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A Time to Love and a Time to Die

Posted by martinteller on August 3, 2008

Based on a novel by Erich Remarque, the man who wrote “All Quiet on the Western Front” (and who also has a small role in this film) and directed by Douglas Sirk, another native of Germany.  So it’s no wonder that this story tries to create a sympathetic view of Germans during WWII, while making a distinction between “good Germans” and “bad Germans”.  This is done much more successfully in AQotWF (in the movie, that is, haven’t read the book), perhaps because that war doesn’t have such awful baggage with it.  Still, Sirk manages fairly well.  There are few surprises here, it’s your typical “the human side of war” story.  But it’s handled deftly… though the Technicolor occasionally threatens to beautify things too much, for the most part it’s kept in check.  Bonus point for a brief appearance by Klaus Kinski, in one of his earliest roles (as one of the “bad Germans”, naturally).  Rating: 7


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