This is Part Four of a dialogue taken from “All Quiet on the Western Front”. A group of German soldier discuss their plight:
“I’ll tell you how it should all be done.
Whenever there’s a big war comin’ on, you should rope off a big field…”
“And sell tickets.”
“And on the big day, you should take all the kings and their cabinets and their generals, put ’em in the centre dressed in their underpants, and let ’em fight it out with clubs. The best country wins.”
Unfortunately, only one war has ever been carried out like that. It was the Israelites and the Philistines in the Old Testament when one side chose a champion and so did the other:
It would certainly be something to think about, especially where wars are just dragging on in pointless fashion as the First World War and the now long forgotten Iran-Iraq War did. Eight years and not too far short of a million casualties.
The film, though, comes to a famous end. The young hero, the last of his class to remain alive, is killed by a sniper as he reaches forward to touch a butterfly: