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"Glory" is a modern film classic that highlights a little-known chapter
of the Civil War.
I recently purchased the DVD, and was just as moved (if not more so) as the first time I saw it.
Broderick, Freeman, and Washington, along with a stellar cast play it faultlessly. I still remember the brouhaha over the casting of Matthew Broderick as Shaw, and I see that even now some IMDb posters single him out for fault in "Glory." Sorry, but I disagree. One should remember that the real Col. Shaw was a young man in his mid-20s - hardly a grizzled old veteran - despite his high rank. Broderick actually does bear a resemblance to Shaw, and shouldn't be criticized for his boyish looks. I felt every nuance of the burden he carried, and thought Broderick did a wonderful job.
Denzel Washington's powerful acting may never again have a showcase like it did in "Glory." His beauty, rage, and pride scream in every frame. His Oscar for this break-out role was highly deserved. Trip's character is really the distillation of what this film is all about: the black man's heart-rending battle for worth, recognition, and dignity. As far as I'm concerned no one BUT Washington could have played Trip. Thank God for Denzel!
Morgan Freeman is the film's human core. His quiet compassion and leadership keeps the soldiers focused. His one angry confrontation with Trip proves he has the goods to back up a field promotion to Sergeant Major.
Freeman (an appropriate reminder of where surnames come from) is the father figure the regiment desperately needs in a time of death and crisis. The men look to him for his calming wisdom and reasonable, fair demeanor.
Films like "Saving Private Ryan" raised the technical bar for battle scenes.
The fighting scenes in "Glory" are, unfortunately, it's weakest element. The staging and choreography are mediocre at best. And other than a scene where the 54th Massachusetts is given a hero's flanking onto the battlefield beaches of South Carolina, these shots don't emotionally engage the viewer. Still, in the end, "Glory" isn't about big, noisy battles. It's about the transcendence of the human spirit in the face of bigotry, bad treatment, and almost certain death. It's about a watershed moment in our bloody history that elevated us all and must never be forgotten.
"Glory" is, indeed, glorious.
Easily the best Civil War movie ever produced, and among the front rank of all war movies. Filled with memorable and moving scenes - the look of sheer defiance on Trip's (Denzel Washington) face as his already scarred back is whipped, the men of the 54th telling their stories around the campfire on the eve of battle, Shaw (Matthew Broderick) turning loose his horse on the beach before Ft. Wagner. History is brought to life more vividly in this film than in any big-budget all-star cast epic I can recall. Most often , those films only succeed in collapsing under their own weight and leaving audiences more turned off about history. Glory brings the issues of the time - slavery, freedom and sacrifice - down to human scale. We can understand why the men of the 54th were willing to take up arms, and how tragic it was that they had to sacrifice their lives in order to be considered men.
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.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie falls into the "must see" category for historical dramas. Much
like the films Saving Private Ryan and Last of the Mohicans, Glory stands
the war film to beat for its time period.
Glory arguably contains the most technically realistic and memorable Civil War reenactment scenes ever shot. Who didn't wince and watch in horror when Shaw and his regiment were blown to bits during the Antietam scene (which I would guess it was the West Woods portion of the Antietam battle??)? Who didn't feel uplifted when the 54th cuts down the Confederate cavalry charge which foolishly thought it would be no problem to break the lines of an inexperienced -and black- regiment? And finally, who didn't watch with solemn pride the dramatic climax of the Fort Wagner assault.
This movie shows that even though the men were treated as (even below) second class citizens by their own country and army, they still had the integrity and honor to fight the best they could for the Union - and eachother. That's why those men in the 54th and every other black regiment stood out from the rest. They must have known of America's potential even before America did and fought to develop that and win black people the dignity and respect they always deserved but never got. Glory puts that struggle on film for us to experience - and doesn't disappoint.
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.
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
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.
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.
If you think about it, most war movies are about WWII and there aren't
as many movies about the Civil War. I haven't seen Gettysburg, but I
did see Gods and Generals, and believe me that wasn't all that great.
The best Civil War movie I've ever seen is Glory. The movie has an
excellent cast which includes Mathew Broderick(only three years after
he was in Ferris Buellers Day Off), Denzel Washington, and Morgan
I first saw this in my eight grade history class when we were learning about the Civil War. This movie has a great score and it really captures the feel of the Civil War through its battle scenes. For those of you who only watch war movies to see people getting their heads blown off, this is the wrong movie for you. This movie focuses on the characters and what they're going through. Despite having a long running time, the result of this movie is an entertaining and well made war movie.
You should only buy this movie if you really like it, because it gets a little bit slow the second time you see it. Either way, I'd say you should watch this movie to see what quality war films are all about.
There seem to be a great many comments listed arguing whether
Mathew Broderick was a good choice to play Col. Robert Shaw or
not. All I can say is that he makes the film work for me. Whether
Broderick under played the part or not, I couldn't imagine any other
actor being more appropriate for the part. Not only were his looks
and age ideal for the individual he was recreating, but his
performance gave Gould the personality he needed; as someone
who was idealistic, young and somewhat callow, yet ultimately
displayed great maturity and fantastic courage.
While Denzel Washington's performance was far more forceful
(and aptly so), I honestly found Broderick's character the most
compelling in the movie.
By the climactic battle, I felt great empathy for each of the
characters, especially Col. Shaw. I guess I feel that by playing
Shaw as a quiet rather than grand presence, Broderick is able to
more successfully highlight the extraordinary bravery and moral
fibre the man showed in his willingness to sacrifice everything for
his men and their cause. Though you could clearly see that he
dreaded his duty, he carried it out unflinchingly. Thats what
leadership is all about. I like heroes who show their humanity
infinitely more than those hollywoodised cutouts that actors like
Bruce Willis often play. I've never actually seen Ferris Bueller's day out. A lot of people who
write about Glory say that its hard not to see that character
wherever Broderick goes. I'll be interested to see Ferris Bueller
now that I've established Broderick in my mind as a Civil war
officer. I'll be happy to here anyones comments on the subject.
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