by Stanley Kubrick
based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb
. Set during World War I
, the film stars Kirk Douglas
as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French
soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack. Dax attempts to defend them against a charge of cowardice in a court-martial.
Cobb's novel had no title when it was finished, so the publisher held a contest.
If any soldiers in the world can take it, we'll take the Ant Hill.
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.
[to Broulard] 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.
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.
Nothing is beyond those men once their fighting spirit is aroused...We might just do it!
Hello there soldier, ready to kill more Germans?
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.
Miserable cowards, they're not advancing...they're still in the trenches!