Video Release: April 1, 2014
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Criterion Collection
- Runtime: 88 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in English
Stanley Kubrick's critically acclaimed film about the futility of war; the story is derived from a novel that recounts an actual incident. On the French Front during World War I, a group of soldiers advance only a few yards in a futile attempt to attack an impregnable German stronghold. The general who ordered the attack, angered at their failure, commands his own artillery to fire on the men. The officer in charge refuses to do so, and to set an example, the hysterical general arbitrarily chooses three men to be court-martialed for cowardice. The colonel in charge of the men defends them, but to no avail: they are sentenced and executed.
A French general orders his men to attack an obviously impenetrable German position and accuses them of cowardice when the attack fails. To soothe his wounded vanity, three men are picked at random to stand trial and face the firing squad.
The film was banned in France when it was originally released. An independent production, French theorist/critic Georges Sadoul considers it one of the best films made in the fifties. Kubrick claims to have read the book by Cobb when he was 15. His aim with the film was to make an antiwar statement. Shot at Bavarian Filmkunst Studios, Munich, Germany. Bryna Productions is Kirk Douglas' production company. Baron v. Waldenfels served as the military adviser. Copyright 1957, Harris-Kubrick Pictures Corporation.