All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) | Transcript

A young German soldier's terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.
All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

The story follows teenagers Paul Bäumer and his friends Albert and Müller, who voluntarily enlist in the German army, riding a wave of patriotic fervor that quickly dissipates once they face the brutal realities of life on the front. Paul’s preconceptions about the enemy and the rights and wrongs of the conflict soon crumble. However, amid the countdown to armistice, Paul must carry on fighting until the end, with no purpose other than to satisfy the top brass’ desire to end the war on a German offensive.

* * *

[wind blowing]

[bird caws]

[thunder rumbles]

[rain pouring]


[animal calling]

[rain continues to pour]

[thunder rumbles]

[wind continues to blow]

[gunfire and explosions sound]

[soldier screams]

[soldier shouts]

[gunfire and explosions continue]

[soldier] Attack!


Go! Come on! Faster!

[whistle blows]

[heavy breathing]

Heinrich, come on! Forwards! Come now!

To the ladders!

On my command!


[whistle blows]

[soldier] Heinrich! Get out there!


All of you, go!

Come on! Get out of there!

Go, Heinrich! Get out there now!





Go! Forwards!

[grunting and heavy breathing]



[soldier] Heinrich!


Attack! Attack!


[heavy breathing and crying]

[explosions and gunfire continue]

[tense music playing]



[tense music intensifies]




[door opens]

[soldier crying]

[sombre music playing]

[sombre music intensifies]


[man] Come on!

[sombre music mellows]



[heavy breathing]

[church bells chime]

[laughter and chattering]

[boy 1 laughs] Paul! Paul!

[boy 2] Paul! Well?

[boy 1] So?

[Paul] Mhm.

Well then?

I don’t know.

Does he know we’re all going?

Yes, of course.

Staying at home?

My God, you’re tied to your mother’s apron strings, my friend.

Give me it, I’ll scribble something.

It has to be signed by his parents.

Well, someone. Come on, pass it here.

That won’t work, they’ll find out.

How will they?


Is his mother a pen pal of theirs?


[drum beats sound]

Give me your pen.

Ah, I’m sorry.



You mustn’t. Your father will hit you.

Have you got a better idea? I’m not being left behind here.

[drum beats sound]

[drum beats sound]

[laughs] Jawohl!

[boy 1] Congratulations, Private Bäumer. We’re going to the front.

[Paul] A dead man walking.

[drum beats sound]

[principal] You stand here on the threshold of existence.

[drum beats sound]

[principal] Remember this moment.

[drum beats sound]

[principal] It is a great moment.

For in years to come, you will be judged based on what you dared to become today.

The iron youth of Germany.

My friends,

we are fortunate to be alive at a great time.

Your deeds will be the water nourishing the growth of a strong and noble route.

Stand still and listen up, Leinemann!

The Kaiser needs soldiers, not children.

I am certain that I will see most of you again soon, here at home.

Your sword returned to its scabbard with honour and respect.

A cross crafted from iron proudly displayed upon your chest.

However, take heed of this.

In the darkest of hours, let me assure you it will happen, that prior to an attack, you will harbour doubts.

But this is not the time to concede to any mental weakness.

Any unsteadiness, any hesitation is a betrayal of the fatherland!

For modern war is like a game of chess.

It is never about an individual soldier.

Our only care is for the entirety of the body.

You have the chance to earn the right to wear the uniforms you have been given.

And by going to the front line in Flanders, we’ll pierce the enemy.

And then you will, in a few short weeks, finally march on Paris!


[principal] Our future, the future of Deutschland, lies in the hands of its greatest generation.

My friends, that is you, you see!


Therefore, off to the camps for the Kaiser, God, and the fatherland!



[recruiter 1] Next.


[recruiter 2] Next.

[recruiter 1] Next.

[recruiter 2] Next.

[recruiter 1] Bäumer, Paul. 53 Wiesengrund.

Born November 18th, 1899. Correct?

Jawohl, sir.

[inhales deeply]

[recruiter 2] Next.

[stamp thuds]

[boy] Paul.

Here. Your father can be proud of you.


Is everything alright?

Yes. I’m eager to get on with it.

Move along.

Here he comes.

[recruit] Emil Hermann.

[recruiter 1]Name and address.

And the next.

[Paul] Excuse me.

It already belongs to someone.

Ah, yes. It was probably too small for the fellow. Happens all the time.

Here. It’s yours.

Thank you.

[sombre music playing]

[drum beats sound]

[laughter and chattering]

[boy] I remember it, you were. [laughs]

Oh, Ludwig, will you be snatching away all the ladies from us now?

Yeah. [laughs]

My concern is that you don’t shoot us.

[in German] ♪ Girl, I love you, I do ♪

♪ But I can’t yet marry you ♪

♪ Wait another year Then it will come… ♪

[in English] She won’t wait, Franz.


She won’t do it.

You lady killer, you.

[church bells ring]

[sombre music intensifies]

[in German] ♪ Have a cup of tea Sugar and coffee ♪

♪ And a glass of wine And a glass of wine ♪

♪ Girl, I do love you, I do ♪

♪ But I can’t yet marry you ♪

♪ Wait another year Then it will come true ♪

[drum beats sound]


[lieutenant, in English] Your name?

Kropp. Albert Kropp, sir.

[lieutenant] Do you like dirty girls, Kropp?

Do you like dirty girls?

Uh, no. I don’t, sir.

[lieutenant] So why do you sleep with one then?

Report for guard duty at three o’clock.

Gentlemen, you’ll be fighting in a godforsaken shithole.

And you’ll kindly do so with a clean G98.

You will pamper it.

You will love it.

And damn it, you will keep it as immaculate as the thighs of the Holy Virgin.

Do we understand each other?

Jawohl, sir!

Jawohl, sir!

Welcome to the 78th Reserve Infantry Regiment.

We are now on the Western Front.

Welcome to Paris!

Yeah! Welcome to Paris!

[engine sounds]

[medic] Ah!

Down there! Down there!

Down there! This way!

[horn honks]

[medic] This way!

[soldier] Go on! Over there on the right!

[lieutenant] Damn it, what happened?

I have orders to hand over the company to the front by 6:00 p.m.

That you may, but on foot.

You must give us the trucks, lieutenant.

With all due respect, I have orders…

Take the orders and stick them up your arse.

I have 40 men here who are dying in the mud.

Get out right now, will you?

[horse neighs]

[lieutenant] Everyone, get up.

Come on, get on with it.

You heard the staff surgeon.

[heavy breathing]

Faster, soldiers. Don’t fall asleep here.

Keep moving.

Franz Müller, correct?


The supreme army command

expects you to survive at least six weeks of being here.

Would you like that, in six weeks, to still be alive?

Jawohl, sir.

Then walk quicker

and stop dragging your feet like you would do at home.

Do you understand?


[lieutenant] Hurry up.

We’re not at a tea party here.

[explosion sounds]


[lieutenant] Gas!


[soldiers] Gas!

[lieutenant] Gas!

[soldiers] Gas!

[soldier] Gas masks on!

That, gentlemen, was a fat pig.

If the French could aim better, you could scrape us all off the road with a spoon and bury us in a saucepan.

But one thing that’s as certain as amen in church.

Fat pigs don’t carry gas.

[horse neighs]

[lieutenant] Eyes straight ahead.

[heavy breathing]

[horse neighs]

Are you deaf?

[Paul] No, sir.

I was just trying to put my mask on.

Paul Bäumer, you will almost certainly be dead by dawn.

[thunder rumbles]

You should eat something, man.

Attention! Gas masks off!

[soldier] Gas masks off!

[lieutenant] Not you.

You keep yours on until guard duty tonight.

Both you and that useless pig.

Fall in line. March.

[soldier] Fall in line!

Stay together and keep moving!

[heavy breathing]

[lieutenant] Come on, hurry up!

[soldier] Go!

[thunder rumbles]

[gunfire sounds]

[explosions sound]

Come on. Paul, come on. Give me your knapsack.

Next time, you carry mine.

[heavy breathing]

[lieutenant] Congratulations, soldiers.

This is your home now.

Helmets off.

I see the men have been enjoying themselves in my absence, Steinberger.

We were under barrage all night.

The men are a mess.

I think dry boots would be a good place to begin.

Oh, you’d rather we all drown then?

Everyone pitch in! Come on, bail out the trench.

[Steinberger] Get in line to bail the water!

What are you waiting for, Bäumer?

Why are you still loitering here? Go and help bail out the trenches.

Throw a dog a piece of meat.

[lieutenant] Come on, all of you!

It will always snap it up.

Give a man power…

Man is a beast.


[Steinberger] Katczinsky, come over here. Give us a hand.

Tonight, it’ll be even worse.

[gunfire and explosions continue]



Forget it.

Somehow, this isn’t how I imagined it.

Just shut up, Ludwig.

My hands. I can’t feel my hands any more.

Stick them down your underwear.

It always works for me.

[sombre music playing]

[Albert] That will make it shoot better, will it?


[Paul] Did you hear that?

[Albert] Hear what?

[Paul] That sound. Listen.

[Albert] There’s nothing there.

[Paul shushes]

Our first French to shoot.

Calm down, Paulchen. [laughs]

There’s someone out there.

[whispering] Who’s there?


[in French] Show yourself!


[metal clangs]

[in English] Oh, no, no, no!

I’m hit! I’m hit! I’ve been hit! Get off!

[Albert] No, Paul. No.

[soldier] What’s going on?

[Albert] You’re fine.


What is it?

The others, over there. They shot at me.

They saw the flash of your muzzle.


From now on, keep your heads down.

If you don’t want to catch the next bullet with your teeth, move ten meters to the left.

Shoot, change cover. Shoot, change cover. Understand?



Come on. Paul.

[sombre violin music playing]

[explosion sounds]

[soldier] Take cover! Take cover! Alarm!


[soldier] Here!

Bäumer, come here. Quickly, come on.

Into the bunker!

Inside! Inside! Inside!

[explosions continue]

“Be careful what you eat.”

That’s what my mother said. [laughs]

We’ll always be together, won’t we?


We’ll stick together. We’ll always be.

I can’t do this, Paul. I can’t do this. I need to go home.


I need to go home.


Creeping barrage.


Every couple of minutes, the artillery barrage makes an advance forward.

And directly after that, the infantry moves forward.

What are you saying, exactly?

That’s how they come.

[explosion sounds]


[heavy breathing]

Where are you going?

I’ll come back.

It’s nearly over.

No! Let me go.

Stay where you are.

Let me out of here. I want to get out.

Calm down.

Calm yourself.



Get out! Out! Out! Out!



[sombre music playing]

[heavy breathing]

[muted gunshots and explosions sound]

[Franz muffled] Hey, that’s Paul!


Come here, we found Paul!

[Albert] Paul!

Are you alright?

Is everything alright, Paul?

[Franz] Come on. Paul, come on.

I’ll help you.

Come on. Get up, will you? Sit down.

[Albert] Are you injured?

Paul, are you injured?

Can you hear me?

We need help over here!

See you later, Paul.

We’ll see you later, Paul.

[heavy breathing]

[distant screaming]

[soldier] Go on! Go on!

Here’s another one.

We need help!



That’s it.

I’ve got you.

Careful, careful.

Now we’re in camp. Sit down.

You’re alright.

Nice one. Let’s have a look at you.

Hold still, hold still.

Yeah, you’re going to be alright.

Right, put pressure on it. Don’t let him get up.

[lieutenant] Katczinsky, back to work.

And you? Are you injured?


[lieutenant] Then start gathering.

[soldier] Man, man, man!


[Kat] No rest for the wicked.

It’s the same every day.

[picks up shovel]

[ominous music playing]

[glass smashes]

[heavy breathing]


[sombre music playing]

[lieutenant] Come on! Keep working!

We don’t have all day.

[sombre music intensifies]

[recruiter] Albrecht, Karl. Diepholz.


September 14th, 1898.

Blumenthal, Samuel.

Dresden. November 6th, 1900.

Yesterday was his birthday.

Von Gallwitz, Gustav.

Osnabrück, June 20th, ’99.

Götz Lüttwitz…

That’s enough.

[phone ringing]


[man 1] She’s a looker.

[man 2] Let’s see.

[man 3] She’s alright.

[clears throat]

Herr Erzberger.

God be with us.

Once more, over 40,000 killed in the last few weeks alone.

That should convince the general staff.

I think the gentlemen know it’s over.

We all know that.

[door opens]

The General Field Marshal.


[drum beats sound]

[drum beats sound]

[drum beats sound]


[engine sounds]

Thank you.

[driver] Jawohl.

[vehicle drives away]

[Kat] Paul, if we keep up this pace, we won’t have conquered France for 180 years.

I worked it out. [laughs]

[Paul] Don’t let them catch you, Kat.

[Kat laughs]


[geese honking]

Come on.

Explain to me how this is worth dying for in your mind.

When you’re starving, you’ll do anything.

[bird calling]

[barn door opens]

[geese honking]

[dog barking]

[woman] Qui va là?

[farmer] Ho!

Oh, putain!

[dog barks more fiercely]

[heavy breathing]

[dog growls]

Attends je vais flinguer ce fumier!


[farmer shouts in French]


[Kat] Run!

[farmer, in French] Hey! Dirty Kraut!

Rends-moi l’oie, ordure!

[in English] Run!

[gunshot sounds]

[farmer] Fumier!

[gunshot sounds]



[soldier] Just right.

I told you.

[soldier] Men, you are heroes.

Shut the door or the others will smell it.


Nice work.

I don’t know. How am I supposed to remember anything?

Come on, use your Prussian brain.

Here. Open-eyed and long-fingered.

[laughs] Help me with the goose.

[Kat] A piece of goose from the goose. From France to Franz.

[Albert] I want a wing.

[Paul] Do I have to share? Then I’ll take the rest.

Fill up my bowl.

[soldier] Come here, you blind hen. Wide-mouth frog…

[Albert] Rest in peace in the drumfire.


Oh, God.

You know I’ll owe you forever for this.


[sombre music playing]

It’s not bad, is it?

Yes. Mm.

And you?

Yes. Yes, good.

[Kat] It’s good, Paul.

Good, Kat.

[Kat] Life is short.

Where’s Emil when you need him?

Emil, bring in coffee and caviar!

Yes, and draw my foot bath as well. I need a foot bath.


[Albert] Kat?

What is it?

♪ The goose has been stolen Give it back ♪

♪ Give it, give it, give it back ♪

♪ The goose has been stolen Give it back ♪

The farmer! The farmer!

The farmer! Yes!

♪ Otherwise the farmer Will shoot you with his rifle ♪

♪ Otherwise the farmer Will shoot you with his rifle ♪

♪ Shoot you with his rifle ♪


[sombre music intensifies]


[Kat] Tjaden sits very quietly and says…

“Where is he?” “Cross.” I keep hearing, “Cross.”

“My father was leader of Nazareth.”

“Leader of Nazareth?” enquires the teacher.

“What?” “Never heard of it.”

“Tjaden, go back home and ask again, will you?”

Next morning, Tjaden springs into school and says to everybody, “Please forgive me.” “My father wasn’t the leader of Nazareth.”

“My father was last seen with Nadja Roth.”


[Kat] Brilliant.

[horse snorts]

[Paul] Look.


[sombre music playing]

[woman] Regarder! [laughs]

[in French] Hey! Hello!

Come here!

Fresh baguette!

For you!

Liverwurst, love!

Lots of love!


[woman exclaims in French]

[women laughing]

[in English] Franz. What are you doing?

Take me with you.

[Franz] Come on! [laughs]

[women laugh]

[laughs] I’d go over.

But he’s making a fool of himself.

[in French] Oh, my. You are very beautiful, my love.


[in English] The dark-haired beauty is for me!

What is he doing?


[Franz, in French] Goodbye!

Goodbye, my friends!

[in English] Damn it.

If it was all over, you know what I’d be doing?

There’s no peace, so it doesn’t matter.

[Albert] No, but if there was…

We’d be surrounded by women again.

Yeah, that’s true.

[Albert] I wouldn’t put trousers on for eight days.

I should really be spanking your backside for talking about something like that.

What about you, Paul?

No idea. Can’t think.

[Tjaden] I’d stay with the Prussians.

[Albert] You’re an idiot, Tjaden.

[Tjaden] Have you ever done any peat digging?

Try it sometime.

[Albert] Can’t be worse than digging trenches in Champagne.

It takes longer than digging trenches in Champagne.

And you can’t get away with not doing it.

In peacetime military life, you have no concerns.

Mornings, food’s there or else you’re not there.

And then you have the softest bed.

Every week with fresh sheets over it.

And then…

And before you know it, I’m a corporal.

Imagine that. Me becoming a military policeman.

A Cognac here, a pint there.

A military policeman is everyone’s good friend. Everyone.

There’s just one catch, Tjaden.

What’s that?

You’ll never be a corporal though, will you?

You always make such useless comments.

What does it matter what you think anyway?

[engine sounds]


Kat! Kat!



[Kat] Here!

[Tjaden] Kat!

[birds singing]

[airplane engine sounds]

[gunfire and explosions in distance]

“Darling one.”

“You asked us for a package of food to be sent.”

“Four portions of sausage are on their way with lard.”

“A couple of pieces of cake.”

“Sauerkraut and smoked wurst.”

“Some more…”

Hing? Hingfong?


“…and a cup of sugar.”

“Eggs and a glass of plum jam in there.”

“Don’t eat too quickly as I don’t want to have to send more right away.”

“I’d keep it away from your comrades if I were you.”


“My dear one.”

“I must also ask a question of you.”

“Have you started to save up any money?”

“Could you send some home would you think?”

“People are saying the war will be over soon.” “Some people.”

“And so it would be helpful to have some saved up.”

“You’re probably thinking, ‘What is she after?'”

“‘How cheeky of her to ask.'”

“But I mean not to offend you.”

“You know me, I can never get enough.”

“But more, more.” “I can’t help it, I always want some more.”

“So make sure not to fall over before you can come home.”

“Karl Lemmer is in a hospital bed somewhere in the East.”

“Something with his stomach.”

“And he was out there for barely three weeks in total.”

“Can’t you also be sick, with your rheumatism?”

“You’ve already played your role.”


If only she could see how you’re sitting there, with your cigar.

[both laugh]

“This Sunday, I’ll visit the gra…”

“This Sunday, I’ll visit the grave of our boy.”

“I’ll make sure to read to him as you remember he loved that.”

“By next year, we’ll be able to celebrate his tenth birthday together.”

“That’s all I have to tell you this time.”

“Sending kisses from your wife, for you.”

“Auf Wiedersehen.”


I had no idea.

Oh, Paul.

How is all this going to work out, hmm?

Returning to a home, having to go back to our normal being.

Where all everyone wants to know about are the battles we’ve been in.

We’ll be like travellers who belong in another country elsewhere.

Sometimes I wonder…


Would I be happier with you here at camp?

Tjaden and Kropp.

And with Müller. He’d be sat with us.

And be eating fried potatoes.



[grunts, clears throat]

That’s enough of that.

How long until we finally get going again?

[shouting] How long until we finally get going again?

[horse snorts]


[Franz] Yes?

Tomorrow, we’re up at six o’clock.

To look for some children.

What happened?

[Paul] They should have arrived today.

A whole company.

How was it?


[Paul] Yeah?




Have a smell.


[Paul] What’s her name?



[Franz] She had skin as white as milk.


[Albert] Hey.


[Albert] I want to smell it too.

Kropp, let me have it.


[Tjaden] Oh, my.

Give it to me.

[Tjaden] A girl like that never has dirt under her nails.


At worst, some sand from the seashore.

[Franz] Tjaden.

Come on, pass it here.

[Tjaden] I bet she bathes twice a day.


[Franz] Tjaden, give it back to me.

[ominous music playing]

[horn sounds]


Call the others.

There must have been a huge explosion.

[Kat] Mine thrower cannons.

He’s been blasted right out of his uniform.

Was he one of those we’ve come here for?

[Kat] No, they’ve only been missing since yesterday.

[Tjaden] He’s been hanging there for some time.

Not pleasant.

[Kat] Don’t get soft now, men.

[Paul] How many are we looking for?

[Tjaden] Sixty young recruits.

Breakfast is turnip bread.

Same at lunchtime, it’s turnip bread.

I’m surrounded by turnip bread. I can’t face it any more.

Let me know when you find them. I’m not going any further.


There was gas here.

[bird cawing]

[heavy breathing]


[in French] Hello, madam.

I’m Kropp.

And you?



Do you want to…

Do you want to come with me?

Not a problem.

[chimes tinkling]

[flies buzzing]

[heavy breathing]




[in English] Shit.


[ominous music playing]

Flipping idiots.

Uh huh.

Stupid boys. They took their masks off too soon.

Germany will soon be empty.

[train horn toots]

[train wheels clack]


[train horn toots]


[soldier clicks heels]


Well, Brixdorf, what’s the latest?

The French are increasing the pressure.

Early this morning, our reconnaissance intercepted orders

summoning entire divisions to Latierre.

A tank fleet is still reportedly still stuck at Fernancourt.

Must mean an attack is likely.

The social democrats will be the end of mankind, Brixdorf.


I have just put a German delegation to the armistice negotiations on the train to Compiègne.

These people, Brixdorf, are selling out our fatherland.

My orders are war.

And all the while that is the case, I shall fight for every meter.

We have to hold on now and wait for fresh troops.

In a few months, the incoming class of recruits will be here.

The French are trying everything they can to force their completely unacceptable terms on us.

I will not capitulate.

We must strike without delay. With all our might.

[clicks heels]


[train rumbles]


From our position, I have to be clear…

We all have to be clear…

[train screeches]

For God’s sake.


[train screeches to a halt]


[horse neighing]

[soldier] Sir!

[lieutenant] Soldiers, pack your bags, roll up your bedding, and wash your mess kits.

The whole regiment will advance to the front firing position.

And I mean everyone who’s able to stand on two legs is going.

Line up, for God’s sake.

You think the Frenchies will wait for you to comb your pubes?

Here we go again.

[lieutenant] Get moving!

Where to?

Where to? Where to?

Into battle.

[ominous music playing]

[cutlery rattles]



[crockery rattles]

[interpreter clears throat]

Monsieur le Maréchal is awaiting you.

[ominous music continues]

[wind blowing]

[soldier vomits]


I’ll come back for you.

Envious, huh?

[ominous music intensifies]

I stand before you in the hope that you will take our presence here today as an opportunity to take action to suspend all hostilities.

In the name of humanity, I’m here asking you for an agreement to an immediate cease-fire for the entire duration of our negotiating time in order to spare our nation’s unnecessary depletion.

[interpreter speaks French]

Matthias Erzberger, head of the German delegation.

[interpreter speaks French]

[in French] Weygand, what do these gentlemen want?

I don’t know.

[in English] Marshal Foch asks what brings you gentlemen to him.

We are here looking forward to hearing your proposal for an enduring cease-fire that will include all those on the water, on land, as well as in the sky.

[interpreter speaks French]

[Foch speaks French]

I have no proposal of this kind to make.

What does he mean by that?

I think he disliked the phrasing of what you said.


Good, then…

Monsieur Le Maréchal,

[in French] If you please, we would like to know the conditions…

[Foch speaks French]

[speaks French]

[In English] He wants you to ask for it, formally.

Monsieur le Maréchal,

I am asking you for an armistice.

[in French] We are asking for an armistice.

You have 72 hours to accept our conditions.

[in English] You have 72 hours to accept our conditions.

They are non-negotiable.

Seventy-two hours?

The war will continue until you sign them.

Monsieur le Maréchal, in God’s name, don’t let 72 hours pass us by here.

Thousands of lives depend on it.

[interpreter speaks French]

[in French] Sign then.

[ominous music playing]

[wind blowing]


[ominous music intensifies]

Soldiers, we’ll march.


Soldiers, march.

March, soldiers.

Soldiers, march.

Off you go, get out of here.

March, soldiers.


Soldiers, march.

March, soldiers. Off you go.


[explosions sound]

[heavy breathing]

[gunfire sounds]


[soldier] Go, go, go!

[explosions, gunfire, and shouting continues]

[soldier] Atención aux arbalètes…

[shouting in French]

Allez! Allez les gars!

Allez! Allez!

[shouting in French]

Keep going, Paul. Come on. Paul!

[soldier] Allez!

Au renfort!

Putain, putain, non, non!

[soldier] Get out!

[rats squeaking]

What is that?

[Kat] Get out!


Quick, quick, quick! Move it!

Get out!

There, there, look!

What is it?

Down there.

What is it?

[dramatic music playing]

Open fire!

Open fire!

All down!

Get down!

Boys, think fast! Be smart!

[distant explosions, gunfire]

[marching feet]

[explosions and gunfire continues]

Get the hand grenades out!

Throw them in the vehicle when they’re on top of us.



[thunderous rumbling]

Get out!

Get up!


Follow me. Come on, follow me!



[panicked breathing]

[tank grinds to a halt]

[men yelling from inside tank]




[dramatic music continues]

[Kat] Open fire!



[heavy breathing]

[muffled shouting]

No, no, no! Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! No!

Please, please, no! No, no, no!

No, wait, wait, don’t shoot. Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot. No.

No, no!



[Kat] Come on, come on.

Come on!

Keep going!

[sombre music playing]

Where is Franz?

I’ve left Franz alone!

[sergeant] Katczinsky!

Take the machine gun and retreat.

We’ll regroup in Eguisac, two kilometres northeast.

I miss my comrades, sir. I miss them all!

I miss my mother, for God’s sake.

Grenades, ammunition! Come on!

Paul, come on!

[sergeant] Get out of here! Let’s go!

[major general] These aren’t negotiations, this is a dictate.

[count] Maybe we should return to Spa to consult with the general staff.

And what expectations do you have for that?

Even if we end up losing definitively after all, we won’t be worse off than we are with this surrender.

Except for a few hundred thousand extra deaths.

Alsace-Lorraine, occupation of the Rhineland, cannons, locomotives, trains, and whatever else.

You are aware, this is a total capitulation.

250,000 Americans are landing each month in Europe.

Marne, Cantigny, Cambrai. All of those lost.

All that’s left separating us from an armistice is false pride, as I see it.

Thanks to you and your commanders, we’re here dealing with the mess left by them.

I’m happy for you to depart here, it’s down to you.

We are remaining here.

It is winter.

Without trains and provisions, Bolshevism will take over.

On their way home, the men will die of hunger instead of dying with honour on the battlefield.


My son was killed in the war. He doesn’t feel any honour.

Von Helldorf.

Please get a few copies of the conditions of their proposal and telegraph them to headquarters.

You inform the government.

We have 72 hours left here, gentlemen, and during every minute we waste by talking about it, there dies another soldier.

Let us gain mercy where we can, but for God’s sake, let’s make peace.

[explosions and gunfire]

[screaming and shouting]


[in French] Retreat! Retreat!

[in English] Run! Run!

Keep firing!



Shut up!

[sombre music playing]

Shut up!

That’s enough!


[soldier spluttering]




No, no, no.


Comrade, comrade.

[in French] So sorry.

So sorry.

I am so sorry. I am so sorry.


Your wife…

Your wife…

I promise… I promise…

I promise…

[birds calling]

[birds calling]

[footsteps sound]

[orchestral music playing]

[footsteps sound]


[footsteps sound]

When were you born, Brixdorf?

1877, in June.

A summer child.


What about your father?

My family live in Holstein and he has a factory there.

[swallow, sighs] Producing what?

Riding saddles, general.

Riding saddles.

Something that will always sell. Your future is secure then.

I am indeed fortunate.


Are you looking forward to going home?

When we are no longer needed here?


After the war, a position of responsibility awaits me.

I will take over the business.



And you?

I’m a soldier.

My father was an officer in this regiment.

He fought in the three wars under Bismarck.

He won all three of them.

In 1871, he marched on Paris and when he returned, he was a hero.

I was too late in being born, Brixdorf.

It’s been 50 years of no war.

What is a soldier without war?

Were you and your father close?

[general] As a child, maybe.

A man is alone when born.

He lives alone and on his deathbed is alone.

[brush scratches]

[heavy breathing]


[knocking on door]

Come in.

Von Helldorf. How can I help you?

[Von Helldorf] Hindenburg.

[Erzberger] Open it immediately.

[Von Helldorf] He urges us to sign.


[distant shouting]

[soldier 1] It’s over!

[soldier 2] We’re going home!

[screams] We’re going home!

[soldier 1] Back to our families.

[ominous music playing]

[shouting and laughter]

In the name of all who are living in a world of sin.

We are surrounded by it now in the filth.


Knock on the monastery’s door and you’ll find only thieves and scoundrels.

It’s finally over. The fat pigs finally get it.

They’re negotiating at last. We’re going home soon, do you hear that?

Are there any sergeants left?


[army doctor] Chloroform the man, for God’s sake.

[agonized screams]

[Tjaden] Bäumer.



Tjaden? Tjaden.

What happened?

Where have you been hit?

Above the knee.

Or somewhere down there.

I can’t feel anything.

How far up is the shot?

I can’t raise my head.

Ten centimetres, it seems.

You’re going home soon, Tjaden.

You think so?

[Paul] Yes, you are.

It’s unlikely the police force will have me, though.

God damn shit.

[Paul] You can still do it.

Just wait and see.

I’m not going to let them amputate me.

I’m not living as a cripple in this world.

[Paul] You won’t have to.

There are others who are worse off that they’ve patched up.

Oh, dear Paul.

I have something to give you.


Is he dead?

You must show braveness.

You’re alive, remember?

For that, you have to be grateful.

For us.

For those who didn’t make it.

That’s enough.

Look here. You mustn’t say that. Not you.


[soldier 1] Good feeling, right?

Have a bit of that, then.

[soldier 2] Yeah, dry your socks out there.

[soldier 1] The way the last summer was…


[soldier 1] Right, none…

You see?

Not like the last one.


[soldier 1] That was too…


[soldier 2] You always blame me.

[soldier 1] We saw you!

[soldier 2] What did you see me doing?

[all laugh]

[soldier 1] Come on!

Nah, we know it was you.

[soldier 2] Why is it always on me?


[organ music playing]

Do you have shit for brains? Why won’t you listen?

You have been given a second company’s provisions.

We are that second company!


So dish it out! Give it to us!

[Paul] Kat?


[Kat] Paul?

[Paul] Kat!

[Kat] Paul!


[Paul] Kat, you were alive.

[Kat] Paul!

You’re alive!

[Kat] Paul.

[Paul] Tjaden was hit.

He’s lying inside the church.

He’ll get a double portion from us.

[Paul] Yes.

Another one. In here.

[Paul] I thought you were dead.

[Kat] Ha!

At some point, we’ll all die.

[Paul] But not on the home stretch.

[Kat] If you die before me, I’ll kill you.


[Paul laughs]

[Kat] Tjaden.




[Kat] Yes.



I’ve soup here for you.

[Tjaden] Have you brought cutlery?

Yes, we brought cutlery as well.

There you go. Eat up.



Stop, stop, Tjaden, Tjaden!


We need help over here!

What made you do that?

Why would you?

It’s over for me.

[Paul] He’s bleeding out!



[sombre music playing]

[distant explosion sounds]

[Kat] What is it?

[Paul] I’ve lost something.

Kat, do you speak French?

[Kat] Mm. S’il vous plaît. S’il vous plaît.

My mother always said it was French I should learn.


[glass bottle rolls]

And the piano.

She also warned me of war.

She didn’t want me to go.

“That’s not for you,” she always said. “You’ll be dead in no time.”

I wanted to show that I could do it.

[Kat] What use is that now?

“A couple of weeks, we’ll be in Paris.”

These past two years of grenades can’t be shed like an item of clothing.

[Kat] Paul.

The stench will remain on us forever.


Ludwig is dead. Franz is dead. Albert…

Is that to do with us?

They don’t suffer any more.

Peace for them.

We’re still alive.

[distant chatter]

Everything here is like a fever.

Not one person wants it but suddenly it’s there.

We didn’t ask for it. The others didn’t ask for it.

But nonetheless it happened and nonetheless half the world is involved, mind you.

God looks down at us murderers.

Yeah, well.


But what do I know?


I’m a pair of boots with a rifle.

Get some rest. We’re the lucky ones.



[Kat] Mm.

[Paul] What did your son die of?

The pox.

I’m afraid of what’s to come.

Don’t be.

[ominous music playing]

[ominous music intensifies]

[in French] Henri.

Taste it.

Were they made today?

I’m sorry, sir. I don’t think so.


[drum beats sound]

Monsieur le Maréchal.

I’m listening.

[Erzberger, in English] The Kaiser has abdicated.

Soldiers are refusing to obey orders. Deserters are roaming the countryside.

The new government will do everything it can to fulfil the duties imposed on it, but the population, through no fault of its own, faces hunger and anarchy setting in.

[in French] This is a disease of the defeated, not of the victorious.

I don’t fear it.

I reject any compromise.

[in English] I reject any compromise.

Monsieur le Maréchal, please.

Be fair to your opponent or else this peace will be hated.

[in French] Fair?

You speak of fairness?

Sign it.


[pen scraping]

[in English] Let the minutes record.

[watch ticking]

The armistice here signed shall take effect in six hours from now at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

[Foch, in French] Very good.

The war is over.

[cheering and gunfire]

[Brixdorf, in English] What are you going to do now?

[watch ticking]

What do you see here, Brixdorf?

The plains of Latierre, general.


I see them too.

But also German soldiers running away like cowards.

The French troops are farting on our position in Latierre and outside there’s a train crammed full of horse fuckers who are selling the homeland off.

See to it that all recruits are withdrawn.

Have them all report here.

We’re going to sort out this pile of shit!

[footsteps fade]

[sombre music playing]

[voice on radio] Any communication with the enemy remains prohibited.

Firstly, hostilities on the entire front will be ceased this morning, November 11th at eleven o’clock.

Secondly, the troops will not cross the line reached on this day at this hour.

The front line shall remain unchanged past this hour.

All troops are to return to their station.

[Paul] What time is it?

Why aren’t you asleep?

Listen a minute.

It’s so still.

I must be going deaf.

They’ve signed, Paul.

The war’s over.

It’s over.

Are you hungry?

I’m hungry.

[Paul] Where are you going?

[Kat] Come on, before the bastard wakes up.

What are you doing for Christmas, Paul?

[Paul] I don’t know.

[Kat] I’m gonna roast a goose.

Red cabbage, potatoes…

Then I’ll light all the candles and kiss my wife.

My God, Paul, she is beautiful.

[Paul] Yeah?

What does she look like?

[Kat] Well…

Long curly hair, dark.

And she’s buxom and strong.

[Paul] Yeah?


It’s all so far away still.

[Kat] No, it’s not. It’s really close.

We want another child. Or children, Paul.

Because what is Christmas without children? It’s nothing, really.


You know when…

Once we’re back home, then we will…


We must do something together.

The two of us together. Something big, yeah?

Yeah, yeah.

What is it?

I’m a shoemaker, Paul. I repair shoes.

Ah? You know how to read, write. You finished school.

Hasn’t done me any good, though.

What are we gonna do?

Sole shoes together?

Are you trying to insult me?

I can’t read my wife’s letters even now.

You’re going to university, Paul.

Or I’ll shoot you right here.

My trousers are loose.

My trousers are loose.


[Paul] You’ll just have to eat something.

[Kat] Soon we’ll be home then we can eat whatever we want.

Whatever we want.

[geese honking]

It’s your go.

If the farmer catches me again, then he’s bound to shoot me down where I stand.

[clicks and whistles]

Just be careful of the damn dog too.


[woman] Ah?

Shh, shh… Hey, hey, hey.

[barn door opens]

[in French] Look.

It’s really good.

Want some?

[in English] Shit.

[calm piano music playing]

[dog barks]


[farmer, in French] Piece of garbage…



[in English] Kat! Run!


[in French] Asshole!

God damn!

We’ll kill them, these sons of bitches.

[in English] Oh, crap.

Look at this.

What is it?

[Paul] A lucky shot.

He hit the eggs!

Stop the flow.

Come on, get it in there.

There you go.

We can have an omelette.

No, we’ll eat them now.

They’re just as good.

Better than ever.

I won’t be long.

[gunshot sounds]




What happened?

We should leave.

Who fired the shot?

That little shit from the farm.

The farmer’s son.


Kat, Kat.

[Kat] What a mess.

How big is it?

[Paul] Little finger. I’ll get the bullet out.

No. Give me a cigarette.

Let the medic do that.

They stuck me in a class with seven-year-olds.

I’d begun shaving already.

Find me a word.

That trifle can rhyme with.


Nothing rhymes with trifle. Nothing.

Fucking shit.

Why the hell did this have to happen now?

Come on, we need to move.



[drum beats sound]

[Paul] Alright?


[drum beats sound]


[Kat] Mhm?

[Paul] Rifle rhymes with trifle.


[drum beats sound]

[drum beats sound]

[Paul] When we get home, you’re going to make a new pair of boots for me.

I’m walking my feet to the bone.

[distant cheering]



[horn honks]

Pull over!

Let us on!

Hey! Let us on!


Come on, will you?

[heavy breathing]

[drum beats sound]

[drum beats sound]

[drum beats sound]


This man needs care.

Where is the medic?


[medic] Could’ve spared yourself the trouble.


[medic] He’s dead.

But it’s… It’s just a small bullet wound.

Yes, black blood. Straight into the liver.

The organs are poisoned.


[medic] No.

He’s dead.

I know what I’m doing.

Impossible. I was… I was just talking to him.

He’s unconscious.

He’s unconscious.

[medic] See?

He simply had bad luck. Right before the end.

[medic walks away]

[door closes]

[soldiers singing faintly]

[distant chattering]

[tense music plays]

[church bells ring]

[sergeant] Go on, keep going!

Keep going!

Keep going, come on!

[soldier] This is it.

I’m going to tell him I’m going home.

It’s over.

[sergeant] Attention!

[general] Soldiers. We stand here as brothers in a world of enemies and are forced to watch as German social democrats render our beloved people defenseless by accepting a perfidious armistice.


Soon you will be going home to your parents, wives and children.

The war is over.

After years of sacrifice and suffering, you can now look forward to your reward.

To the reward of admiration for all you have achieved here.

Ah, but comrades, do you want to be welcomed as soldiers and heroes on your return or as weaklings and cowards who tucked their tails in when it really counted?

[soldier] We’re going home.

[general] Soldiers.

We are about to attack them with the utmost force and vehemence.

Latierre belongs in German hands.

We will seize the plains before 11:00 a.m. and end this war with a merciless strike.

and make them see…


…we were victorious.

Onwards, with God on our side as he was with our fathers before us.

[soldier] I’m not going back into battle. Not me!

[Steinberger] Shut up!

[soldier] Let me go!

[Steinberger] Follow your orders!

[horse neighs]

[Steinberger] Do as your told!

All of you, get back.

[soldier] Please, I didn’t do anything!

[Steinberger] Aim!

No! No!

[Steinberger] Fire!

[gunshots sound]

[chattering in French]

[Steinberger] Keep moving!

Come on!

Company, halt!

Rifle off!

Fix bayonets!

[soldier] Fix bayonets and load!

[watch ticking]

What time is it?

[soldier] Fifteen minutes to go.

[chattering in French]

[in French] It belonged to Lefèvre.

Poor bastard, he saved it for the end.

He won’t need it anymore.

Thank you, sir.

Here’s to you and to Lefèvre.

Well, it’s good.

The nightmare is over.

[wind blowing]

[heavy breathing]

[laughter and chatter in French]

[tense music playing]

[distant rumbling and shouting]

Enemy attack! Enemy attack!

In position!

[soldier] In position!




[siren blares]

[gunshots sound]

[explosions sound]


[soldier, in English] Throw the grenades!

[in French] Charge!


[in English] Please, no! No, no!

[shouting in French]

[joyful music plays faintly]

[sergeant, in French] Cease fire!

It is 11:00 a.m.!

[lieutenant, in English] Cease fire!

Cease fire!

It is eleven o’clock.

[sombre music playing]

[clock chimes]

[clock ticking]

[in French] A light! Bring me a light! A light please!


[sombre music playing]

[lieutenant, in English] Are you alright?


[lieutenant] Well, then. Start gathering, please.

Shortly after the start of hostilities in October 1914, the Western Front froze into positional warfare.

By the end of the war in November 1918, the front line had barely moved.

More than three million soldiers died here, often while fighting to gain only a few hundred meters of ground.

Almost 17 million people lost their lives in the First World War.


[ominous music playing]


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