Paths of Glory Message Board
Christine posts a message on 4/15/2005 12:18:15 PM
I thought the acting in this movie was far better than some of the other war movies of the same time.
Jared Federman posts a message on 4/15/2005 11:06:20 AM
After watching Paths of Glory, I gained new insight on the ideas of the "evil" side of the military, a better understanding of what those under the rule of an egotistical superior might endure and the mindset of one who is blinded by their thirst for power. This film shows Stanley Kubrick excellence in portraying this concealed side of military life. Of the many incidents exhibiting General Broulard's inhumanity and injustice, the greatest of which appeared inside the courtroom where the "chosen few" were being tried under penalty of death, for "cowardice" and failure to "obey" orders. During the court marshal proceedings, there wasn't a court stenograph, allowing the incident to be hidden from the world and impossible to ever look back to. Also, no witnesses were allowed, unless they would testify against the prosecuted, yet it is through witnesses that one can prove their innocence. Also, rules and regulations were designed to execute any soldier who disobeyed them, for example cowardice, failure to single-handedly advance through the enemy line of thousands and “hold the fort” until help arrived and inability to continue forward amidst a state on unconsciousness. In addition, the prosecutor would use the soldiers as an inhumane example to improve morale, by having the other soldiers observe the executions, of which one needed to be tied from his stretcher to the posts to be “properly” killed. Even Gen. Broulard's remark “your men died well” showed his apathy towards others and careless attitude towards his “children.” These men were treated as pawns on a large map, with their masters sending them on suicide missions and greeting them with a cold “you didn't try” after returning from a failed attack. The staggering losses and casualties left on the battlefield alone were proof enough to anyone who would listen that a bold attempt was truly made by the soldiers. Yet there are those who are blind to the thought of the immense consequences of poor decisions and treat their “childlike” minions without proper care. A true parent would look out for their children's best interests and provide them with everything they we able to. Yet as a parent it is right to make examples of ones "children" when they are bad and shoot half of them whenever possible, to show them what they did was wrong and to inspire them to follow future orders they may have planned for them. Being so true and applicable to many incidents and occurrences, Paths of Glory captured the ideas of how injustice is dealt to those who try their best, but ultimately fail in the eyes of those who dictate instead of perform.
Tim Farnsworth posts a message on 4/15/2005 7:42:41 AM
My experience watching Paths of Glory was in part much like others, sad and sympathetic for the soldiers who are executed just to make an example. Especially when they had not demonstrated cowardice. You find yourself anticipating that Kurt Duglass's character is going to find a way at the last minute to save the men, but it doesn't happen. The three men are shot by a firing squad lead by a true coward. Paths of Glory was trying to demonstrate the fear that many soldiers had and that those incharge only wanted to achieve one thing, victory at all cost. Now the audience watching this movie would say "how ridiculous, to kill three innocent people, because a whole group of soldiers were scared." I found myself saying the same thing, but then I began to think about it. If soldiers were to continuely disobey orders given to them, then the unit would never succeed, and the war would be lost. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is okay to execute someone because of his/her fears. But, now looking at the movie, I believe Paths of Glory goes to far in trying to demonstrate the idiocy of war. We have to remember that when it comes to war unit cohesion and unit obedience are essential in staying alive. I have sympathy for those who find out that the army is not for them, but I also understand how important it is to have rules and obey orders. Where would we be if Ulysses Grants' soldiers refused to fight at Gettysburg and how much longer would the Civil War had gone on. The military, and war, are not made for everyone, that is why a volunteer system is better then a draft.
Just some thoughts.
Larkin Duelge posts a message on 4/13/2005 8:41:36 PM
While some people watch this movie and look in disbelief, I watch it thinking “O how true”. I have been in the Army for over six years and my husband for five. Between the two of us, it seems we have been “executed” a few times for figuratively drawing the paper with the X. However, the army is not the only occupation that uses this method of example making.
The movie is set in WWI in the trenches. One soldier suffers from shell shock, but is sent away because he is told he is weak. We know now that shell shock is real, as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Even for such a brief moment in this movie, this stuck out for me. At the time it was thought of as an excuse or weakness, but it is amazing when we look back and see what we have learned.
I look at this movie and get frustrated. I am so angered that the court will not hear the defense side. I mean, HELLO, the man was knocked on conscious- of course he didn't move forward. Another man was so unfortunate as to get the X on the paper. An example needed to be made, but this is not a slap on the wrist- it is death. I found myself wanting to yell at the screen of the TV, “NO- it's not their fault…. You are going to kill them because of some guy on a power trip” and a few other choice thoughts.
I felt so bad for the grown man crying as he is sent to his death. I have a soft spot for grown men crying. Especially since this was not his fault. All the injustice in the world where murderers go free and these men are dying for little more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
MovieFreak posts a message on 4/13/2005 11:21:14 AM
By indulging himself in his final emotional outburst against General Broulard, doesn't Dax endanger the men he has claimed such an interest in protecting? Certainly, they are ordered back to the front directly after Dax's emotionally satisfying by politically suicidal rebuff of the Machiavellian Broulard.
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the posters.