Paths of Glory (1957)


A thought provoking war film that focuses on the blinded judgment of generals who fight for politics and principle more than common sense.  This is a thinking mans movie and that’s one reason why it is so popular.  You are never really quite sure what is motivating whom until the end of the movie and even then it causes you some puzzlement.


The beginning war scenes of this movie are extremely realistic and is visually stunning.  Kirk Douglas is a leader but is trying to conform to the realities of war and his superiors,  but in the face of certain defeat he orders his troops to fall back.  A failed attack leads to finger pointing and threats which ultimately lead to trials and severe punishment.


This movie has some superb dialog and it is interesting to see how people’s actions can change in the threat of danger.  Some are cowards sending out soldiers to their certain doom, others take credit for heroic acts of others, and some pretend to tow the line while simply looking out for their own hide.


Kirk Douglas is magnificent as a man who is determined not to lose based on principles of right and wrong but in the end has to resort to some conniving ways to preserve the rights of the soldiers in command.

Stanley Kubrick is certainly, without a doubt one of the best film directors of all time and this movie in one of his best.


A movie that you will not soon forget…great action, great dialog, and an interesting plot which has you guessing on who will stand pat on their moral principles or who will shift their opinions based on political expediency.  Pretty darn close to perfection.  9 Stars Out of 10.


Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at

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