Paths of Glory
Kubrick shot onto the A-list with Paths of Glory, a scathing antiwar indictment. The film marks Kubrick’s first opportunity to direct a bona-fide star (Kirk Douglas) as well as seasoned Hollywood veterans such as Adolphe Menjou. Set on the frontlines of World War I and based on a true story, Kubrick’s film excoriates the gross inequalities between the French officer class and the rank-and-file soldiers they command. Kubrick underlines this disparity by having the top brass determine the soldiers’ fate from a baronial chateau (a Munich mansion later used by Alain Resnais as the setting for Last Year at Marienbad), while Douglas and his men face the grit and terror of a volatile battlefield. Douglas gives a bare-knuckle performance as the valiant Colonel Dax, who, caught in a power play between generals Broulard (Menjou) and Mireau (George Macready), must defend his regiment against charges of cowardice and possible execution by firing line. The film culminates with an affecting coda as a terrified German captive’s song (Susanne Christian, whom Kubrick would marry soon after) silences a tavern full of raucous French soldiers. Banned in France and Switzerland for two decades, Paths of Glory firmly established Kubrick’s as a major American filmmaker.
Bing Theater | Followed by a free screening of the brand-new short documentary Stanley Kubrick In Focus (2012/color and b&w/29 min./HD).
$10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members and Academy members with valid ID. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.
35mm preserved print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funded by The Film Foundation & the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.