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Paths of Glory (1957)

8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 90,116 users  
Reviews: 320 user | 127 critic

When soldiers in World War I refuse to continue with an impossible attack, their superior officers decide to make an example of them.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Top 250 #59 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

It explodes in the no-man's land no picture ever dared cross before! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 October 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La patrulla infernal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$935,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Kubrick, widely known as a perfectionist, shot 68 takes of the doomed men's "last meal" scene. Because the details of the scene required that the actors appear to be engaged in the act of eating, a new roast duck had to be prepared for almost every take. See more »

Goofs

The French soldiers are shown using a British Vickers machine gun in one of the trench scene. They should have been using a Hotchkiss weapon, or some other firearm of French design. See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Up Late with Alec Baldwin: Episode #1.4 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Der Treue Husar
(uncredited)
German folk song
Sung a cappella by Christiane Kubrick near the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stands the Test of Time
28 July 2007 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

An arrogant French general (a superb George Macready) orders his men on a suicide mission and then has the gall to try to court marshal and execute three of them for cowardice in the face of the enemy. A former lawyer turned colonel (Kirk Douglas in his prime) is the voice of reason against gross injustice. This excellently staged and wonderfully acted production is as much an acting showcase for Douglas as it is a directorial masterstroke by a young Stanley Kubrick who adapted this to the screen from a novel based on actual accounts.

Kubrick displays a great control of sound effects and camera movement in the brief but effective battle scenes that expertly depict the controlled chaos that was trench warfare during WWI. Things get juicier during the ensuing courtroom battle where the deafening disparity between the elite who propagate and profit from war and the common citizens who suffer and die in war is shown with great lucidity.

Unlike later Kubrick epics, this runs at a crisp 90 minutes, though suffers briefly from a slow and awkwardly staged opening ten minutes before Douglas comes on screen. Ultimately, this holds up very well to modern scrutiny thanks to the flawlessness of Kurbick's craft, the amazing ensemble acting, and the surprising depth of its philosophical and psychological pondering. "Paths of Glory" is more anti-arrogance than anti-war, and is unapologetically sentimental and pro-soldier. As such, much can still be gleaned from its message.


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Can someone explain World War I to me? mark-1602
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last scene with the german babe, what does it stand for? agnishevchenko
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