In the French front lines of World War I, after giving the order for an impossible and disastrous mission to capture a nearby stronghold, the upper ranks move to save face by having three randomly selected soldiers held and tried for cowardice under pain of death. Their leader, Colonel Dax (in a fabulous performance by Kirk Douglas) a former lawyer in civilian life, handles their defence against overwhelming odds.
Stanley Kubrick has been called a genius by many and looking at his filmography it is hard to argue. This early epic is probably one of the best anti-war films ever made and calls into question so many things that were wrong with the war itself and the command who drove many men to certain death.
It is the total opposite of the John Wayne type films of heroes and villains as war is shown as being dirty, horrific and at times pointless. Harrowing and distressing at times the film has certainly stood the test of time well with superb performances from all the cast.
The Blu ray released by Eureka has a superb 1080p picture and looks like the same master used as the Criterion release in the USA. Detail is good and black levels solid, the clean up remaster has rid the film of scratches and any other marks giving a totally enjoyable viewing experience.
Audio is English lossless mono and is crisp and clean with no problems whatsoever as dialogue and effects are clear and solid.
There are a few extras on this release as follows:
- New video interview with Kubrick scholar Peter Kramer
- New video interview with filmmaker Richard Ayoade
- New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
- Original theatrical trailer
- Isolated music & effects track
- A booklet featuring the words of Kubrick
A classic film that should be shown to all history classes at an early age of what the first world war was really like for most soldiers taking part. With a great transfer and solid extras, this is totally recommended.
FILM: 8.5 PICTURE : 9 AUDIO: 7 EXTRAS: 7.5