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Paths Of Glory (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000035852
Added by: Chris Cox
Added on: 18/6/2002 02:48
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    Review of Paths Of Glory

    6 / 10


    Stanley Kubrick was one of the most highly regarded director`s in the history of cinema, and also one of the least prolific, directing just 16 films in a 48 year career. Whilst Kubrick will always be remembered for Lolita, 2001, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, other movies like Paths of Glory, although perhaps less well known, are regarded as amongst the best of their genre.

    Paths of Glory is set during World War 1, The Great War, which is infamous for unnecessary bloodshed as Generals ordered more and more men over the top of their trenches to almost certain death. Often tens of thousands of men died for the sake of a few feet of ground. The film tells the story of an aborted attempt to take enemy territory that leads to the court martial of three soldiers.


    The video is presented in black and white 1.33:1 full-frame, and is probably what you would expect from a 1957 movie, now 45 years old, with uneven contrast at times, plenty of grain and limited detail. The print is, however, surprisingly free from grain. The image is a little dark at times, with dark shadows evident in most scenes.

    Most war films nowadays concentrate on World War 2, so it`s a refreshing change to see a movie about the Great War, particularly one that features a large scale recreation of a trench and battlefield that can stand alongside most modern war movies in terms of authenticity.


    The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital Mono, and, as you would expect from a film made long before anybody thought of surround sound, provides functional reproduction of the dialogue and sound effects without offering any excitement.

    The dialogue is clear and understandable at all times.


    The only extra is the film`s original trailer, which is accessed through the functional menus.


    Paths of Glory is a very highly regarded film which has stood the test of time thanks to having a true great at the helm. All to many early war films made the battlefield look like a nice place to be if you were on the Allies` side - Paths of Glory makes it very clear from the start, that the trenches of World War 1 and the battles that took place when men went over the top where quite the opposite - very unpleasant and deadly.

    The cinematography is superb, the long slow pans through the trenches showing the misery of the men inside, the long pans across battlefields showing hundreds of men slowing advancing into vicious resistance and almost certain death. The fact that the generals expected to lose 5% of their men to their own artillery barrage during the battle, and that this was deemed to be an acceptable situation, brings home the horror of the war.

    The film is gripping from start to finish, with excellent performances across the board, as the story of the abortive attack and subsequent court martial is told.

    The picture and sound quality are average but perfectly acceptable, and the extras minimal, but the film is superb.

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