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(Review originally written at 1 September 2010)

A Kubrick movie is always something unique. No matter if his movie got made in the '50's, '60's, '70's, '80's or '90's, it's always something special and also recognizable. His style throughout his movies and also the way of storytelling have been very consistent. It's a real accomplishment for any type of director to make successful and acclaimed movies over many different decades. "Paths of Glory" is one of his earliest movies, or at least it's one of his earliest truly recognized ones. It really shows some guts and confidence that he made this movie the way he did, while he wasn't even an established directing name at the time in Hollywood.

It's a bit of a daring and unique movie for its time really, that kicks against the military. It's a war movie without really being a war movie. It's more about humanity and is basically a story that could had been set at any given place at any given time. It actually has a quite simple little story in it, that becomes very effective through its characters and just overall way of storytelling.

It's not necessarily a movie about the madness of war but more about the madness of men. In a war its more a character movie than anything else really. So it also really helps the movie that it has such fine actors involved. It has Kirk Douglas in the lead but I enjoyed some of the supporting cast members even better. I particularly enjoyed Adolphe Menjou and Ralph Meeker. Adolphe Menjou was actually an old star from the silent movie era but in this movie he perhaps gives his best performance. Even the acting style in this movie is being quite unique and unusual for its time, like basically all Kubrick movies can be describes as, as well.

It's still a large scale looking and feeling movie, despite the fact that it doesn't really feature that many action or battle sequences. It's mostly due to the sets, directing approach and camera-handling. There are some trademark Kubrick looking moments in the movie, such as some long shots, moving camera's and interesting camera-angles.

It's not my favorite Kubrick movie and it's also not his best but it's still a more than great early, beautiful and intriguing compelling movie from the master.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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