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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 16% 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:
They Couldn't Take An Ant Hill 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?

Although the story takes place on France's western front, Stanley Kubrick chose to shoot the film in and around Munich, Germany. Most interior scenes were filmed at Bavaria's Geiselgasteig Studios, and the court-martial scenes were shot in nearby Schleissheim Castle, an 18th-century structure then serving as a national museum. Just beyond this location is the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial.See more »
Anachronisms: At the end of the film, when the German girl sings, there are modern (1950s) metal music stands on the stage.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:
Künstlerleben (Artist's Life), Op.316See more »


Is "Paths of Glory" based on a book?
See more »
118 out of 133 people found the following review useful.
They Couldn't Take An Ant Hill, 2 July 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Almost one hundred years later the concept of that static war of the trenches that was the Western front of World War I is almost unfathomable. After the French army stopped the German offensive at the Battle of the Marne, the French and British armies faced the Germans in a line of trenches that stretched from Belgium to Switzerland. About a quarter of France was occupied for four years in that time. The casualties ran into the millions in that stalemate that gains were only measured in meters.

It was always just one more offensive over the top charging into automatic weapon fire that would break the other guy. Just such an offensive was planned one day in 1916 against a German stronghold dubbed the ant hill.

General George MacReady, promised a promotion by his superior Adolphe Menjou, orders a beaten and tired battalion to charge the ant hill. The attack flops and MacReady looks for scapegoats. He decides after coming down from shooting 100 men to a selected three drawn by lot. The unlucky three are Joseph Turkel, Ralph Meeker, and Timothy Carey.

The commander of the three Kirk Douglas asks to serve as their counsel and he makes a good show of it at the kangaroo court martial they have. But the fix is definitely in.

Except for Spartacus, Kirk Douglas rarely plays straight up heroic types in film. Even his good guys have an edge to them, a dark side. But as Colonel Dax, Douglas is at his most heroic. He may be one dimensional here, but he's great. Especially in that last scene with Adolphe Menjou when he tells the man off in no uncertain terms, mainly because Menjou has misread Douglas's motives.

Menjou and Macready portray two different military types. The arrogant MacReady as versus the very sly Menjou. Not very admirable either of them. Menjou was not very popular at this time in Hollywood because of the blacklist. He favored it very much, his politics were of the extreme right wing. Nevertheless he was a brilliant actor and never better than in this film, one of his last.

The enlisted men are a good bunch also. They're kind of like the posse in The Oxbow Incident, just an ordinary group who become ennobled in martyrdom as they go to the firing squad for the sake of politics.

Paths of Glory is one of the best anti-war films ever made. It ranks right up there with All Quiet on the Western Front which showed the war from the German point of view. Both will be classics 200, 300, a thousand years from now.

Was the above review useful to you?
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