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Directed by Stanley Kubrick

United States 1957 88 mins.

Kubrick’s classic tale of corrupted leadership and the farce of legal proceedings during wartime (WWI) strikes resonance today through its portrait of average soldiers who must pay the price for their superiors’ malfeasance. Led by Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas in one of his finest roles as the moral compass of the film), the French 701st regiment has been ordered into a suicide mission, the intention of which is to attack a heavily fortified German position across a barren no-man’s-land. When this attack fails, leaving scores of soldiers dead or severely wounded, the ordering officers, Generals Broulard and Mireau (Adolphe Menjou and George Macready) try to cover their tracks and divert blame, eventually setting up a kangaroo court which will sentence their own men to death.

Genres: War, Drama

Appears in: World War I on Film