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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Lance Norris: Boston radio legend appears as a man in the crowd as the troops are marching through Boston. See more »
In the opening scenes, when Shaw is seen marching beside his soldiers towards the Antietam battle, the rank insignia on his epaulets change from that of a captain (two bars) to that of a second lieutenant (no insignia within the epaulet borders) because it's a flashback. 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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There are few military films which allow us, the viewer, to explore our feelings and emotions on the total war experience. Glory, Patton, The Longest Day, explore and create great emotional value. Many more try to cash in on our emotional appeal as a commodity. Yeah, we'll watch Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, Black Hawk Down, etc.,, and i hate to blasphemy these good, visually effective movies, but Glory is not out to exploit those senses. I love a good blow up movie, except not the actual movie BlowUP. Regards to Antonioni.
Now take two anti-scenes as i like to call them. Denzel getting whipped. Kills me every time, those eyes of his, staring at Col. Shaw. Hate filled. The other "colored" soldiers are standing around watching not in acceptance as soldiers, but in acceptance as a sort of slave to the union. And we're wondering, will they be upset. Will the black soldiers try to leave again. Will they rise up in anger. There is a not only misunderstanding between the officers and the enlisted, but an absolute distrust. The officers are equal to the slave owners.
My anit-scene is much later in the film. The soldiers have gathered around a fire and are praying to God, before battle. No imagery, just total emotion. Praising the Lord they know. Asking and praying, But not a single dissent about serving in the white man's army now. The have formed a proud military unit. Something most of us will never understand. And there is my emotional experience. Something i never imagined was part of the Civil War. The truth is I am compelled to feel too many emotions while watching this film. I would recommend this to anyone. and especially to those in the south.
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