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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


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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Stanley Kubrick (screenplay) &
Calder Willingham (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Paths of Glory on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 October 1957 (West Germany) See more »
Never has the screen thrust so deeply into the guts of war! See more »
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 »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
The Men Died Gloriously! See more (341 total) »


  (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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
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?

The film was shot near Munich, Germany, and most of the men playing French soldiers were actually off-duty officers from the Munich Police Department.See more »
Anachronisms: 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 »
[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:
Featured in Room 237 (2012/I)See more »
Künstlerleben (Artist's Life), Op.316See more »


Is "Paths of Glory" based on a book?
See more »
19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
The Men Died Gloriously!, 27 June 2015
Author: garthbarnes-83945 from United States

Spoilers Ahead:

This is an antiwar film but much more it is the usual Kubrick treatise on the boundless mendacity and evil that is the core of human beings. The header spoken by Mireau after the executions contains the lesson of the film in a microcosm. The execution was a performance whose goal it is to service the advancement of Mireau. The war has been reduced to a sick, depraved game of musical chairs with Broulard the master of ceremonies. He, wrongly, thinks Dax is the typical back stabbing junior officer looking to move up the hard way. Broulard is overjoyed for Mireau is an imbecile. He now, behind the scenes, begins gathering the evidence of Mireau ordering his own men to fire artillery at their own retreating troops. What Stanley wants you to see is that the war is irrelevant and forgotten; it has deteriorated into a stalemate. For a few yards, and hundreds of dead you can make of yourself an officer, stepping carefully over the dead bodies. All the aspects of the war, including the military tribunal, have been irreparably corrupted into instruments of ambition. The trial is over before it began. Dax and the rest of us watch in amusement as the martinets go through the motions, just enough subterfuge so they can sleep at night.

Kubrick always has the same theme whatever the superficial topic appears to be: man lives in a dream about what he is; he believes, fervently, that he is a deeply rational, moral being. The painful truth is his rationality is but a patina of useless rationalizations for his irrational strivings; he will always be the savage primitive of 2001. Here, watch how all the conduct of war is centered not on the putative, rational goal of winning the war; no, it is all instrumentalities for corrupting and advancing one's career. Look at the look of great sympathy upon Broulard's face when he discovers, to his horror, that Dax values the lives of his men. Good heavens, the poor fool, that is why he went after Mireau not to advance his career. Broulard tells him he pities him for being such a foolish idealist to bother about trivialities like people's lives.

What is the scene at the end there for? The ineffable sadness we must all bear at the weight upon our shoulders of the fathomless cruelty and irrationality of man. She cannot be understood but her sadness speaks to every one of us. The crushing weight of every day lowering the bar another notch of what man does to another man. Stanley shares our sadness; he is out there with them. The words matter not, we all share the sorrow of human existence. It is one of the most moving and powerful scenes Stanely ever made; it is a fitting motif for creatures who care only that the men died gloriously. Now, I can get that promotion. You will not whistle a happy tune after watching it but perhaps, you will learn from Kubrick to see the gorgon in the face. It may even make you decide that you will be different, no matter what the cost. A MASTERPIECE

"We Shall Leave This World As Foolish And As Wicked As We Found It."


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An absolutely stunning movie, but one thing has always bugged me.... phxsns1
Do the French still hate this film? pc-privconfounder
Can someone explain World War I to me? mark-1602
Mice and Mausers joke RainmanCT
Paths of Glory or Full Metal Jacket? starvinfilmmkr
George Macready slmarshallyyz
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