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Paths Of Glory [DVD] [1957]

4.7 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready, Wayne Morris
  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham, Humphrey Cobb, Jim Thompson
  • Producers: Kirk Douglas, Stanley Kubrick, James B. Harris
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 15 July 2002
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068C3C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,989 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Stanley Kubrick directs this classic 1950s drama based on the true story of French soldiers who refused to go over the top to certain death in the First World War. The film, which is in turn based on the novelisation of the incident by Humphrey Cobb, stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the leader of a group of soldiers who have already endured a great deal of horror in the trenches of France. When the vain and ambitious General Mireau (George Macready) orders Dax and his men to attack a well-fortified German position known as the Anthill, Dax informs him that the task is virtually impossible and will result in many deaths. Desperate for promotion, Mireau insists that the attack proceeds and is outraged when the second wave of soldiers refuse to enter the battle after witnessing the slaughter of their comrades. When Mireau and his acolytes select three soldiers for court-martial as scapegoats for the rebellion, Dax - a lawyer during his civilian life - elects to defend the men from the charges himself.

From Amazon.co.uk

The pity of war has been a much-favoured film topic; the treachery of war much less so, though never more persuasively than in Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick's breakthrough feature from 1957. Kirk Douglas gives one of his finest screen performances as Colonel Dax, the idealistic First World War soldier appalled by the arbitrary court-marshal meted out to three of his men after an impossible attempt to storm German lines goes disastrously wrong. George Macready is an utterly believable Gerneral Mireau, obsessed with his own honour and standing, whom Adolphe Majou complements tellingly as the urbane and cynical General Bruler. Those who know Kubrick from his later sprawling epics will be surprised at the tautness and concision shown here, even though the screenplay--which he co-wrote--has a certain theatrical stiffness.

On the DVD: Paths of Glory on disc reproduces well in full-screen format, and Gerald Fried's bitingly ironic score comes through powerfully. There are five dubbed and six subtitled languages. The original trailer is a masterpiece of gritty reportage, well worth reviving. Along with Dr Strangelove and 2001, this is Kubrick's most focussed and durable film. --Richard Whitehouse

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 Black and White “Paths Of Glory”. And the ‘BLU RAY’ of it is available in the States and other European territories. But which issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the European (with foreign language all over the rear of the box) is REGION B - so that will play the English language film on UK machines. There are other Euro Double Packs but I’m not sure if they use the cleaned up print Criterion achieved.

Check you’re player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier Criterion release (which is said to have a stunning transfer)...
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Format: Blu-ray
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 Black and White “Paths Of Glory”. And the ‘BLU RAY’ of it is available in the States and other European territories. But which issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the European (with foreign language all over the rear of the box) is REGION B - so that will play the English language film on UK machines. There are other Euro Double Packs but I’m not sure if they use the cleaned up print Criterion achieved.

Check you’re player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier Criterion release (which is said to have a stunning transfer)...
Comment 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
It has been almost 50 years since this anti-war film appeared, one which was banned in France until 1970. It is based on Humphrey Cobb's novel. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas who also produced it, the film examines a fictional (but nonetheless wholly believable) situation during World War One when French troops are ordered to achieve an impossible military objective: Climb and secure the "Ant Hill," a heavily-fortified German position. Of course the troops are decimated. Whom to blame? General Broulard (Adolph Menjou) who gave the order? The troops' general, General Mireau (George MacReady), whose career ambitions overcame his doubts about the order? The officer (Colonel Dax) who led the attack? General Broulard gives a second order: Select three of the survivors, charge them with cowardice, give them a perfunctory military trial, and then execute them. Their commanding officer is Colonel Dax (Douglas) who had been an attorney in civilian life. He is ordered to be the defense counsel. After the inevitable verdict, the three representatives are executed by a firing squad.
Kubrick presents all this on film as if it were a documentary of actual events. Appropriately, he filmed it in black-and-white, in part to dramatize the obvious juxtapositions of right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice, etc. The battlefield carnage is extensive but not gratuitous. For me, the insensitivity, indeed inhumanity of the two generals -- far removed from combat in luxurious comfort -- is far more upsetting than the assault on the "Ant Hill." The men who followed orders and lost their lives or their limbs may have died in vain but at least died with honor, if not glory. Kubrick leaves absolutely no doubt about the generals who sent them into battle.
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Format: DVD
Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory is holding up rather well these days, in fact it's as pertinent and relevant as ever.

It's 1916 and the French and German armies are in opposing mud trenches, when the French are ordered to undertake a suicidal assault on a German held hill, many of the soldiers are quick to realise it's an impossible order to see through to its conclusion and retreat, something which brings charges of cowardice from the military hierarchy. Someone must take the fall...

Withdrawn from circulation in France at one time, unreleased in Spain as well, Paths of Glory is a shattering indictment on military hierarchy. On those General types who watch from afar through telescopic sights as men and boys are led like lambs to the slaughter, then off they go to their dinning rooms to gorge on wine and wholesome meat, the stench of rotting flesh as bad on their breaths as it is out there in no man's land. But it's OK for the war effort, while there might even be a promotion for some lucky soul in nice trousers...

A two-parter, the film was adapted from the novel written by Humphrey Cobb. The first half follows the craziness of the attack, the horrors of war brutally realised as Kubrick and cinematographer Georg Krause bring out the worry and simmering anger that jostle for the soldier's souls. The camera is cold and calculating, thus perfect for the material to hand, it leads the viewers - with skillful fluidity - through the bleakness of the trenches and the desolation of no man's land, the former a foreboding place, the latter an atrocity exhibition as bodies get flayed and shattered, while others retreat with limbs or sanity barely intact.
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