Quotes from the Movie Paths of Glory

If any soldiers in the world can take it, we'll take the Ant Hill.

Colonel Dax

Stick to the stories you've told me, and don't let the prosecutor shake you out of them. Now remember, you'll be soldiers in the presence of superior officers, so act like what you are - soldiers! - and brave ones at that...When you answer questions, look the judges in the eye, don't whine, plead, or make speeches. That's my job. Simple statements, short, but make them so they can be heard all over the room and try not to repeat yourselves. I'll do that for you when I sum up.

Colonel Dax

There are times when I am ashamed to be a member of the human race and this is one such occasion...I protest against being prevented from introducing evidence that I consider vital to the defense, the prosecution presented no witnesses, there has never been a written indictment of charges made against the defendants, and lastly, I protest against the fact that no stenographic record of this trial has been kept. The attack yesterday morning was no stain on the honor of France, but this court-martial is such a stain...Gentlemen of the court, to find these men guilty will be a crime to haunt each of you to the day you die. I can't believe that the noblest impulse in man, his compassion for another, can be completely dead here. Therefore, I humbly beg you to show mercy to these men.

Colonel Dax

What would your, er, newspapers and your politicians do with that?...you are in a difficult position. Too much has happened. Someone's got to be hurt. The only question is who. General Mireau's assault on the Ant Hill failed. His order to fire on his own troops was refused. But his attempt to murder three innocent men to protect his own reputation will be prevented by the General's staff.

Colonel Dax

It's out of the question, George. Absolutely out of the question. My division was cut to pieces. What's left of it is in no position to even hold the Ant Hill, let alone take it. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.

General Paul Mireau

Nothing is beyond those men once their fighting spirit is aroused...We might just do it!

General Paul Mireau

Hello there soldier, ready to kill more Germans?

General Paul Mireau

Looking over your rifle, I see? Well, that's the way. It's a soldier's best friend. You be good to it and it will always be good to you.

General Paul Mireau

Naturally, men are gonna have to be killed, possibly a lot of them. They'll absorb bullets and shrapnel, and by doing so make it possible for others to get through...say five percent killed by our own barrage - that's a very generous allowance. Ten percent more again in no man's land, and twenty percent more again into the wire. That leaves sixty-five percent, and the worst part of the job over. Let's say another twenty-five percent in actually taking the Ant Hill - we're still left with a force more than adequate to hold it.

General Paul Mireau

Miserable cowards, they're not advancing...they're still in the trenches!

General Paul Mireau

If those little sweethearts won't face German bullets, they'll face French ones!

General Paul Mireau

In cases like this, shells falling short, I-I always try to avoid an inquiry. It gets around among the men and makes a bad impression. Now, shelving will be the best discipline for him in my opinion.

General Paul Mireau

Get off this fancy talk with me, do you understand? Colonel Broulard seemed to think you were funny. I don't. I want you to drop this affair...Colonel Dax, when this mess is cleaned up, I'll break you...I'll ruin you. And it'll be just what you deserve, showing such little loyalty to your commanding officer.

General Paul Mireau

You're making me the goat. The only completely innocent man in this whole affair. I have only one last thing to say to you, George. The man you stabbed in the back is a soldier.

General Paul Mireau

Maybe the attack against the Ant Hill was impossible. Perhaps it was an error of judgment on our part. On the other hand, if your men had been a little more daring, you might have taken it. Who knows? Why should we have to bear more criticism and failure than we have to?...These executions will be a perfect tonic for the entire division. There are few things more fundamentally encouraging and stimulating than seeing someone else die...You see, Colonel, troops are like children. Just as a child wants his father to be firm, troops crave discipline. And one way to maintain discipline is to shoot a man now and then.

General Broulard

Well, it had to be done. France cannot afford to have fools guiding her military destiny.

General Broulard

War began between Germany and France on August 3, 1914. Five weeks later, the German army had smashed its way to within 18 miles of Paris. There the battered French miraculously rallied their forces at the Marne River, and in a series of unexpected counterattacks, drove the Germans back. The Front was stabilized and shortly afterward developed into a continuous line of heavily fortified trenches zigzagging their way five hundred miles from the English Channel to the Swiss frontier. By 1916, after two grisly years of trench warfare, the battle lines had changed very little. Successful attacks were measured in hundreds of yards - and paid for in lives by hundreds of thousands.

Narrator

"It's impossible, sir. All the men are falling back.

Lt. Roget

This is a general courtmartial and we shall therefore dispense with unnecessary formalities. These men are charged with cowardice in the face of the enemy and will be tried for that offense... The indictment is lengthy and there's no point in reading it. The indictment is that the accused showed cowardice in the face of the enemy during the attack on the Ant Hill.

Judge

And I submit that the attack was a stain on the flag of France, a blot on the honor of every man, woman, and child in the French nation. It is to us that the sad, distressing, repellent duty falls, gentlemen. I ask this court to find the accused guilty...

Saint-Auban

What do I have to die for, Father?...I'm scared, I'm scared!

Ferol

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