Paths of Glory

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


Paths of Glory makes a strong antiwar statement and attacks the class distinctions in the European (in this case, French) military structure during World War I. The film reveals the manipulative impact of the isolated generals who plan the war from their plush palaces upon the men who fight in the trenches and on the bloodstained battlefields. Kirk Douglas stars as Colonel Dax, a soldier whose relationship with his men is one of mutual respect and honor. Sent out on a suicide mission for purely political gain by the generals in charge, Dax must weigh his loyalty to his country against his desire to save his men. Paths of Glory is a brilliantly executed study of men and war, as well as the military politics and bureaucracy behind the scenes.

Filmed in Munich in 1957, Paths of Glory clearly established Stanley Kubrick as a master director and is a fine early example of his talent for creating a cinematic world thick with realistic detail and authentic atmosphere. His outstanding camera work combines long dolly shots that take the audience into the trenches, with panoramic overviews during the attack.

— David Alberico

Screening Details

  • Section: Stanley Kubrick: American Master Abroad
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 86 min.
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