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By Lee Pfeiffer
Now this is what you call a bargain: three terrific WWII flicks for only $10 on Amazon, courtesy of Shout! Factory's Timeless Media label, which continues to distribute first rate editions of films that were often considered to be second-rate at the time of their initial release. This "War Film Triple Feature" package includes three gems that were not particularly notable at the time of their release. Two have grown in stature, while the third has benefited only from Cinema Retro writer Howard Hughes' enthusiastic coverage in issue #25. The films included in the set are:
"Attack" (1955)- During the period of WWII, both the Allied and Axis film industries concentrated on feature films that were pure propaganda designed to motivate their fighting men and the public at large. By the early-to-mid-1950s, however, more introspective viewpoints emerged among Hollywood directors and writers. With the conflict now over, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Here we are, at the top of the mountain. We’ve had plenty from every war imaginable, some supportive of war efforts, some not. But the more interesting war films really focus on the people; the internal struggles those men and women have about what they are doing. Whether made in America, Germany, the United Kingdom, or anywhere else, war is not just a battle between good and evil. It’s a life and death struggle between opposing sides that may not be that different. The movies at the top of this list may be subtle or straightforward, but each of them is a clear snapshot that lets audiences see what it means to fight, so they don’t have to.
10. Paths of Glory (1957)
Directed by: Stanley Kurbick
Conflict: World War I
- Joshua Gaul
Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »
- Brad Brevet
It was just a few months ago that I decided to stay in my basement for the weekend and watch every Stanley Kubrick movie. We have some harsh winters here in Canada, so don’t judge me. I managed to watch everything from 1960 onward as I figured I had seen Paths Of Glory enough times I could just re-watch it my head later. After all was said and done, like a lot of us do when a movie is over, I went to the Internet to learn everything I could about them. I quickly fell down a rabbit »
- Graham McMorrow
The carnage, horror, bravery and humanity of World War I has inspired such bigscreen fare as “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Paths of Glory” and “Gallipoli” — and now, as the centenary of the outbreak of the “war to end all wars” approaches on July 28, the BBC is offering unprecedented smallscreen coverage in a way that only a well-funded pubcaster can.
From now until 2018, more than 100 specially commissioned programs will be made available on TV, radio and online — approximately 2,500 hours of content. In fact, in January, the blitz began with four-part documentary “Britian’s Great War.”
“We know that by many definitions, it is the most ambitious (undertaking) we have ever mounted,” explains Adrian Van Klaveren, the BBC executive in charge of the commemoration. And while that may sound like hype, for once, reality appears to match the hard sell.
Van Klaveren notes that the shows will be running for »
- Steve Clarke
Sunday night’s Battle for Castle Black promises to be the biggest war scene in Game of Thrones history, with the entire episode focused on Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch fight with The Wildlings. Below, Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss tease up (spoiler free, of course) the epic confrontation, as well give some insight into last week’s Red Viper vs. Mountain fight and Sansa Stark’s big transformation. Note: The following answers are culled from two interviews, one conducted last week via email where the producers replied with joint statements, and the second by phone »
- James Hibberd
Austin Film Society continues their "Rebel Rebel" film series this weekend with a rare 35mm screening of Getting Straight at the Marchesa. This 1970 film from Richard Rush stars Elliott Gould as a Vietnam vet who attempts to go back to college amid the countercultural revolution. Also starring Candice Bergen and shot by legendary cinemtographer Laszlo Kovacs (Easy Rider, Paper Moon), it's playing tonight and again on Sunday afternoon. Doc Nights is booked for Wednesday evening and will be spotlighting the story of a young ballerina who was diagnosed with polio at 27. Read more about Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq in our preview post here. On Thursday evening, you can view Stanley Kubrick's Paths Of Glory as part of this month's Essential Cinema series about World War I.
The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series has a wide variety of flicks to choose from this week. Saturday and Sunday at the Paramount, »
- Matt Shiverdecker
★★★★☆The fourth feature of what would later evolve into a glittering directorial career, Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1957) is not only a fine extension of the moral concerns towards war raised in his debut, 1953's Fear and Desire, but a clear precursor to the horrors that would lie in wait with his Vietnam-set Full Metal Jacket (1987). It's not so much fear and desire as fear and control that's the primary concern here, as a battalion of shell-shocked French soldiers in the trenches of the First World War are chastised for a perceived act of cowardice in the face of the enemy. Often overshadowed by fellow '57 graduate 12 Angry Men, a new rerelease should put Paths of Glory back on the road to reverence.
- CineVue UK
★★★★☆Kirk Douglas fans have been spoiled recently with not only a theatrical rerelease of Stanley Kubrick's 1957 war drama Paths of Glory but also this week the Masters of Cinema reissue of Billy Wilder's newshound satire Ace in the Hole (1951), in which the Hollywood icon also takes centre stage. A delicious and morally dubious tale of self-serving skulduggery in the New Mexico desert, Douglas dominates proceedings as a slippery paper man forced into exile in Albuquerque after finding himself blacklisted from seemingly every major news outlet on the East and West coast. Sharp, at times dark, and extremely funny throughout, Ace in the Hole remains Wilder's 'ace up the sleeve'. »
- CineVue UK
The horror of war is laid bare when soldiers face execution to placate tyrannical officers after their plans go awry
It is arguably the best film about the first world war, and still has a reasonable claim to being Stanley Kubrick's best film. Paths of Glory (1957) is now re-released for the 1914 anniversary: this brilliant tale of macabre futility and horror in the trenches was adapted by Kubrick, Calder Willingham and pulp master Jim Thompson from a 1935 novel by Herbert Cobb, in turn inspired by a real incident.
Continue reading »
- Peter Bradshaw
War… ever present throughout most of history, it is the ultimate shame of mankind, an expression of our most violent and destructive impulses on a grand scale, capable of destroying civilizations and reshaping the global map. Instigated by the elites – the royalty, politicians, businessmen and financiers who often profit from it – it is fought by the common man, the disposable masses flung into the firing line as pawns in a game of chess.
Depictions of warfare in cinema have ranged from jingoistic, patriotic propaganda movies, in which the good guys and their enemies are simplistically represented and the cause is always just and noble, to more nuanced meditations on the effects of warfare on mankind. Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 masterpiece starring Kirk Douglas, Paths of Glory, is re-released in cinemas this week, and remains a powerful anti-war treatise on the folly and hubris of World War 1 in which arrogant »
- Andrew Dilks
The 1957 picture, which came relatively early on into Kubrick’s career – nestled in between The Killing and Spartacus, is one of his more emotional endeavours, and as timeless now as it ever has been.
Starring Kirk Douglas in the lead role of Col. Dax, this poignant and harrowing war-time drama tells the tale of three soldiers who refuse to undertake a seemingly impossible attack in the midst of the brutal first World War. Their superior officers then decide to make an example of them all, sentencing them to death.
The film begins as a real war drama, out on the battlefield and in the trenches, shot beautifully in monochrome, looking so impressive up on the big screen today, almost over »
- Stefan Pape
The re-release of 1957's Paths Of Glory is a reminder of his peerless mastery of battle scenes and misanthropy
"The men died wonderfully!" crows the wicked, vain and corrupt French general Broulard (George Macready) as he enjoys tea and delicate pastries at General Staff HQ. No matter that they died in droves, failed to secure the objective and almost came under fire from their own artillery, they died wonderfully.
Paths Of Glory is structured around the grotesque disconnect between Macready's airy rear-echelon abstractions and the godawful reality of life in the trenches of the first world war. Down there, amid the rats, the mud and the corpses of one's friends, there is at least a sense of solidarity and honour among the doomed, and all emotions are real. But back in the General Staff's Versailles-like HQ, among the columns, frescos and sweeping staircases, the Fragonards and the Bouchers on the »
- John Patterson
Odd List Andrew Blair 25 Apr 2014 - 06:29
They're despicable, smug and downright unpleasant. Andrew lines up his pick of 50 biggest unpleasant, sometimes heroic folk in cinema...
Nb: This article contains swearing and spoilers for numerous films. Bear in mind that it may be not safe for work, and if you haven't seen a film mentioned in a particular entry, do consider skipping to the next one.
Conflict drives drama. Unpleasant people create conflict. Thus, cinema is crammed with huge, provocative arseholes/assholes (we went with the latter on the headline, but now we're in the article, we're going more arse than ass). There are obviously too many to list, but we've provided you with a thought-provoking array of multi-faceted bell-endery. That said, feel free to copy and paste the phrase, "Nice list, but you forgot x" to save time when placing comments below! The 'nice' bit is not compulsory.
There are few auteurs as instantly recognizable and divisive as Stanley Kubrick, few filmmakers as idiosyncratic or groundbreaking. His work spans the entirety of life itself–sometimes in the same film–and has inspired almost as much derision as hosannas. There is no easy consensus on Kubrick’s films–though you may not be terribly surprised by our writers’ choice for his best, it’s hard to imagine that your ranking of his work will line up wholly with ours–nor on the messages imparted within. Is The Shining secretly about the moon landing? Is 2001? What is he really saying about violence in society in A Clockwork Orange? And so on. Closing out (some weeks late, granted) our monthly theme on his works, here is Sound on Sight’s ranking of the films of Stanley Kubrick. Enjoy. Share. Debate. We know you’ll want to debate.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey »
- Josh Spiegel
(The Criterion Collection)
Two Gems From The 50s
Two new releases from The Criterion Collection spotlight low-budget filmmaking in the 1950s—American and European—and couldn’t be more stylistically and thematically diverse. And yet, there is a personal stamp on the pictures that is very similar. Both films also tackle social problems with brutal frankness and feature anti-heroes as protagonists.
Riot in Cell Block 11 was produced by longtime Hollywood independent producer Walter Wanger (he was also responsible for two earlier Criterion releases, Stagecoach and Foreign Correspondent) as a hard-hitting, gritty, realistic picture depicting the inequities and maltreatment prisoners receive in American prisons. Wanger had a personal reason to make a film like that. He had barely missed spending some time in one. He’d caught his wife with another man, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014
Price: DVD $19.99
The tale of corruption and greed in the banking business stars Christopher Plummer (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) in his Emmy-winning role as the suave, hypocritical and skilled Roscoe Heyward and Kirk Douglas (Paths of Glory) as the honest, hard-charging and focused Alex Vandervoort, both of whom are vying for the top position in one of the nation’s largest banks. Along they way, they have run-ins with such supporting cast members as Anne Baxter (The Ten Commandments), Robert Loggia (Scarface), Lorne Greene (Earthquake) , Helen Hayes (Airport) and a seductive-as-ever Joan Collins (Sins).
Yes, it’s a very dated piece as far as the banking industry goes, with the storylines including bits on such problems as credit card fraud, embezzlement, inflation, »
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Having finished Lolita, a subversive Hollywood piece even by noirish standards, Stanley Kubrick returned to war. Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb‘s scope was more encompassing than the private torture of Paths of Glory, looking forward to the threat of apocalyptic destruction instead of a reflective portrait of immediate world wars. Instead of matching and multiplying the grave tone inherent in his previous work and the source material, Red Alert by Peter George, Kubrick opted for a brand of blacker-than-pitch humor, claiming, “The only way to tell the story was as a black comedy or, better, a nightmare comedy, where the things you laugh at most are really the heart of the paradoxical postures »
- Zach Lewis
“Good-bye, my sweetheart. Hello, Vietnam.” — Johnny Wright
Full Metal Jacket was Stanley Kubrick’s eleventh film (twelfth, if you count Spartacus) and his last to depict war and the military. Kubrick dealt with the military in Fear and Desire, Paths of Glory, and Dr. Strangelove in very different ways. In Full Metal Jacket, he would focus on the institutional and ideological aspects of American marines and their experience in Vietnam.
Full Metal Jacket is based off of the The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford, who also had a screenplay credit along with Kubrick and Michael Herr. Hasford reportedly did not contribute much to the script except for a few lines of dialogue. Herr was chosen as collaborator because Kubrick admired his book Dispatches, which was a New Journalism take on the Vietnam War based off Herr’s »
- Cody Lang
We’ve been on a bit of a Kubrick kick lately, and here’s another tidbit to add to the heap. Dubbed “one-point perspective,” the above video showcases the symmetrical framing — often from a down-the-corridor Pov — in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, Barry Lyndon, Eyes Wide Shut and Paths of Glory. Set, for dramatic effect, to Clint Mansell’s “Lux Aeterna,” the collage demonstrates the versatility of the shot, as it adopts a humorous stance (Alex DeLarge slurping spaghetti) and a one filled with dread (Jack Torrance, the twins). »
- Sarah Salovaara
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