The scene [in Paths of Glory] when the three men are served their last meal racked up an enormous amount of takes due to the unorthodox acting methods of Timothy Carey, who continued to surprise the camera with unexpected gestures and facial manipulations. The shot in which the men grab at the duck dinner that is to be their last, took up to sixty-eight takes. If the take was aborted before the duck was ripped apart by the desperate men it could be used for the next take. If it had already been destroyed, a new duck was readied for the next take. “Timothy Carey just couldn’t do the same thing twice, either deliberately or unconsciously,” Kubrick told Rolling Stone. “He had to eat this meal in a prison cell and every take required an untouched duck.”
[…] The film is filled with sharply drawn characterizations – especially by Ralph Meeker, Joe Turkel, and the irrepressible Timothy Carey as the doomed soldiers.
– Vincent LoBrutto, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (Donald I. Fine Books, 1997)