Paths of Glory (1957)


Drama, War


Stanley Kubrick




Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready, Wayne Morris, Richard Anderson, Joe Turkel, Christiane Kubrick, Jerry Hausner, Peter Capell, Emile Meyer, Bert Freed, Kem Dibbs, Timothy Carey, Fred Bell, John Stein, Harold Benedict, James B. Harris


When soldiers in World War I refuse to continue with an impossible attack, their superior officers decide to make an example of them.


I've never liked WWI. To be honest, I even hated studying it at school. And I know it's pretty creepy to say this, but it's movies like Paths of Glory that makes me love that war. Okay, maybe love isn't the right word here, but I think you get what I'm trying to say. But just in case you didn't, what I meant is that Kubrick's is one of the most beautiful - once again, not the most appropriate word - and thought-provoking films about war ever made.

Kubrick brought to the screen a disgusting, fictional story that unfortunately is a very accurate portrait of what goes on during wars and that denounces the insanity, sickness of war and military forces. Selfish and glory-seeking generals who use soldiers as pawns, as if they were playing a chess game, ordering them to do not impossible but inhuman things, playing with these men's lives as if they were god, and treating them like numbers.

What I like the most about Paths of Glory is that Kubrick did something he didn't do in Full Metal Jacket, he showed the ugliness and violence of war without actually involving violence. He was able to deliver that violence and drama through words, feelings and heart-wrenching scenes.

Equally impressive is the way Kubrick handled such a dramatic story, without his usual special effects. He instead made a beautiful use of lights and shadows - the trenches are gloomy and almost claustrophobic and they feel very real. The music is also brilliant as well as the silences used just in the right moments.

And let's not forget about the cast, another wonderful aspect of the film. It really couldn't have been any better with great performances from everyone, from Ralph Meeker as a brave soldier sentenced for cowardice, to Kirk Douglas, the colonel who opposes to such injustice.

No comments :

Post a Comment