In a nutshell... When soldiers in World War I refuse to continue with an impossible attack, their superior officers decide to make an example of them.
Contrary to what some reviewers have written, Paths of Glory was never banned in France, merely ‘withdrawn from circulation’ until 1975, but that was enough to prompt me to watch it. I’m very pleased I did because with this film Stanley Kubrick achieves that rare feat of making a genuinely anti-war war movie. Paths of Glory is the best film I’ve ever seen about the First World War.
Paths of Glory is pitch-perfect, with no extraneous scene or off-key moment, remarkable in its simplicity and told with a brutal economy of expression. You can sense the anger in the telling.
French soldiers speaking in colloquial English with American accents is going to ruin it for you.