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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
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Edward Zwick claimed that, for the flogging scene, Denzel Washington was lashed at full contact, with a special whip, that would not cut his back, but still stung. For the final take of the scene, Zwick hesitated calling "Cut!" to signal the flogging to stop, and the result was Washington's spontaneous tear down his cheek. See more »
On the night before the failed attack on Ft. Wagner the soldiers of the 54th are gathered around a campfire singing a negro spiritual in which Noah is counting the animals boarding the ark 'two by two'. One of the pairs mentioned were kangaroos which being unknown by the European authors of the modern bible are not mentioned in the book, unknown by the ancient residents of the middle-east in the time Noah is purported to have built the ark and probably unknown to most Americans living at the time of the civil war. Kangaroos were much less likely to have been known to negro slaves in the south who were prohibited education - the likely source of the spiritual being sung. I also find it difficult to believe the elite educated (northern) recruits who actually made up the 54th Mass would be familiar with work songs originating in the fields of southern plantations, much less contribute personally to 'riffing' on the tune (in the modern lexicon). 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 an ambitious film and is successful in everything it sets out to accomplish. Glory does not rely on the visual aspects to accomplish its perfection, but rather it relies on the emotional to convey its message and humanity. This is a film that managed to get some of the best actors of our time, as well as, withdraw from these actors their best abilities. While the film does show the realities and horror of war, especially when it involves good people thrown in, it captures the viewers attention by making us empathetic, as opposed to simply sympathetic. The score of the film is done by the brilliant James Horner, which compliments the film, but at times envelops the film completely. Director Zwick shows the various levels of humanity, one scene can display the blunt bravery of these men, and yet the next scene reminds us how scared and how human these men are. I wish I could write a paragraph on each actor, but I must mention Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washingtion, Andre Braugher, Cary Elwes, and Jihmi Kennedy. The characters of this film are wonderfully well-developed and the relationships between these men adds a dimension that is rarely seen in modern films. Each performance is Oscar-calibur, overall, this is a film that should now be ranked as a classic for all time. Simply amazing.
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