"Paths of Glory" (1957) - Stanley Kubrick

Paths of Glory is a powerful masterpiece. I watched this film again last night, it's been a while since I've seen it, but it it had the same impact on me like the first time I saw it. I'm going to say that this is one of the greatest war films of all time. Well, to be exact, it is the greatest Anti-war films of all time!

The movie is set in 1916 during World War I and focuses on the inner workings and politics of military officers on the front line. After being sent on a suicide mission, a General in the French Army calls upon on the execution of 3 soldiers on charges of mutiny and cowardice. The movie unfolds in similar fashion as Kubrick's 1987 Full Metal Jacket in 2 distinct parts - the first half of the film set in the battlefield and the trenches of war, while the second half deals with the court marshall and politics of the accused soldiers.

The film is loosely based on the 1935 novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb, which was based on newspaper accounts about damages paid by the French government for unwarranted executions of soldiers. The film was banned for twenty years in France because of this controversial indictment of the French military.

Shot in glorious black and white by George Krause, masterfully directed by Kubrick with an incredible performance by Kirk Douglas, this film gives an unsentimental and powerful view of war. WATCH IT!

***** NEWSFLASH ***** from The Guardian(UK) guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 14 April 2010 12.03 BST:


Lunatics at Large, abandoned by legendary director in the early 1960s set for big screen, with Johansson and Sam Rockwell to star.

Among the discarded projects of the famously fastidious Stanley Kubrick are "lost" movies about Napoleon Bonaparte, the Holocaust and the American civil war. Now, 11 years after his death, a treatment by the legendary film-maker titled Lunatic at Large looks set to make it to the big screen, with Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell attached to star.

Production Weekly broke the news on Twitter last night, reporting that the project is based on an original story by Kubrick and pulp writer Jim Thompson. The film-maker was set to shoot the movie in the early 1960s, but withdrew after being offered the chance to direct Roman epic Spartacus by its star, Kirk Douglas.

Thompson and Kubrick's work was completed in the late 50s, and the film is set in 1956 New York. It centres on an ex-carnival worker with serious anger-management issues and a nervous, attractive barfly he picks up.

The movie's central conceit is that the audience must try to work out which of the characters is an axe murderer escaped from an asylum. Kubrick's son-in-law, Philip Hobbs, unearthed the misplaced treatment in 1999 when rummaging through items from the late film-maker's estate. "I knew what it was right away," he told the New York Times. "Because I remember Stanley talking about Lunatic. He was always saying he wished he knew where it was, because it was such a great idea."

Kubrick directed 13 films during his 46-year career, and often worked on projects that never made it to the final stage of production. Lunatic at Large is not be the first to be completed after his death – in 2001 Steven Spielberg directed AI, Artificial Intelligence, a science-fiction tale based on Kubrick's collaboration with writer Brian Aldiss.

According to the New York Times, Kubrick and Thompson's treatment features scenes in which a newsboy flashes a portentous headline, and a car chases over a railroad crossing with a train bearing down. There is also a romantic interlude in a spooky, deserted mountain lodge, and the great set piece is a night-time carnival sequence in which we encounter a number of sideshow "freaks", including the Alligator Man, the Mule-Faced Woman, the Midget Monkey Girl and the Human Blockhead, a man with a head full of nails.