Paths of Glory (1957)

Paths of Glory
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Parental guidance recommended

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, George MacReady, Richard Anderson, Adolphe Menjou, Bert Freed, Emile Meyer, Timothy Carey, Christiane Kubrick, Peter Capell, Jerry Hausner, Fred Bell, Joe Turkel, Kem Dibbs, Wayne Morris

Safe in their picturesque chateau behind the front lines, the French General Staff passes down a direct order to Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas, in one of his greatest performances): take the Ant Hill at any cost. A blatant suicide mission, the attack is doomed to failure. Covering up their fatal blunder, the Generals order the arrest of three innocent soldiers, charging them with cowardice and mutiny.

Dax, a lawyer in civilian life, rises to the men's defence but soon realises that unless he can prove that the Generals were to blame, nothing less than a miracle will save his clients from a firing squad. A timeless, compelling masterpiece from writer/director Stanley Kubrick and screenwriters Calder Willingham and Jim Thompson, Paths Of Glory is a blistering indictment of military politics. Boasting a brilliant ensemble cast and some astonishing photography, this is an unforgettable movie experience.

DVD
Status: Normal
Run time: 87mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio:
Audio Formats:
Subtitles: Dutch, English for the Hearing Impaired, French, German for the Hearing Impaired, Italian

Member Reviews (17)

Tom F.
says
Excellent WW1 war drama - the same plot as "Breaker Morant" but skillfully acted and shot by Kubrick in his powerfully cold mechanical style, only breaking down at the end. Moving and unflinching.
Posted Saturday, 21 December 2013 See my other reviews
Brilliant in all respects. Amazing what "sane" men can do to their fellow man under the pretext of exerting authority. And not a Muslim in sight.
Posted Wednesday, 11 September 2013 See my other reviews
Okto F.
says
Worth Watching - OK.
Posted Friday, 12 September 2008 See my other reviews
Adriaan van Jaarsveldt
says
Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory must be one the most effective anti-war movies ever made. Anti-war movies often run the risk of ironically glorifying war, as the audience gets caught up in the action. No such risk here. Paths of Glory is unflinching in its portrayal of conditions in the WWI trenches as hell on earth and battles as messy and brutal with very little glory to be had on either side. Kubrick shows no mercy whatsoever in portraying the French generals as monsters, utterly devoid of any trace of human decency. Kubrick’s anger at the waste and futility of war comes across loud and clear. His later Strangelove is a light touch compared with this. All the actors are excellent, particularly Kirk Douglas as the decent Colonel Dax.
Posted Friday, 22 August 2008 See my other reviews
Tab H.
says
A black and white movie but a riveting one. How many times have we witnessed the insane leading the masses? A sad story serving the ego's and careers of few at the expense of others.
Posted Thursday, 1 May 2008 See my other reviews
Nicholas W.
says
I expected this early piece of Stanley Kubrick's to be a bit rough around the edges, showing some signs of where the acclaimed filmmaker started. But that was far from the case. Paths of Glory is just as perfectly crafted as any in his great career. It creates a tense and frustrated mood, highlighting the stupidity of military bureaucracy and structure. As is Kubrick's legacy, he gives the otherwise dark content a shade of comedy to make the film as entertaining as it is thought provoking.
Posted Sunday, 20 April 2008 See my other reviews
Greg J.
says
Posted Tuesday, 26 February 2008 See my other reviews
Tony
says
A moving introduction to any one unaware of the underside of WW1. Although a fictional tale, the events have a factual origin. Large sections of the French Army did mutiny in 1917, and much for the reasons given in this film. As gripping a court room drama as ever placed on the screen, and an indictment of excesses of the military mind - the tragedy is that all to commonly the real villains are never brought to account.
Posted Sunday, 6 January 2008 See my other reviews
Peter H.
says
Grim, unrelenting look at top level incompetence in the French Army during WW2. Superb direction from Stanley Kubrick, particularly during the attack on the "Ant Hill". Hard to forget.
Posted Tuesday, 9 October 2007 See my other reviews
blacky
says
been a kubrick fan for decades but this is the first time ive ever seen paths of glory, why i waited so long i,ll never know a great film that brilliantly depicts the "stupidity" of command during a time of conflict, beautifully shot in b+w and a terrific performance from kirk douglas, enjoy at your lesiure.
Posted Friday, 10 August 2007 See my other reviews
Bertie
says
Proabably the most brilliant anti-war movie ever made - beats his own Full Metal Jacket - thd film that made me a Kubrick fan decades ago! And it stands another look in 2007.
Posted Friday, 23 February 2007 See my other reviews
Frank M.
says
Arguably Kubrick's best movie, and a quantum leap ahead of his other anti-war movie (FULL METAL JACKET; set in tropical Vietnam but shot in less-than-tropical England!). Paths of Glory has been described as the best anti-war film ever made, and I'm certainly inclined to agree. This was filmed in typical Kubrick fashion with atmospheric lighting, all too realistic sets & the camera in front of the walking actor for long, sweeping takes. The actors are superb, with Kirk Douglas the standout as the humane and war-weary colonel Dax who is forced to defend 3 of his soldiers against trumped-up cowardice charges.
Posted Monday, 27 November 2006 See my other reviews
Rone W.
says
Intentionally depressing. If you like a Greek tragedy you will love this.
Posted Wednesday, 4 October 2006 See my other reviews
Jack K.
says
I'd almost forgotten George Macready's evil demeanor, but his portrayal of a glory and power seeking French General brought it all back. Perhaps Kulbrick's indictment of WWI French military higher ups has relevance today ie. lack of human rights for immates at Guantanamo. Kirk Douglas does indeed give a marvelous performance as Colonel Dax, and the black & white photography is just right for the bleak atmosphere of the film. A glimmer of hope shines through in the French tavern scene to conclude the movie.
Posted Tuesday, 26 September 2006 See my other reviews
Norman G.
says
Posted Wednesday, 22 March 2006 See my other reviews
John C.
says
Posted Thursday, 16 March 2006 See my other reviews
Glenn H.
says
This movie just had me glued to the screen trying to figure out how they did all of the special effects, Kubrick manages to make the barracks with bombs going off into an incredibly choreographed symphony that has to be seen to be believed, for the time and i imagine budget that this film was made it is true marvel of its time and especially relevant to current issues in the media today
Posted Wednesday, 30 November 2005 See my other reviews
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