"The most authentic and unique First World War film ever produced!"
"The earth in a fiery bloodbath. Howling of hell, savage wrath. Thunderous booming and clamor. This is war in its truest form. They lie under fire refusing to shirk their duty, the heroes of the front!" Thus begins Charles Willy Kayser's film Im Trommelfeuer der Westfront (In the Drumfire of the Western Front), the most unique motion picture of World War 1 ever produced. Incorporating historical film material from German, British and French archives and combining it with suspenseful, re-enacted scenes, this extraordinary docudrama maintains a sense of historical fidelity and an absolutely seamless tapestry of warfare in the trenches and in the air. It is testimony to the carnage and destruction that set the stage for the rise of National Socialism in the following decade.
The original footage selected is among the best ever recorded of men fighting and dying in battle and is affirmation of the unparalleled bravery of the front-line cinematographers as well. Over 90 percent of German footage shot during World War I was destroyed during aerial bombings in World War 2. This surviving material is both rare and captivating. It generates suspense throughout, as the scene depicting a vignette of a clock ticking while on the face of that clock, a soldier's foot is superimposed nervously tapping as he awaits the next assault.
Released by Berlin's Herzog-Film in 1936, Im Trommelfeuer became a virtually lost film, despite being the most authentic picture of World War I ever made. G.W. Papst's Westfront 1918, produced in 1931, recreated the horrors of the war masterfully, but Im Trommelfeuer depicts the war as it really was and is a major rediscovery.
Germany, 1936, B & W, 81 minutes. Directed by Charles Willy Kayser. Starring Paul Rehkopf and Ernst Rückert. German dialog, English subtitles.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Historical Background Slide Show
- Newspaper Ad
- Illustrierter Film Kuriers with English Translations
- Original Posters
- Interactive Scene Selections
Digitally remastered in HD from original 35mm print and digitally restored for superb quality.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
Libraries and Institutions Please Note: Educational Editions with PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS and DIGITAL SITE LICENSES are available.