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When the leadership at the top is rotten!!!

  • Aug 13, 2010
Rating:
+5

As a retired army officer and an adjunct history professor I thought it was important to review what I consider the best war movies depicting the challenges of leadership and the command of men.
 
Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" depicts the futility and irony of the war in the trenches in WWI.   French battalion commander Col. Dax (Kirk Douglas) must deal with the mutiny of his men and a glory-seeking general after part of his force falls back under fire in an impossible attack.  In this mesmerizing film, the director Kubrick (one of the best) highlights a true episode in World War I which combines the idea that class differences are more important than national differences with the cannon-fodder theory of war, the theory that soldiers are merely pawns in the hands of generals who play at war as if it were a game of chess.  

I am a huge WW I buff and I impress upon my students the criminal neglect of the British and French generals to properly lead their men.  They lost over 60,000 men in the first day of battle in the Somme.  The Viet Nam wall has 55,000 names of the men we lost in over 10 years fighting.  That was the scale of the gross failure of leadership depicted in this very important film!!!
 

When the leadership at the top is rotten!!! When the leadership at the top is rotten!!!

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August 15, 2010
a movie by Kubrick and I haven't even seen it yet? ...I wanna beat myself up so bad...Thanks for sharing!
August 15, 2010
Oh yeah, another of his social commentary movies. It happened to be one of Kirk Douglas" favorite roles along with his portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh.
 
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More Paths of Glory reviews
Quick Tip by . September 02, 2010
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As a retired army officer and an adjunct history professor I thought it was important to review what I consider the best war movies depicting the challenges of leadership and the command of men.       Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" depicts the futility and irony of the war in the trenches in WWI.   French battalion commander Col. Dax (Kirk Douglas) must deal with the mutiny of his men and a glory-seeking general after part of his force falls back …
review by . May 08, 2009
I saw this film in a college course on film and I realize why. It is one of the best directed films ever made. The black and white works to perfection. This is my favorite Kirk Douglas film about the French military during WWI. A group of French soldiers are sent on an impossible mission. When they obviously fail, the General afraid of losing face for a stupid decision, decides to court martial some of the soldiers as a punishment. Three soldiers are singled out. One obviously fought very bravely …
review by . May 08, 2009
Paths of Glory (1957) has to be one of the greatest anti-war films ever made. The cast is excellent, everyone from Kirk Douglas to Timothy Carey Jr. (who steals the show). Stanley Kubrick solidifies his directorial career with this film. Their would be no turning back for this young and head strong film maker who directs a very compelling anti-war movie.    During World War I, the French are losing ground to the Germans. The pompous French generals only care about glory and the …
About the reviewer
Michael Neulander ()
Ranked #39
Recently graduated with a Masters in Humanities degree from Old Dominion University reading in philosophy and history. I graduated from the Univ. of Miami in 1980 with a B.A. in Political Science; specializing … more
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Director: Stanley Kubrick
Genre: War, Drama, Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 25, 1957
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 87 minutes
Studio: Bryna Productions
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