Paths Of Glory, film review: A reminder of Stanley Kubrick's powers as a satirist
(PG) Stanley Kubrick, 87 mins Starring: Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready
There may have been a temptation, after the anti-climactic Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut, to wonder why there was so much fuss about Stanley Kubrick.
This superb 1957 film, re-released to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, is a reminder both of his extraordinary formal virtuosity and his powers as a satirist.
Adapted from Humphrey Cobb's 1935 novel, it is loosely based on the true story of French soldiers who were executed for "cowardice" after their companies failed in a suicidal mission to take an enemy stronghold.
Three men are eventually chosen at random to die. Kirk Douglas is the regiment Colonel who tries to stand up for them. The war scenes are brutal. There are some extraordinary sequences in which the camera travels through the maze-like trenches, revealing shell-shocked and wounded soldiers wherever it goes.
These scenes are contrasted with the palatial elegance from which the demented General Mireau (brilliantly played by George Macready and every bit as crackpot as George C Scott in Dr Strangelove) plans the carnage. There's a sleekly malevolent performance from Adolphe Menjou, too, as the General who cares far more about perception and prestige than the well-being of his men.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Led Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
Guardians of the Galaxy review: A superficial and half-hearted Marvel film
Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants revealed: Meet the baker's dozen
R Kelly 'dropped' from Ohio music festival following backlash
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >