Paths of Glory


Paths of Glory

Overview:

During World War I, commanding officer General Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his subordinate, General Mireau (George Macready), to attack a German trench position, offering a promotion as an incentive. Though the mission is foolhardy to the point of suicide, Mireau commands his own subordinate, Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas), to plan the attack. When it ends in disaster, General Mireau demands the court-martial of three random soldiers in order to save face.

Votes 545 (8.1/10)

Runtime: 88 minutes

Release Date 1957-09-18

Budget: $935,000.00

Tagline: It explodes in the no-man's land no picture ever dared cross before!

Production company:

  • United Artists
  • Bryna Productions

Production country:

  • United States of America

Genres:

  • Drama
  • War

Trailer

Further Information

Col. Dax
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Cpl. Philippe Paris
Ralph Meeker
Ralph Meeker
Gen. George Broulard
Adolphe Menjou
Adolphe Menjou
Gen. Paul Mireau
George Macready
George Macready
Lt. Roget/Singing man
Wayne Morris
Wayne Morris
Maj. Saint-Auban
Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson
Pvt. Pierre Arnaud
Joe Turkel
Joe Turkel
Pvt. Maurice Ferol
Timothy Carey
Timothy Carey
German Singer
Christiane Kubrick
Christiane Kubrick
Proprietor of Cafe
Jerry Hausner
Jerry Hausner
Narrator of Opening Sequence
Peter Capell
Peter Capell
Father Dupree
Emile Meyer
Emile Meyer
Sgt. Boulanger
Bert Freed
Bert Freed
Pvt. Lejeune
Kem Dibbs
Kem Dibbs
Shell-Shocked Soldier
Fred Bell
Fred Bell
Capt. Rousseau
John Stein
John Stein
Capt. Nichols
Harold Benedict
Harold Benedict
Maj. Gouderc (uncredited)
Paul Bös
Paul Bös
Private in the Attack (uncredited)
James B. Harris
James B. Harris
Director
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Novel
Humphrey Cobb
Humphrey Cobb
Screenplay
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Producer
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay
Calder Willingham
Calder Willingham
Screenplay
Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson
Producer
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Producer
James B. Harris
James B. Harris
Original Music Composer
Gerald Fried
Gerald Fried
Director of Photography
Georg Krause
Georg Krause
Editor
Eva Kroll
Eva Kroll
Art Direction
Ludwig Reiber
Ludwig Reiber
Costume Design
Ilse Dubois
Ilse Dubois
Makeup Artist
Arthur Schramm
Arthur Schramm
Special Effects
Erwin Lange
Erwin Lange
Sound Designer
Martin Müller
Martin Müller
Production Manager
John Pommer
John Pommer
Unit Manager
Helmut Ringelmann
Helmut Ringelmann
Assistant Director
Franz-Josef Spieker
Franz-Josef Spieker
Assistant Director
Hans Stumpf
Hans Stumpf
Sound Re-Recording Mixer
Al Gramaglia
Al Gramaglia
Camera Operator
Hannes Staudinger
Hannes Staudinger
Still Photographer
Lars Looschen
Lars Looschen
Additional Photography
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Script
Trudy von Trotha
Trudy von Trotha

John Chard

Madness and Patsies Crash Together In Kubrick's Explosive Thunderbolt. Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory is holding up rather well these days, in fact it's as pertinent and relevant as ever. It's 1916 and the French and German armies are in opposing mud trenches, when the French are ordered to undertake a suicidal assault on a German held hill, many of the soldiers are quick to realise it's an impossible order to see through to its conclusion and retreat, something which brings charges of cowardice from the military hierarchy. Someone must take the fall... Withdrawn from circulation in France at one time, unreleased in Spain as well, Paths of Glory is a shattering indictment on military hierarchy. On those General types who watch from afar through telescopic sights as men and boys are led like lambs to the slaughter, then off they go to their dinning rooms to gorge on wine and wholesome meat, the stench of rotting flesh as bad on their breaths as it is out there in no man's land. But it's OK for the war effort, while there might even be a promotion for some lucky soul in nice trousers... A two-parter, the film was adapted from the novel written by Humphrey Cobb. The first half follows the craziness of the attack, the horrors of war brutally realised as Kubrick and cinematographer Georg Krause bring out the worry and simmering anger that jostle for the soldier's souls. The camera is cold and calculating, thus perfect for the material to hand, it leads the viewers - with skillful fluidity - through the bleakness of the trenches and the desolation of no man's land, the former a foreboding place, the latter an atrocity exhibition as bodies get flayed and shattered, while others retreat with limbs or sanity barely intact. Second part shifts to a legally based procedural as the Generals conspire to make an example of those who retreated. Cowardice and a dereliction of duty apparently means the firing squad must save the integrity of the army. Patsies are lined up, but their Colonel (a superb Kirk Douglas) wants to defend them, there's much sweat, tears and anger, accusations hurled, and mistakes once again proving insurmountable. Which leads to the astonishing finale, heartbreaking whilst inducing fury, and crowned by an elegiac song that brings tears for characters and viewers alike. A monochrome masterpiece full of technical skills, towering performances and writing to die for, Paths of Glory, candidate for one of the greatest anti-military films ever crafted. 10/10

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