Pulp writer Jim Thompson adapted a World War I novel that Kubrick read as a teenager into a screenplay, which was produced thanks to the enthusiasm of Kirk Douglas. A French battalion is roundly defeated by Germans in an ill-advised campaign conceived by the ambitious General Mireau (George Macready). Douglas stars as Colonel Dax, a lawyer in civilian life, who volunteers to defend the surviving soldiers facing court-martial. Adolph Menjou costars.
“Unlike any other war film of its kind, Paths of Glory divides its attention equally among officers and enlisted men, constructing a complex picture of a war fought not only on open battlefields, but in boardrooms as well. A thoroughgoing investigation of the terms ‘brave’ and ‘cowardice,’ Paths of Glory offers far more than a mere ‘anti-war’ statement, paring with almost surgical precision to the heart of the fear, hubris, and mendacity that keep the war machine going.” –writer David Ehrenstein
Read David Ehrenstein's essay here.
The MFAH film department is supported by Tenaris; The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Nina and Michael Zilkha; the National Film Preservation Foundation; Franci and Jim Crane; James V. Derrick; Ms. Melanie Gray and Mr. Mark Wawro; and Lynn S. Wyatt.