Try comparing the original version of All Quiet On The Western Front with the remake. The creaky old original was far more moving and ultimately devastating.
I agree, the original is the best and has the greater impact. Mind you, I thought the remake was quite good in itself (I have both versions on DVD), but it still begs why it needed to be remade at all other than the fact that it was in colour. Anyway, it's not surprising that the 1930 film is rated better than the 1979 made for TV remake and gets shown more often.
The book the films are based on is a classic, BTW. Well worth reading.