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Paths of Glory (1957)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  25 October 1957 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 110,818 users  
Reviews: 341 user | 139 critic

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #58 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pvt. Pierre Arnaud (as Joseph Turkel)
Christiane Kubrick ...
German Singer (as Susanne Christian)
Jerry Hausner ...
Peter Capell ...
Narrator of Opening Sequence / Chief Judge of Court-Martial
Emile Meyer ...
Kem Dibbs ...
Fred Bell ...
Shell-Shocked Soldier


The futility and irony of the war in the trenches in WWI is shown as a unit commander in the French army must deal with the mutiny of his men and a glory-seeking general after part of his force falls back under fire in an impossible attack. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


BOMBSHELL! the roll of the drums... the click of the rifle-bolts... the last cigarette... and then... the shattering impact of this story... perhaps the most explosive motion picture in 25 years! See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

25 October 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La patrulla infernal  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$935,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


For box office reasons, Stanley Kubrick intended to impose a happier ending. After several draft scripts he changed his mind and restored the novel's original ending. Producer James B. Harris then had to inform studio executive Max E. Youngstein and risk rejection of the change. Harris managed by simply having the entire final script delivered without a memo of the changes, on the assumption that nobody in the studio would actually read it. See more »


After the court martial, as the sergeant is addressing the guards describing the procedure and discipline required of the firing squad, all of the guards in the rank have a "710" regiment number collar pin whereas the sergeant (and those in Colonel Dax's regiment) have a "701". See more »


[first lines]
Narrator of opening sequence: War began between Germany and France on August 3rd 1914. Five weeks later the German army had smashed its way to within eighteen miles of Paris. There the battered French miraculously rallied their forces at the Marne River and in a series of unexpected counterattacks drove the Germans back. The front was stabilized then shortly afterwards developed into a continuous line of heavily fortified trenches zigzagging their way five hundred miles from the English Channel to the Swiss ...
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Referenced in Gladiator (2000) See more »


Der Treue Husar
German folk song
Sung a cappella by Christiane Kubrick near the end
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Anti-War Masterpiece
11 May 2004 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In France, in the First World War, the insane and ambitious general Gen. Paul Mireau (George Macready) orders Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) to lead his men in a suicide attack against Germans in the unattainable Ant Hill. After a massacre of the French soldiers, Gen. Mireau orders his artillery to drop bombs between the French front line of attack and the trenches, to avoid the soldier to return to the protection of the trenches. The commander of the French artillery refuses to accomplish the order. Gen. Mireau asks his superior, Gen. George Broulard (Adolphe Menjou), to send three men to Court Martial and execute them for cowardice through shooting, as an example to the other soldiers. Colonel Dax, a former lawyer, defends his men in the unfair trial. Yesterday I watched this outstanding masterpiece for the first time and certainly it is among the best movies of the cinema history. The disgusting story shows the insanity of a war, where men are treated like numbers and not as human beings. The reality of the battles scenes is amazing. The cast has a stunning performance, highlighting the trio George Macready, Adolphe Menjou and Kirk Douglas. The lack of sensibility and respect for the human life and the cynicism in the dialogs of the two generals are fantastic. Two other points that called my attention are the fancy reception for the general staff, while their subalterns are fighting in the front and the misunderstanding of the real intentions of Colonel Dax by Gen. George Broulard. A must-see movie! My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): `Glória Feita de Sangue' (`Glory Made of Blood')

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