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Paths Of Glory

1957, directed by Stanley Kubrick

Paths Of Glory – Synopsis

Set in France during the long years of World War 1, the story begins with general Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) ordering general Mireau (George Macready) to send his troops up the infamous „Ant Hill“. Mireau is aware of the fact that this would be a hopeless and suicidal task, but finally sacrifices his men in order to get a promotion.
So he tells Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) to attack the hill and of course, it results in a massacre and high losses.
Witnessing their comrades being slaughtered, a handful of soldiers refuses to move out of the trenches, whereupon Mireau – furious about his resigning troops – orders to open friendly fire on them. As soon as this fails too, he demands the selection of three soldiers by lots, which are going to be executed the next morning.
Colonel Dax tries to save their lives acting as a defense attorney but none of the generals seem to care about his complaints. As a last try Dax tells Broulard about Mireau's attempts on friendly fire, but his words are ignored and the three soldiers are executed according to the plan.

The final scene shows Dax's troops cheering and mocking a German female singer. As she starts to sing the men get all quiet and calm, slowly joining her singing, some of them openly weeping. A few minutes later they have to move back to the front.

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