This scene between Kirk Douglas and Adolphe Menjou in Paths of Glory is great because of two things that aren’t quite right. One, the fact that Douglas barely has the air to finish “and you can go to hell before I apologize to you now or ever again!” (an acting no-no) makes it even better than if he hadn’t run out of breath. And two, Menjou completely blows his line by saying “Colonel Dax, you will apologize at once or I shall be placed under arrest.” And yet Kubrick used it anyway. Until this moment nobody ever said boo.
This aside, Douglas’s delivery of the line “I may be many things but I’m not your boy” may be the finest acting moment of his career. He does it perfectly with the look of revulsion honed to a T.
A special screening of Paths of Glory happened in the Arclight a couple of nights ago. I ducked in at the very end and there were maybe 40 people seated.