paul.

Our hands'll be full just taking care of them.

Hey! The old deserter's back!

How was your leave? Good. Where's Müller?

When was it? A week ago.

Was it quick?

Shrapnel in the stomach. He lasted two hours.

Paul...

He said I could have them.

Damn!

If they come any closer, we're done for.

Lieutenant!

Leer! No, leave him! He's gone! He's gone!

Leer! Come back!

God!

Oh, God! God! God! God!


Ready! Charge! Let's go!


We are bringing food to our comrades at the front.

There isn't much. We are all going hungry. We are all tired.

We are all hopeless. But the war goes on.

Why don't theyjust let it end?

Ah, who knows?

We're finished.

We're starving, and the Froggies are eating corned beef and white bread.

Our bread is nothing but sawdust.

You see anybody that hasn't got dysentery and colic?

Artillery's burned out.

Damned barrels are so worn down... Ha!

...the shells are falling short and half the time our men are being killed.

There's just too many of the enemy left. They've got too much.

Too many guns, tanks. Now the Americans are pouring in.

New guns, aeroplanes, fresh troops.

Lie still.

Just as it's ending! Be quiet!

After four years. Stretcher!

Stretcher bearer! Just as it's ending.

It's all right. Just lie still.

Don't worry, it looks like a clean wound.

If you can just hold on.

Before you know it you'll be in a comfortable bed in a hospital.

Stretcher!

Think you can stand up?

Think you can get up?

Come on. Come on! Come on!

I've got to carry you.

Ready? Up.


I'm sorry.

That's all right, Paul. That's all right.

We gotta keep going. You ready?

Yes, yes.

Come on.

You got it? I'll try.

No. No, I'll try.

No, you can't. It's all right.


What is it? My pipe.

I think I've lost my pipe.

Don't worry.

We'll find another one.

Here.

Well, Kat...

I think we're gonna be separated.

Three years.

You remember when I first came up here?

How green I was?

You fixed that. "Keep your head down."

That's what you said.

Maybe... Maybe, when this is over, when this war is really finished, maybe we can do something together. Huh?

I don't know what.

Glass of wine.

I don't even know where you live.

Three years in the same trenches, I don't even have your address.

Let me give you mine. Let me give it to you.

Let's...

Let's go on.

Come on. Ready? Yeah.

Come on!


You might have spared yourself. Stone dead.

No.

It's his shin, he's fainted.

Come on, Kat, come on.


He was talking.

Ten minutes ago.

We were talking.


It is autumn. We wait for the end.

We wait for the Armistice.

We wait for peace.

Dear Albert, I write to tell you you and I are the last ones left.

Soon after Kat died, Tjaden got it - a quick and merciful death, a bullet in the head.

Himmelstoss was killed the same day and now Detering is gone.

I think we started to lose Detering last spring, when the apple trees came into bloom.

You know that expression of his in springtime?

Two weeks ago he was missed at roll-call, nowhere to be found.

A week later we heard he had been caught by the Military Police.

You and I know where he was going. Home, to the harvest.

We have not heard anything more, but you know the penalty for desertion.

Albert, of the class of 1916, out of the 20 who enlisted, 13 are dead.

Four are missing.

One is in a madhouse.

You and I live.

How I miss you.