Special Report

'Paths of Glory' Is the Best Movie About World War I

WWI was not one of America’s most celebrated wars. That distinction probably belongs to WWII or the Civil War. America, in the opinion of many, should not have been in the conflict at all. What was the benefit?

But, like every war of any consequence in which America has fought, WWI spawned a number of movies. The best among them is “Paths of Glory.”

“Paths of Glory” was made in 1957 by director Stanley Kubrick, who went on to earn a legendary reputation with films like “Dr. Strangelove” (1964) and “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). The movie starred one of America’s most famous film stars – Kirk Douglas, whose career lasted seven decades. (He numbers among the most nominated actors who never won an Oscar.)

“Paths of Glory” is both cynical and tragic. Several soldiers are charged with cowardice after a failed attack by French soldiers on German trenches. French generals decide someone must pay the price for the attack’s failure. Those to be tried, and without question convicted, are virtually chosen at random. Douglas’s character, Colonel Dax, a regimental commander during the war, is a famous lawyer in civilian life and he undertakes to defend them – knowing he has no chance to get an acquittal.

Here’s a list including other examples of the best movies about World War I.

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