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 will sacrfice his men to enhance his own reputation. Against his better judgment, Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) leads the charge, and the results are appalling. When, after witnessing the slaughter of their comrades, a handful of the French troops refuse to leave the trenches, Mireau very nearly orders the artillery to fire on his own men. Still smarting from the defeat, Mireau cannot admit to himself that the attack was a bad idea from the outset: he convinces himself that loss of Ant Hill was due to the cowardice of his men. Mireau demands that three soldiers be selected by lot to be executed as an example to rest of the troops. Acting as defense attorney, Colonel Dax pleads eloquently for the lives of the unfortunate three, but their fate is a done deal. Even an eleventh-hour piece of evidence proving Mireau's incompetence is ignored by the smirking Broulard, who is only interested in putting on a show of bravado. A failure when first released (it was banned outright in France for several years), Paths of Glory has since taken its place in the pantheon of classic war movies, its message growing only more pertinent and potent with each passing year (it was especially popular during the Vietnam era).~Hal Erickson
New audio commentary featuring critic Gary Giddins
Excerpt from a 1966 audio interview with director Stanley Kubrick
Television interview from 1979 with star Kirk Douglas
New video interviews with Kubrick's longtime executive producer Jan Harlan, Paths of Glory producer James B. Harris, and actress Christine Kubrick
French television piece about a real-life World War I execution that partly inspired the film
Kirk DouglasCol. Dax
Ralph MeekerCorp. Paris
Adolphe MenjouGen. Broulard
George MacreadyGen. Mireau
Wayne MorrisLieutenant Roget
Richard AndersonMaj. Saint-Auban
Joe TurkelPrivate Arnaud
Timothy CareyPrivate Ferol
Peter CapellCol. Judge
Bert FreedSgt. Boulanger
Jerry HausnerCafe Owner
Harold BenedictCapt. Nichols
John SteinCapt. Rousseau
James B. HarrisProducer
Humphrey CobbBook Author
Gerald FriedComposer (Music Score)
Ludwig ReiberArt Director
Martin MuellerSound/Sound Designer
Erwin LangeSpecial Effects
Hannes StaudingerCamera Operator
Anti-War Film,Message Movie,War Drama
Paths of Glory
Year of Release
Criterion Collection, DVD
Black & White, Enhanced Widescreen for 16x9 TV
The Criterion Collection, Inc
Paths of Glory [Criterion Collection] [DVD] 
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Page 1 Showing 1-8 of 38 reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
A very well done movie well acted a really good Kirk Douglas role
I just happened to be in Best Buy looking for something else when I spotted the DVD bins... regular films, $3.99... Blu Ray films, $4.99 and of course having a personal DVD collection of close to 8000 films, I'm naturally going to gravitate toward those bins. Not surprisingly, I had most of what was being offered, but did manage to snag a few gems, Paths of Glory being one of them. I've always loved Kurt Douglas (Spartacus anyone?), and can you believe as of this review (Jan 16th) he's still alive and kicking at age 102!? I know most people nowadays have switched to streaming and subscription services, but I tend to be old fashioned, and since I have my own theatre, I can enjoy what I want to watch and when to watch them. Paths of Glory really stand out as one of Kurt's finest.
This movie is one for the ages. If you don't pay close attention, you can get lost, or miss something. Stanley Kubrick is well known for these kinds of movies and they are brilliantly told on screen. I would highly recommend that you see this movie, especially, if you are as I am a Stanly Kubrick fan.
This is one of the best anti-war films ever made, in my opinion. An all-star cast, featuring Kirk Douglas, show the futility of war. I saw it in the 60's as a kid and it's held up really well. Not a regular DVD buyer, this is now part of my core collection of maybe 20 films I like to watch periodically again.
Kirk Douglas stars in this film, which is about several soldiers being charged and tried for cowardice during World War I. Douglas represents the men and makes a very strong argument on their behalf. Unfortunately, they are found guilty. This film, which is in black and white, is excellent.