Shaw was an officer in the Federal Army during the American Civil War who volunteered to lead the first company of black soldiers. Shaw was forced to deal with the prejudices of both the enemy (who had orders to kill commanding officers of blacks), and of his own fellow officers. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film depicts the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry training through the Christmas holidays of 1862 (after the September 1862 Battle of Antietam). But the real 54th Massachusetts did not organize until March 1863, and it was engaged in its first battle on James Island, South Carolina, on July 16, 1863, and then Fort Wagner (the final battle in the film) on July 18, 1863. The 54th went on to fight at Olustee, Florida (February 20, 1864); Honey Hill, South Carolina (November 30, 1864); and Boykin's Mill, South Carolina (April 18, 1865). See more »
Robert Gould Shaw, the son of wealthy Boston abolitionists, was 23 years old when he enlisted to fight in the War Between the States. He wrote home regularly, telling his parents of life in the gathering Army of the Potomac. / These letters are collected in the Houghton Library of Harvard University.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw:
Dear Mother, I hope you are keeping well and not worrying much about me. You mustn't think that any of us are going to be killed. They are collecting such a force here, that an attack ...
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This is the definition of a truly great war movie.
To be quite honest, I had low expectations for "Glory." It was just another boring day at school sitting in my history class drawing random drawings in my notebook. Suddenly my teacher says we're going to watch a movie. I wake up from my dreamy state and I decide I'll give it a chance. He loads the VCR tape into the machine and I fix my eyes upon the screen.
I will put "Glory" into a few words--this is what every war movie strives to be and beyond. Glory tells the story of a Civil War colonel (Matthew Broderick) who leads the war's first all-black volunteer regimen into battles and discovers along the way he has to confront the moral question of racial prejudice within, and outside of, his regimen.
So as I'm sitting in history class watching "Glory," I immediately begin to perk up. From the explosive first scene, I was fully awake. My luck skyrocketed when I discovered two of my all-time favorite actors in the film, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington. The movie progressed and I found myself becoming yet more and more drawn into the film--not just watching it, but actually EXPERIENCING every ounce of war, prejudice, and moral questions that face the characters in the movie.
What's even more, is that you find yourself becoming attached to ALL of the characters--every single black soldier--in some strange way, so strange, that when these men fall in battle you feel a jolt of power inside of you that is converted to emotional sadness in your mind.
The final scenes in Glory are mesmerizing. No, more than that--utterly spectacular. The final battle scene at Fort Wagner is so amazingly shot you will think you're actually there fighting along with the black regimen. You're not in your seat watching the film--you feel like you're there! The final battle scene is so spectacular, it will easily remain one of the most memorable battle scenes I've ever witnessed in all of film. After watching Glory, you will find yourself truly moved in all ways possible. You will almost feel like a new person.
All of this paired with a beautiful score by James Horner, Glory is simply one of the best war movies of all-time. Anyone who misses this film is missing out one of the most powerful, moving, and memorable experiences a movie can bring you.
I'm so glad I found myself in history this year.
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