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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An early critical test of Stanley Kubrick's obsession with control on the set came during the making of this film, as recalled by Kirk Douglas: "He made the veteran actor Adolphe Menjou do the same scene 17 times. 'That was my best reading,' Menjou announced. 'I think we can break for lunch now.' It was well past the usual lunch time but Kubrick said he wanted another take. Menjou went into an absolute fury. In front of Douglas and the entire crew he blasted off on what he claimed was Kubrick's dubious parentage, and made several other unprintable references to Kubrick's relative greenness in the art of directing actors. Kubrick merely listened calmly, and, after Menjou had spluttered to an uncomplimentary conclusion, said quietly, 'All right, let's try the scene once more.' With utter docility, Menjou went back to work. Stanley instinctively knew what to do". See more »
Camera wire visible in few shots where the prisoners are being taken to their execution spot. See more »
Narrator of opening sequence:
War began between Germany and France on August 3rd 1914. Five weeks later the German army had smashed its way to within eighteen miles of Paris. There the battered French miraculously rallied their forces at the Marne River and in a series of unexpected counterattacks drove the Germans back. The front was stabilized then shortly afterwards developed into a continuous line of heavily fortified trenches zigzagging their way five hundred miles from the English Channel to the Swiss ...
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In France, in the First World War, the insane and ambitious general Gen. Paul Mireau (George Macready) orders Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) to lead his men in a suicide attack against Germans in the unattainable Ant Hill. After a massacre of the French soldiers, Gen. Mireau orders his artillery to drop bombs between the French front line of attack and the trenches, to avoid the soldier to return to the protection of the trenches. The commander of the French artillery refuses to accomplish the order. Gen. Mireau asks his superior, Gen. George Broulard (Adolphe Menjou), to send three men to Court Martial and execute them for cowardice through shooting, as an example to the other soldiers. Colonel Dax, a former lawyer, defends his men in the unfair trial. Yesterday I watched this outstanding masterpiece for the first time and certainly it is among the best movies of the cinema history. The disgusting story shows the insanity of a war, where men are treated like numbers and not as human beings. The reality of the battles scenes is amazing. The cast has a stunning performance, highlighting the trio George Macready, Adolphe Menjou and Kirk Douglas. The lack of sensibility and respect for the human life and the cynicism in the dialogs of the two generals are fantastic. Two other points that called my attention are the fancy reception for the general staff, while their subalterns are fighting in the front and the misunderstanding of the real intentions of Colonel Dax by Gen. George Broulard. A must-see movie! My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): `Glória Feita de Sangue' (`Glory Made of Blood')
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