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Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.

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(screenplay), (book) | 2 more credits »
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3,135 ( 113)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jihmi Kennedy ...
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Capt. Charles Fessenden Morse (as Donovan Leitch)
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Henry Sturgis Russell (as John David Cullum)
Alan North ...
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Col. James M. Montgomery (as Cliff DeYoung)
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Storyline

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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their innocence. Their heritage. Their lives. Nothing would be spared in the fight for their freedom.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tiempos de gloria  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,830,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The inaugural battle for the real 54th Massachusetts was at James Island, South Carolina, on 16 July 1863. The scene depicting this engagement was filmed during late February of 1989 at the Girl Scout Camp on Rose Dhu Island near Savannah, Georgia. It actually snowed during filming, and heaters had to be brought in to melt the snow. Later, in the Christmas at Camp Readville scene (filmed in March 1989 at the old Train Roundhouse in Savannah, Georgia), snow blowers were brought in to blow chipped ice onto the ground to give the appearance of a winter snow. See more »

Goofs

When Colonel Shaw volunteers to lead the charge on Fort Wagner, he tells General Strong, "you should have seen us in action two days ago - we were a sight to see". The skirmish Shaw was referring to occurred on James Island, SC on July 16th, 1863. The charge on Fort Wagner occurred two days later on July 18th. But the film portrays Shaw's conversation with General Strong as taking place on the 17th, with the regiment resting that night (the singing scene) and making the charge the next day (the 18th). So what he should have said was "you should have seen us in action yesterday", not "two days ago". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: 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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Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: Red Tails (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A terribly underrated film which deserved better
9 July 2002 | by (Tucson, AZ) – See all my reviews

With one of the best ensemble casts of all time, this ranks as one of the best war films of all time. With a collection of great black actors like no other, everything seemed to work well in this film, from the cinematography to the acting. Edward Zwick created a masterpiece, which, in any other year, would have swept most of the major awards. Sadly, this did not even make the AFI Top 100 so inferior movies could squeeze in. In my opinion, the likes of Born on the Fourth of July and Driving Miss Daisy were vastly inferior to this film during the 1990 Academy Awards. I mean, how the heck were films like Dead Poets Society and My Left Foot nominated for best picture when this one wasn't? (sure they were good films, but c'mon)

Matthew Broderick completely surprised me with his performance, as well as Cary Elwes. And one cannot forget the likes of Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman giving great performances as soldiers weary of being the Union's lackeys. While the historical accuracy may not be perfect, as least this was a tribute to those who helped emancipate the slaves during the Civil War.


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