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Paths of Glory (1957)

Approved | | Drama, War | 25 October 1957 (West Germany)
1:13 | Trailer

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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 »
3,219 ( 1,535)
Top Rated Movies #57 | 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)
German Singer (as Susanne Christian)
Jerry Hausner ...
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


Now the screen blasts open the bombshell story of a Colonel who led his regiment into hell and back - while their maddened General waited for them - with a firing squad! See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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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?


Was banned in France for its negative portrayal of the French army. Switzerland also banned the film (until 1978), accusing it of being "subversive propaganda directed at France." Belgium required that a foreword be added stating that the story represented an isolated case that did not reflect upon the "gallantry of the French soldiers." See more »


Just before the German girl sings, the soldiers begin to cheer and whistle enthusiastically. In Europe, unlike in the US, whistling is a way of showing displeasure, like booing. 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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Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) 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

Gripping Anti-War Film
19 January 2000 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Paths of Glory is one of the best movies ever made, and possibly the best "war" movie, period. Paths of Glory does not portray war as conflict between armies or individual soldiers arrayed against one another on the battlefield. Nor does it portray the acts of great leaders and heroes of war. No this film takes a different tact.

The setting is the Western Front of 1916 in the trenches with French soldiers faced off against an invisible German force across a barren No Man's Land. The German's are never seen and the dramatic "combat" is between vain French officers as they vie for prestige and honors. The victims are the innocent French soldiers under their command who suffer miserably because of their arrogance and ignorance.

Brilliant, gripping, and definitely a "must see".

67 of 83 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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