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Paths of Glory
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Paths of Glory (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Paths of Glory -- In the third year of World War I, the erudite but morally bankrupt French general Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his troops to seize the heavily fortified "Ant Hill" from the Germans. General Mireau (George MacReady) knows that this action will be suicidal, but he will sacrifice his men to enhance his own reputation. Against his better judgment, Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) leads the charge, and the results are appalling.  After the defeat, Mireau cannot admit to himself that the attack was a bad idea from the outset: he convinces himself that loss of Ant Hill was due to the cowardice of his men. Mireau demands that three soldiers be selected by lot to be executed as an example to rest of the troops.  This powerful, fact-based absurdity-of-war film was banned outright in France for several years.
Paths of Glory -- Criterion trailer

Overview

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8.5/10   107,342 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Stanley Kubrick (screenplay) &
Calder Willingham (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Paths of Glory on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 October 1957 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Never has the screen thrust so deeply into the guts of war! See more »
Plot:
Based on the 1935 novel of the same name, it tells the story of an ill-fated assault on German forces by French soldiers, and the grippling consequences those soldiers face when they refuse to follow through with it. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Stands the Test of Time See more (339 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kirk Douglas ... Col. Dax

Ralph Meeker ... Cpl. Philippe Paris

Adolphe Menjou ... Gen. George Broulard

George Macready ... Gen. Paul Mireau

Wayne Morris ... Lt. Roget

Richard Anderson ... Maj. Saint-Auban

Joe Turkel ... Pvt. Pierre Arnaud (as Joseph Turkel)
Christiane Kubrick ... German Singer (as Susanne Christian)
Jerry Hausner ... Proprietor of Cafe
Peter Capell ... Narrator of Opening Sequence / Chief Judge of Court-Martial
Emile Meyer ... Father Dupree

Bert Freed ... Sgt. Boulanger
Kem Dibbs ... Pvt. Lejeune

Timothy Carey ... Pvt. Maurice Ferol
Fred Bell ... Shell-Shocked Soldier
John Stein ... Capt. Rousseau - Battery Commander
Harold Benedict ... Capt. Nichols - Artillery Spotter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leon Briggs ... Capt. Sancy (uncredited)
Paul Bös ... Maj. Gouderc (uncredited)
Herbert Ellis ... Small Role (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Wally Friedrichs ... Col. De Guerville (uncredited)
Halder Hanson ... Doctor (uncredited)
James B. Harris ... Private in the Attack (uncredited)
Rolf Kralovitz ... K.P. (uncredited)
Ira Moore ... Capt. Renouart (uncredited)
Marshall Rainer ... Pvt. Duval (uncredited)
Roger Vagnoid ... Cafe Owner (uncredited)

Directed by
Stanley Kubrick 
 
Writing credits
Stanley Kubrick (screenplay) &
Calder Willingham (screenplay) and
Jim Thompson (screenplay)

Humphrey Cobb (based on the novel "Paths of Glory" by)

Produced by
James B. Harris .... producer
Kirk Douglas .... producer (uncredited)
Stanley Kubrick .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Gerald Fried 
 
Cinematography by
Georg Krause (photographed by) (as George Krause)
 
Film Editing by
Eva Kroll (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Ludwig Reiber 
 
Costume Design by
Ilse Dubois (costumes designer)
 
Makeup Department
Arthur Schramm .... makeup
 
Production Management
John Pommer .... production manager: American
Helmut Ringelmann .... unit manager
Georg von Block .... production manager: German (as George von Block)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dixie Sensburg .... assistant director (as D. Sensburg)
Franz-Josef Spieker .... assistant director (as F. Spieker)
Hans Stumpf .... assistant director (as H. Stumpf)
 
Sound Department
Martin Müller .... sound
Al Gramaglia .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Erwin Lange .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hans Elsinger .... camera grip
Hannes Staudinger .... camera operator
Stanley Kubrick .... additional cinematographer (uncredited)
Lars Looschen .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Helene Fischer .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Trudy von Trotha .... script clerk
Baron von Waldenfels .... military adviser (as Baron v. Waldenfels)
Sid Stogel .... publicity director (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
88 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 (original rating) | Argentina:Atp (re-rating) | Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:(Banned) (original rating) | France:U (re-release) | Iceland:L | Ireland:12 | Italy:16+ | Netherlands:12 (2007) (DVD) | Norway:16 | South Korea:15 | Spain:T | Spain:(Banned) (1957-1986) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2005) | UK:PG (video rating) (1989) (2002) | USA:Approved (PCA #18708) | USA:TV-14 (TV rating) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Bryna, Kirk Douglas' production company, hired dozens of German workers to alter several acres into the vast hell of "No Man's Land." They did so by gouging out the crater holes, digging huge ruts and gullies, filling some with water, covering the area with a tangled spider's web of prickly barbed wire, and then planting hundreds of explosives throughout that were to be detonated during the initial attack.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: After General Mireau slaps the soldier in the trench, he continues on to Colonel Dax's dugout and and three soldiers carrying a machine gun pass him. The same three soldiers still with the machine gun pass him again when he and Colonel Dax are looking at the Ant Hill through the binoculars.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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Spielberg on Kubrick (1999) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Der Treue HusarSee more »

FAQ

Is "Paths of Glory" based on a book?
See more »
64 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
Stands the Test of Time, 28 July 2007
Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

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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