★★★★/ 35mm / Kubrick’s brilliant film, begins on the battlefield, men trapped in bunkers, the constant roar of bombs, soldiers terrified, senseless slaughter, turns into a surreal courtroom drama, revealing the absurdities of war. Kubrick creates stunning moments, trailing Douglas through the bunkers, the failed attack, the garish ballroom dance, the slow walk toward execution, the soldiers singing through tears.
Kubrick's visual style emerges fully formed, with his tracks and deep focus compositions intact, but the humanity what impresses. Each vignette advances the theme of process: war is killing, this is what it takes to kill a man this is what you have to do, this is how such decisions are made, and this is how people feel. To shamelessly steal from Ebert: Kubrick made many great films; but this one is perfect.
Great film, and one of my favorites from Kubrick. The war scenes are perfect in their obscurity, rather capturing the agonizing nature of the battle. Few films, if any, are as great at capturing not the violence of war, but the sinister moments of silence on the battlefield. And that's only a part of what makes this film amazing. Simple, as in not explicit. Not simplistic.
3-3.5. It's beautifully shot and works a lot of little details in to shame the military-industrial complex, but at the same time, it's relatively simple, and its bluntness feels characteristic of both Kubrick and political dramas made at the time. That being said, it is moving, and humanistically agreeable (I especially liked the end scene, even if the arcing was a little quick). Even 50s Kubrick was pretty liberal.
I might offer Paths as contender for the leanest film ever made. Both watches I've had a similar experience: it begins and I'm reticent, pushing against the stuffy old guys talking shop. Within a few frames of shirtless Kirk I'm enticed, the wit slicing through the lines. By its end I'm angry and moved, and amazed at a concise and heroic technical feat that feels both indie and epic.
Vanity. Career. Carelessness. Decision making against better knowledge. That is war about. If you have Generals & Commanders like these, you don't need enemies anymore. Outstanding movie in all aspects: very well written dialogues, brilliant actors, top camera. Stanley Kubrick's early work. Masterpiece.
difficile da dimenticare e di rara potenza la camminata impetuosa di kirk douglas nella trincia mentre impazzano le esplosioni e i soldati tra la polvere si schiacciano contro le mura di fango.spesso ci si dimentica quanto vasto, sfaccettato, inquietante sia l'animo umano e questo film ce lo ricorda crudelmente. no happy ending questa volta, no glory, difficile uscirne vivi, figuratevi puliti.
Sharp, tough, smart anti-war movie - fascinating, provocative premise; top-notch writing; an all-around great cast performance; beautiful, harrowing directing. Just an all around damn good movie, so why doesn't it get a higher rating? I don't know. I feel like I should have *loved* it, but somehow I "only" really, really liked it. This one gets a very strong B.
After watching this I'm of the belief that Kubrick wasn't really interested (or didn't know what to do) with actors. His best work is written and produced by himself - here is that rare glimpse of him working in the studio system. There's a lot of wooden performances, made worse by strange and frenetic blocking by the director. The script is a very preachy. Having said that - those Kubrick shots still creep in.