Thursday, April 4, 2013

327. Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory
Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Here we go with the Stanley Kubrick movies, which we will not be done with until the late eighties.  Kubrick is sometimes extremely enjoyable and at other times, pretentious and boring. I definitely flip flop on my opinion for this man and hopefully, by the end of this journey, after seeing his movies in order, I will be able to form a more definite opinion.  For now, though, we just have Paths of Glory to deal with.

The last movie I watched was a sappy romance and now we have a war film.  Talk about movies that I just cannot get into.  Maybe next time there will be a sports biography!

I should really like this movie.  It certainly sounds interesting enough.  Kirk Douglas stars as Colonel Dax, who attempts to defend his men in court after they refuse to take part in a suicide attack.

Let's start with what I liked.  First of all, I am extremely sick of the "war is bad" theme.  Yes, we are all aware of that.  However, this film chooses to specifically attack military courts, which is a lot more compelling and thought provoking.  Also, props have to go to both the actors and the cinematographer.

Despite all of this, I still was bored.  I couldn't help it; I was just waiting for the film to end.  On paper, this film is fantastic.  I will probably try it again soon; maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.  So I would still recommend this movie, but it just isn't my cup of tea.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Banned in France and Switzerland.

Churchill claimed that this movie was quite accurate when it came to trench warfare and military courts.

John McCain's favorite war film.


  1. I loved this movie! I normally would agree with your assessment and I was not looking forward to a war movie. But I find Kirk Douglas very charming and I thought this was an interesting twist on the war film.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Maybe I should give it another try.

  2. Sorry Amanda, I'm with Rachel on this one ..
    Yes, sure, I sort of get your point of "oh no not another war-is-bad movie", but they do need making, and this is one of the more powerful ones. So many effective moments, that, to me, are not over played or sentimentalised (which they could so easily have been).
    I all fairness, I can tell you did do your best to give it a fair trial (ha! sorry, that was accidental .. I'd written it before I realised what I was saying) and would recommend it, even if it bored you. It just didn't do it for you, and that's fine.

    1. You guys are making me think I should give it another shot.

  3. I will join that vote. This one needs a re-watch. The bitter satire of this movie is knife sharp and poignant. This is Kubrick at his very best.

    1. Ugh. Well at least you guys aren't making me watch 2001 again.

  4. Sports biography? Ha! I'm guessing that there aren't many of those on the list. Raging Bull?

    I'm not going to tell you what you should and shouldn't rewatch, but I thought this was very good. I always used to find that the first time I watched a film I couldn't see far past how good or bad the plot was, and only on the second viewing was I able to able to properly absorb other factors. But The List has taken me through so many films where the plot isn't the driving force that I suppose I've gotten over that. Or maybe it's just that I'm old and repetitive plot lines are a bit boring to me now so I'm looking for other things.