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Paths of Glory
87 Minutes (Black and White)
Unrated (war violence)
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by: Stanley Kubrick
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Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax
Ralph Meeker as Corporal Paris
Adolphe Menjou as General Bronland
George Macready as General Mirean
Wayne Morris as Lieutenant Roget
Richard Anderson as Major Saint-Anben
Joseph Turkel as Private Arnaud
Timothy Carey as Private Ferol
Peter Capell as Colonel Judge
Susanne Christian as The German Girl
  Paths of Glory was adapted from the controversial 1935 anti-war novel of the same name. Stanley Kubrick chose to bring the story from the classic book by Humphrey Cobb to the silver screen. Kubrick approached Kirk Douglas to star as Colonel Dax. Douglas fell in love with the script and said, "Stanley, I don't think this picture will ever make a nickel, but we have to make it." Douglas was accurate with this statement, as the movie was made but did not make profit in its initial release.
    The film which takes place in France was shot in Munich, Germany. For the Last Meal scene, 68 takes were done by perfectionist Kubrick, insisting to make it better. A 5,000 square yard pasture was purchased from a farmer to use for the main war sequence. Producer Harris can be seen in the movie as a soldier in the massive attack for Ant Hill.
    Paths of Glory is the story of one General who has orders to take a hill at any costs. He hands this suicide mission down to Colonel Dax, played wonderfully by Douglas. Colonel Dax commands his troops to take Ant Hill. Many of Dax's men die and noone actually makes it to the hill, upsetting the General. The General decides to make Dax tell his officers to pick three men to be tried with cowardice.
    The three men are picked and put on trial in front of a judge. Colonel Dax plays the defending attorney and gets very upset at the unfair court system of the army. The men are found guilty and face the ultimate army penalty, a firing squad.
    This is a story that makes the viewer question the casualties that take place in wars. It is the story of one man (Dax) who stands up to his superior officers. The movie is short for a war drama (81 minutes) and contains only one minor swear word (H***) and mild war violence.
    One of Stanley Kubrick's first successful films foreshadows work in his other movies. Trademarks like the General asking individual privates about their families can be seen later in Full Metal Jacket. The music sequence during the firing squad, is a Kubrick trademark. The music can tell you what is about to happen if you listen closely.
    I strongly recommend this movie. It is in black and white, but very short. It is the greatest anti-war movie of all time and a classic for all war movies.
Chris's Rating (of 10): 9
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Recommended if you like:

Saving Private Ryan
Full Metal Jacket
Anti-War Movies
If you like this movie, I recommend:

Full Metal Jacket
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