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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »
As Col. Dax walks past soldiers right before the attack, the same soldier with a pipe appears more than once. See more »
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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Awesome movie stands as a broody statement against war and man's inhumanity to man
Sensational antiwar treatise based on facts with a relentless and vivid denounce against the military commanding class represented by two senior Generals ( George Macready , Adolphe Menjou ) who order his men a suicidal mission . France 1916 , a upright officer Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas )must lead his soldiers against difficult enemy positions called the 'Ants Hill' . Them also is the colonel lawyer assigned to defend three ( the privates Timothy Carey , Ralph Meeker , Joe Turkel) of them when the attack is lost against charges of cowardice and submitted to eventual firing squad.
This is a thought-provoking and intelligent war drama perfectly acted by strong cast and masterfully directed . Intelligent screenplay based on a Humphrey's Cobb's novel has been well adapted by Stanley Kubrick and Jim Thompson . It depicts a brooding study about futility and insanity of war , making a shattering accusation against the military ruling staff who cares on promotions more than the soldiers . Kirk Douglas is very good as compassionate French Colonel who commands his troops in some spectacular scenes on the trenches . Stunning support cast beautifully performed by notorious secondaries as Emily Meyer as the priest , Wayne Morris as the lieutenant , Richard Anderson as the Major prosecutor , Ralph Meeker , Timothy Carey and Suzanne Christian , Kubrick's wife . Special mention to the two selfish Generals exceptionally performed by George Macready and Adolph Menjou . Excellent cinematography in black and white by George Krause filmed on location in Schleissheim Palace, Munich, and Bavaria Film studios, Geiselgasteig, Grünwald, Bavaria, Germany (studio). The motion picture is wonderfully realized by the maestro Stanley Kubrick and lavishly produced by James B. Harris , his usual producer by that time . This magnificent film along with ¨ All quiet on the Western front ¨ , ¨Westfront 1918 ¨, ¨ Captain Conan ¨ , and ¨King and country¨ result to be the best films about powerful antiwar theme . Time hasn't dimmed its power , or its poignancy, a bit and remains untouchable the critique to the military hypocrisy in an ultra-lucid exposition . Rating : Phenomenal and marvelous film , above average . Essential and indispensable watching .
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