2018-2019 History and Film Series


The Great War and Screen Memory: Remembering WWI through Film

Marking the hundreth-year anniversary of the end of the First World War, this series explores the popular understanding and memory of the First World War as these evolved from the 1919 to the present through the medium of film. 

J'accuse (1919)

dir. Abel Gance

Silent, Black and White

2h 46mins

Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Thursday, September 13th, 6pm

Filmed in the final months of the war by celebrated French director Abel Gance, J'accuse (I Accuse) tells the story of Jean Diaz, a shell-shocked infantryman driven insane by the atrocities of war. Betrayed by his own compatriots, Diaz witnesses the spectacle of the dead rising from the battlefield to pass judgment on the war profiteers and unfaithful women of the home front.

The Big Parade (1925)

dir. King Vidor

Silent, Black and White
2h 31mins

Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Thursday, October 4th, 6pm

Jim, the idle son of a wealthy businessman is cajoled into enlisting by his more patriotic friends and takes part in the American offensive in France. Jim is wounded in a daring effort to rescue his pinned-down comrades and loses his leg to amputation.

Westfront 1918 (1930)

dir. G.W. Pabst

Black and White
1h 15mins

Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Thursday, November 1, 6pm

Pabst's first sound film, Westfront 1918 was denounced as "cowardly "after the Nazis came to power in Germany. The film follows a small group of frontsoldaten through the perils of trench warfare and the betrayals of their loved ones on the home front.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

dir. Lewis Milestone

Black and White
2h 16mins
Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Thursday, December 6, 6 pm

This canonical film based on Erich Maria Remarque’s blockbuster 1929 novel,  follows Paul Baumer, a German soldier whose youthful enthusiasm turns to bitterness as he witnesses his comrades-in-arms fall one by one.

Sergeant York (1941)

dir. Howard Hawks

Black and White
2h 14mins
Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Thursday, January 10,  6pm

Drafted from his rural Tennessee town,  Alvin York, a devout Christian and conscientious objector, reluctantly puts his marksmanship to the service of his country and becomes one of the most decorated Americans of the war.

Paths of Glory (1957)

dir. Stanley Kubrick

Black and White
1h 28mins

Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Monday, February 7, 6pm

Military tribunals sentence deserting French soldiers to execution during the 1917 waves of mutinees that spread across the French line. 

Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

dir. Dalton Trumbo

Color, Black and White
1h 51mins

Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Monday, March 7, 6pm

Rendered deaf, blind, and paralyzed by his war injuries, a young American soldier retreats to his inner life before discovering a means to communicate with the outside world. Based on blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo's 1939 novel, Johnny Got His Gun forcefully repudiates the glorification of war.

Gallipoli (1981)

dir. Peter Weir

1h 50 mins

Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater
Monday, April 4, 6pm

Two competitive sprinters from remote Western Australia are drafted into Britiain's colonial forces to serve as message runners during the ill-fated campaign against Ottoman troops in the Dardanelles. Led by inept aristocratic officers, ANZAC troops are meaninglessly slaughtered by Turkish machine-gunners in a battle that would mark the awakening of Australian national consciousness.

For questions, contact Brady Brower at mbrower@weber.edu.