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Made during the wave of pacifist sentiment that swept the movies in the early 1930s, this German feature by G.W. Pabst is relentless in its portrayal of the horrors of war. It follows four members of a German infantry company stationed on the French front as they stumble from battle to battle, and eventually to their deaths. Pabst doesn't permit the vaguest glimmer of hope; apart from a sentimental interlude in which one of the soldiers dallies with a French farm girl, the depiction of human relations is unremittingly bleak and cynical; at times, you wonder if the film isn't really a prolongation, into even darker and more brutal territory, of the bilious fatalism of Pabst's celebrated silent Pandora's Box. With Fritz Kampers, Gustav Diessl, Claus Clausen, and Hans Joachim Moebis; existing prints are missing 13 minutes of atrocity footage trimmed by the censors.

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