8.4/10
145,368
367 user 148 critic

Paths of Glory (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | November 1957 (West Germany)
Trailer
3:04 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,819 ( 333)
Top Rated Movies #59 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Killing (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Spartacus (1960)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Lolita (1962)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon
Killer's Kiss (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ready to catch a train to his hometown, a washed up boxer tells us about the strange and twisty events that happened to him the past couple of days.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer HAL 9000, sets off on a quest.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
Crime | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Col. Dax
... Cpl. Philippe Paris
... Gen. George Broulard
... Gen. Paul Mireau
... Lt. Roget
... Maj. Saint-Auban
... Pvt. Pierre Arnaud (as Joseph Turkel)
... German Singer (as Susanne Christian)
... Proprietor of Cafe
... Narrator of Opening Sequence / Chief Judge of Court-Martial
... Father Dupree
... Sgt. Boulanger
Kem Dibbs ... Pvt. Lejeune
... Pvt. Maurice Ferol
Fred Bell ... Shell-Shocked Soldier
Edit

Storyline

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never has the screen thrust so deeply into the guts of war! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

November 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La patrulla infernal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$935,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Col. Dax's headquarters was placed in a severely damaged building, which looks as if it actually had been hit by shells. This set was in fact the old castle of Schleissheim, opposite the 18th-century castle, used as the set for the court martial, etc. During WWII factories near Schleissheim were hit by an air raid. Some bombs fell on the old castle, causing heavy damage. So Dax' headquarters not only looked like it had been bombarded, it actually had been. See more »

Goofs

After Gen. Mireau slaps the soldier in the trench, he continues on to Col. Dax's dugout and three soldiers carrying a machine gun pass him. The same three soldiers still with the machine gun pass him again when he and 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. 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 ...
See more »


Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
In the score during the opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"Let the men have a few minutes more"
15 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Although Kubrick's films are marked by their massive variation of genre and tone, one theme that crops up again and again is a strong anti-war sentiment, and this was never stated more strongly than in Paths of Glory. A relatively early Kubrick picture and, despite coming before what is considered his classic period, it is one of his best.

In contrast to his previous picture, The Killing, a definite Kubrick style is beginning to emerge now. One notable example is the scene in which General Mireau tours the trenches, walking towards the audience with the camera retreating away from him. This technique would be repeated years later in Kubrick's other war film, Full Metal Jacket. There is also something about the arrangement of objects in the frame, as well the tracking and dollying which hints towards his more familiar later style. His recurring chess motif appears as well, albeit subtly. At the court martial the floor is chequered, and the soldiers on trial are seated with guards standing behind them as if they are pawns about to be sacrificed.

The light and contrast in this picture is put to good effect. The palatial officers' headquarters is light and airy with few shadows. The trenches are gloomy and cramped. Kubrick was becoming a real master at contrasting locations and getting the look of a place just right.

The use of music in Paths of Glory is bold and brilliant. The pre-recorded score is almost entirely percussive – all rhythmic sounds with no melody. A weird kettle drum track is used to help build tension in the night patrol scene, while in the climactic scene the funeral march drumming instills a sense of dread, further heightened by having the shots edited in time to the beat. In the emotional final scene we get the complete opposite – a beautiful vocal melody. This has all the more impact after hearing nothing but militaristic drums for the rest of the film.

The casting is absolutely flawless. While there are no big names apart from leading man Kirk Douglas and the now elderly Adolphe Menjou, there isn't a single weak performance. The despair and resentment of the condemned soldiers feels so absolutely real. In contrast the smugness and fake sympathy of the upper class officers is brilliantly portrayed.

Throughout his career Kubrick never seemed to be particularly keen on blatantly emotional moments. Paths of Glory is the exception. The later scenes are incredibly poignant and moving, and the final moments in the soldier's bar are what makes it a masterpiece more than anything else – the icing on the cake. However it's quite probable that Kubrick regretted this as an overly sentimental approach, as woolly sentimentalism was a major gripe of his when he worked on Spartacus. Whatever the case, he certainly reined in the stirring stuff considerably after this, to the point where his later films became characterised by their understatement of emotions.


48 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 367 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial