W: Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham & Jim
Thompson [based on the novel by Humphrey Cobb]
DP: Georg Krause
Ed: Eva Kroll
Mus: Gerald Fried
Kirk Douglas (Col. Dax), Ralph Meeker (Cpl.
Paris), Adolphe Menjou (Gen. Broulard), George Macready (Gen. Mireau), Wayne Morris (Lt. Roget), Richard Anderson (Maj. Saint-Auban), Joseph Turkel (Pvt.
Arnaud), Timothy Carey (Pvt. Ferol)
One of the finest anti-war films ever made, meticulously
directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Set in 1916, three French officers are court-martialled
for cowardice. A crime for which they'll face death by firing squad.
This powerful melodrama begins in the battlefields &
the trenches, with the most vivid scenes captured on film for its time. The final half of the film focuses on the plight of the soldiers with a subplot of incompetence & corruption
amongst the more decorated officers, who would never be made culpable for the failed mission.
The performances of the cast are fantastic, with the trio
who play the doomed soldiers especially gut-wrenching. Kubrick actually broke ground by filming in real-life locations, clearly inspired by French new wave filmmaking around the same
time, and though this posed problems with sound recording and lighting, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was a relatively smooth shoot. The photography, set design and direction work very
The final 5 minutes should leave a tear in the eye of even
the hardest of hearts.