A film by Stanley Kubric
Cast: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou
This film was banned in France (until 1975) for its negative portrayal of the French army. Switzerland also banned the film (until 1978), accusing it of being “subversive propaganda directed at France. Right there already there was this big splash at this war film directed by Stan Kubric. Kirk Douglas fell in love with the script and told Kubric that the film was not going to make any money but we have to make it, and he was right there was poor attendance at the movie theaters. One good thing happen in this film is that Kubric fell in love with Christiane Harlan the german girl who sing at the end in the bar. He married her until his death in 1999. Here is the thing you have a bunch of soldier who has one mission to take the hill on the other side the thing is the odd are against them, the percentage of them coming back are very small. When the first wave of soldier is barely making a wave and getting killed, the second wave is still in the trenches and refuse to move. Which is going to bring them to a court marshall and some of the soldier will be make of an example. Douglas performance stand out, he plays the colonel Dax who is trying to defend his men. You will see Dax on an inspection tour in the trenches who are muddy and long miles of it it seems. Then you see 3 men crawling trough out dead bodies, mud, and more dead bodies. Kubrick wanted to show the atrocity of war, what do human do to others. It is an anti war film at is best and aims straight are at emotion, it will make you think. Thank god he filmed it in black and white that is the correct choice. Kubrick shot it like a film noir . The cinematography is her perfect even the lighting. The German girl who was frightening to sing as she finally started singing and the crowed of soldier slowly quiet down is a powerful scene, rubric made sure to get some close up of some of the soldiers humming the song. A beautiful scene to end a great film.