search

Paths of Glory

Kubrick's Classic by Request

Paths of Glory
There is a perennial question: is there any such thing as an anti-war war movie? If it's screenable for our boys, it ain't anti-war. Sam Fuller made the useful distinction between those movies that smacked of "recruitment flavor" and those that didn't. And when it comes to recruitment flavor, Stanley Kubrick's 1957 Paths of Glory has a definite deficiency.

Kubrick's pitiless evocation of World War I's Western Front (based on Humphrey Cobb's 1935 novel, itself inspired by actual events footnoted in the book) demonstrates that the primary victim is the enlisted man.

There's a near mathematical logic to the scenario, and the cruelty is compounded by class.

Driven by ambition, a half-mad French general (George Macready) is persuaded by his oily superior (Adolphe Menjou) to undertake an impossible assault on an impregnable German position. In the heat of battle, the increasingly crazed general panics and—as the suicidal attack fails amid catastrophic casualties—orders the artillery to fire on the "cowards" under his command. Naturally, the general takes no responsibility for the debacle. Three of his men are selected, not quite at random, for court-martial, and despite a spirited defense by their colonel (the movie's star and producer Kirk Douglas), they're sentenced to death.

Stealing the show as one of the condemned is Brooklyn-born Timothy Carey, a self-taught Method actor (with a uniquely shambolic method). Carey's smirky drawl, inappropriate giggles, cud-chew line reading, and sobbing swan song contribute immeasurably to the movie's existential edge.

Paths of Glory was banned in France until 1975. But deliberately or not, everyone in the cast is so overwhelmingly American, you have to wonder how it would play in Washington today, or Iraq.

Paths of Glory

Wed April 12, 2006, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 1957, in English and German, B&W, 87 min

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cover art for Spring 2 2022
Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

Z-briefs
: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists