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Paths of Glory (1957)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 33,388

My Rating

Movie Info

Adapting Humphrey Cobb's novel to the screen, director Stanley Kubrick and his collaborators Calder Willingham and Jim Thompson set out to make a devastating anti-war statement, and they succeeded above and beyond the call of duty. In the third year of World War I, the erudite but morally bankrupt French general Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his troops to seize the heavily fortified "Ant Hill" from the Germans. General Mireau (George MacReady) knows that this action will be suicidal, but he

May 15, 2001

United Artists

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (3) | DVD (11)

More than 20 years after Mr. Cobb's novel was first published, Mr. Kubrick reminded us that human folly is rarely checked for long. A half-century on, he is still right.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
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Kirk Douglas gives one of his finest performances as the intelligent and courageous Col. Dax.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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The sardonic rhetoric may be laid on a little heavily at times, but the movie is blunt and scornfully brilliant.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
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While the subject is well handled and enacted in a series of outstanding characterizations, it seems dated and makes for grim screen fare.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (7)
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This masterpiece still packs a wallop, though nothing in it is as simple as it may first appear; audiences are still arguing about the final sequence, which has been characterized as everything from a sentimental cop-out to the ultimate cynical twist.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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The final scene, in which Kubrick presents close-ups of soldiers watching a captured German girl being forced to sing for their pleasure is nothing short of masterful.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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You can sense Kubrick stretching his cinematic wings in this prime slice of Hollywood liberalism.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

profound, poignant, and eloquent

January 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Stanley Kubrick often spoke out against war in his film, using violence as a weapon against the audience's sensibilities. Never was he more convincing as here.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

watching it is to watch the birth of the one of the greatest filmmakers of the second half of the 20th century

October 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

For all its chilly symmetry and beauty, the sheer injustice shown will have your pulse racing.

October 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Stanley Kubrick's best meditation on war (yes, Full Metal Jacket fans, you heard me).

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source:

Truly a Kubrick classic with strong Kirk Douglas performance.

January 21, 2007
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

Working with a big budget for the first time, Kubrick superbly marshals the battle scenes. But the behind-the-scenes military wrangling seems so regimented and preordained that there's not much left to respond to.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Star Kirk Douglas used to say he didn't have to wait 50 years to know that Paths Of Glory would 'always be good.' He was right.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

One of the great anti-war dramas.

March 17, 2006
Las Vegas Review-Journal

The searing Paths Of Glory continues to impress with its striking blend of formal brilliance, economical storytelling and emotional directness.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: BBC

Audience Reviews for Paths of Glory

April 23, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Paths of Glory is rightfully thought of as one of the greatest anti-war films ever made. Stanley Kubrick's simplistic but beautiful direction is perfectly suited to getting the heart of the story across. It is a niggle that everyone is American in this 'French film' but it is a shame to miss the point because one can't see beyond it. It's as important today as it has ever been and it is as powerful.
December 31, 2013

Super Reviewer

After a self-serving general sends a battalion on a suicide mission, a colonel defends three soldiers accused of cowardice during the First World War.
Stanley Kubrick, the genius behind Full Metal Jacket, directs another fantastic war film. Though Paths of Glory is more character-based than Full Metal Jacket, the battle sequences are nonetheless incredibly choreographed and compelling. The film slows down once it gets to the trial, and it is then that questions of honor and integrity in the face of extraordinary circumstances emerge as the film's primary themes. The characters become types, but that doesn't stop Kubrick from being able to get us to sympathize with their plights. Colonel Dax, especially, becomes an interesting character because he's forced to face his own failures and his ability to define himself erodes. Kirk Douglas captures these nuances, and Adolphe Menjou makes a great villain.
Overall, this is one of Kubrick's finest films.
December 10, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Probably Kubrick's best depiction of the brutal and dehumanizing face of war, offering excellent performances, a very exquisite cinematography and an intensely absorbing dialogue - and ending on an especially beautiful (and thought-provoking) last scene.
November 16, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Gen. Mireau: The men died wonderfully.
    – Submitted by William W (18 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Wege zum Ruhm (DE)
  • Paths of Glory (1957) (CA)
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