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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.



(screenplay), (book) | 2 more credits »
2,455 ( 28)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Drama | History | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tiempos de gloria  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$26,830,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to director Edward Zwick, Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes did not get along during filming. See more »


When the 54th Massachusetts are marching down the street for the first time in their new uniforms, a modern electrical junction box is briefly seen on a building wall in the background. See more »


[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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Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.21 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stunning, the best war movie ever.
21 March 1999 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

My favorite movies to watch are probably war movies. I've seen many great films. From the Vietnam war (Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill, The Deer Hunter) to World War II (Saving Private Ryan, When Trumpets Fade, The Thin Red Line). But the best war film comes from the Civil War. Glory is an incredible film. It's about the 54th regiment for the Union, the first all black regiment. Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Godzilla) stars as Robert Shaw, a white man in command of the regiment. Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Kiss the Girls) is his second in command. Denzel Washington (The Siege, Courage Under Fire) is magnificent as a runaway slave in the 54th. The always-great Morgan Freeman (Seven, Deep Impact) is superb as a spiritual leader of the soldiers. In my mind, the film has no faults. Broderick has been the main criticism by some people. I have to disagree. Broderick (though a bit young-looking) gives a wonderful performance. Cary Elwes has been an underrated actor his whole career. The same goes for Glory because his great supporting performance was widely ignored. James Horner delivers a haunting score which adds so much to the movie. A must see.

104 of 136 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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