Paths of Glory

When: Sat., April 13, 2 p.m. 2013

Arguably the greatest anti-war film ever made, Stanley Kubrick's 1957 masterpiece feels like a mule kick to the stomach no matter how many times a person has seen it. It’s World War I, and a French outfit led by the courageous and honorable Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) is ordered by a pair of glory-seeking generals (Adolphe Menjou and George Macready) to embark on a suicide attack against an impregnable German position. The mission naturally fails, and to cover up their own ineptitude, the generals order the random selection of three survivors (Ralph Meeker, Timothy Carey and Joe Turkel) to serve as scapegoats, charged with cowardice and marked for execution. It's up to Dax, a lawyer in civilian life, to defend the trio against the heinous — and fraudulent — charges. Kubrick's devastating parable takes an unflinching look at how the common man will always emerge as the victim of the bureaucratic machinations of self-indulgent leaders. Not surprisingly, the film was banned in France for nearly two decades (although its message of course applies to all nations).

Matt Brunson

Price: Free admission

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