PATHS OF GLORY
PRODUCED BY JAMES B. HARRIS/ KIRK DOUGLAS/ STANLEY KUBRICK
DIRECTED BY STANLEY KUBRICK
BRYNA PRODUCTIONS/ UNITED ARTISTS
Information from IMDb
The futility and irony of the war in the trenches in WWI
is shown as a unit commander in the French army
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.
Written by Keith Loh
Kirk Douglas ... Col. Dax
Ralph Meeker ... Cpl. Philippe Paris
Adolphe Menjou ... Gen. George Broulard
George Macready ... Gen. Paul Mireau
Wayne Morris ... Lt. Roget
Richard Anderson ... Maj. Saint-Auban
Joe Turkel ... Pvt. Pierre Arnaud (as Joseph Turkel)
Christiane Kubrick ... German Singer (as Susanne Christian)
Jerry Hausner ... Proprietor of Cafe
Peter Capell ... Narrator of Opening Sequence / Chief Judge of Court-Martial
Emile Meyer ... Father Dupree
Bert Freed ... Sgt. Boulanger
Kem Dibbs ... Pvt. Lejeune
Timothy Carey ... Pvt. Maurice Ferol
Fred Bell ... Shell-Shocked Soldier
John Stein ... Capt. Rousseau - Battery Commander
Harold Benedict ... Capt. Nichols - Artillery Spotter
Leon Briggs ... Capt. Sancy (uncredited)
Paul Bös ... Maj. Gouderc (uncredited)
Herbert Ellis ... Small Role (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Wally Friedrichs ... Col. De Guerville (uncredited)
Halder Hanson ... Doctor (uncredited)
James B. Harris ... Private in the Attack (uncredited)
Rolf Kralovitz ... K.P. (uncredited)
Ira Moore ... Capt. Renouart (uncredited)
Marshall Rainer ... Pvt. Duval (uncredited)
Roger Vagnoid ... Cafe Owner (uncredited)
Stanley Kubrick (screenplay) &
Calder Willingham (screenplay) and
Jim Thompson (screenplay)
Humphrey Cobb (based on the novel "Paths of Glory" by)
Although the story takes place on France's western front, Stanley Kubrick chose to shoot the film in and around Munich, Germany. Most interior scenes were filmed at Bavaria's Geiselgasteig Studios, and the court-martial scenes were shot in nearby Schleissheim Castle, an 18th-century structure then serving as a national museum. Just beyond this location is the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial.
For box office reasons, Stanley Kubrick intended to impose a happy ending. After several draft scripts he changed his mind and restored the novel's original ending. Producer James B. Harris then had to inform studio executive Max E. Youngstein and risk rejection of the change. Harris managed by simply having the entire final script delivered without a memo of the changes, on the assumption that nobody in the studio would actually read it.
Richard Burton and James Mason were considered for the part of Colonel Dax.
When Kirk Douglas was first approached for the role, he was committed to a Broadway play. Stanley Kubrick then met Gregory Peck in connection with How to Steal a Million; Peck was interested but was also unavailable. Douglas' play was postponed and then Peck also became available; Douglas got in first and got the part.
Director Stanley Kubrick met Christiane Kubrick (then Christiane Harlan) during filming; she performs the singing at the end of the film. He divorced his second wife the following year to marry her, and they remained married until his death in 1999.
The title is a quotation from Thomas Gray's 'Elegy written in a country churchyard': "The paths of glory lead but to the grave".
Was banned in France for its negative portrayal of the French army. Switzerland also banned the film (until 1978), accusing it of being "subversive propaganda directed at France." Belgium required that a foreword be added stating that the story represented an isolated case that did not reflect upon the "gallantry of the French soldiers."
In an early attempt to sell the project to a studio, Stanley Kubrick and producer James B. Harris rented military uniforms and gathered several male friends to pose for a photograph that would capture the essence of their story. They affixed the photo to the cover of each screenplay copy.
Stanley Kubrick, widely known as a perfectionist, shot 68 takes of the doomed men's "last meal" scene. Because the details of the scene required that the actors appear to be engaged in the act of eating, a new roast duck had to be prepared for almost every take.
Composer Gerald Fried actually created two main title themes for the movie. While most prints of the film features his arrangement of the French national anthem, "Marseillaise," another version opened with an original composition by Fried. The latter version was created for select European markets that might have taken offense at the anthem's use in a film so critical of France's military leadership.
Stanley Kubrick's numerous fluid tracking shots required that the trenches be two feet wider than the original World War I trenches - six feet as opposed to four feet - to allow room for the roving camera dollies. Although the technical director did object to the widening, the duckboards the camera rolled on were authentic.
The epic battle sequence was filmed in a 5,000-sq.-yd. pasture rented from a German farmer. After paying for the crops that would have been raised that season, the production team moved in with eight cranes and as many as 60 crew members working around the clock for three weeks to create trenches, shell holes and the rough, muddy terrain of a World War I battleground.
Special effects supervisor Erwin Lange was forced to appear before a special German government commission before he was permitted to acquire the huge number of explosives needed for the battle scenes. Over a ton of explosives were discharged in the first week of filming alone.
The French authorities considered the film an offense to the honor of their army and prohibited its exhibition in France until 1975. In Germany the film wasn't allowed to be shown for a couple of years after its release to avoid any strain in relations with France.
Col. Dax's headquarters was placed in a severely damaged building, which looks like it was hit by shells. This set was actually the old castle of Schleissheim, opposite the-18th century castle, used as the set for the court martial, etc. During WWII the factories near Schleissheim were hit by an air raid. Some bombs fell on the old castle, causing heavy damage. So Col. Dax's headquarters were not set up by the film crew, they were actually damaged by war.
Banned in Spain by the censorship under General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, for its anti-military message. It wasn't released until 1986, 11 years after Franco's death.
The film was shot near Munich, Germany, and most of the men playing French soldiers were actually off-duty officers from the Munich Police Department.
Kubrick and his partners purchased the film rights to Humphrey Cobb's novel from his widow for $10,000.
In 1969, Kirk Douglas recalled about the film "There's a picture that will always be good, years from now. I don't have to wait 50 years to know that; I know it now".
Kubrick's working with Kirk Douglas on this film directly led to him replacing Anthony Mann as director of Spartacus in 1960. Mann and Douglas had had a falling out on the production of that film so Douglas asked for Kubrick to direct.
Stanley Kubrick approached Kirk Douglas with the script. Douglas instantly fell in love with it, telling Kubrick "Stanley, I don't think this picture will ever make a nickel, but we have to make it." Douglas's words proved to be quite prophetic - the film was not a success at the box office.
Shot for under $1 million, $300,000 of which went on Kirk Douglas' salary.
Winston Churchill claimed that the film was a highly accurate depiction of trench warfare and the sometimes misguided workings of the military mind.
Kem Dibbs is credited as a cast member in the opening credits, but is omitted in the more comprehensive end credits. Therefore, the opening credits are listed first and the rest of cast list is taken from the end credits, as required by IMDb rules.
Actor Richard Anderson remembered, "The trench was gruesome. It just reeked, and then the weather was so lousy - it was cold, it was freezing and overcast and gray. We were all sick. We all had colds, we were all sick from the first week. We all looked awful, but it certainly added to the movie."
The prison scene where the men discuss their fates ran overtime on a Saturday. Stanley Kubrick could not get what he wanted, and producer James B. Harris came to the set to tell the director after take 63 that overtime was not allowed in Germany. Kubrick resisted stopping in a rare show of temper. He finally got what he wanted by take 74.
According to Robert Osbourne, this film was said to be the favorite war film of John McCain.
At the end of the film, when the German girl sings, there are modern (1950s) metal music stands on the stage.
Boom mic visible
During the first tracking with Dax in the trenches, the shadow of a boom-mike is visible.
Near the beginning of the film Private Ferol, when asked by General Mireau, states that he has no wife - but while walking to the firing squad is crying on the shoulder of the priest that he will never see his wife again.
The priest says "et spiritui sancti" instead of the correct "et spiritus sancti".
In the scenes of the men's executions the sky repeatedly shifts between gray and overcast in some shots to bright sunshine in others, noticeably changing the natural light, causing shadows and sun glare to appear and disappear from shot to shot.
After General Mireau slaps the soldier in the trench, he continues on to Colonel Dax's dugout and and three soldiers carrying a machine gun pass him. The same three soldiers still with the machine gun pass him again when he and Colonel Dax are looking at the Ant Hill through the binoculars.
After the court martial, as the sergeant is addressing the guards describing the procedure and discipline required of the firing squad, the last guard in the rank has a "710" regiment number collar pin whereas all of the others (and those in Colonel Dax's regiment) have a "701".
Crew or equipment visible
Camera wire visible in few shots where the prisoners are being taken to their execution spot.
As Colonel Dax is running through the trenches after General Mireau gives his order, a supposedly-dead soldier blin
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Bavaria Filmstudios, Geiselgasteig, Grünwald, Bavaria, Germany
Bernried, Weilheim-Schongau, Bavaria, Germany
Pacaria-Filmkunst Studios, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Schleissheim Palace, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
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