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Two really intense and unique war films. Both leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth, although Apocalypse Now is more grand and Paths of Glory is more disturbing. There are images from both that have stayed in my head long after seeing them. I'm choosing Paths of Glory because it tells a story of equal impact, but in a much more concise and pure way. There were no unnecessary scenes, and it ran the perfect amount of time.
I agree that the brief running time of Paths of Glory is one of its biggest assets, but I still prefer Apocalypse Now. It may be the more bloated of the two films, but it features so many more memorable (even iconic) scenes. Charlie don't surf!