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Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Kevin Jarre (screenplay), Lincoln Kirstein (book) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,421 ( 121)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Broderick ... Col. Robert Gould Shaw
Denzel Washington ... Pvt. Trip
Cary Elwes ... Maj. Cabot Forbes
Morgan Freeman ... Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins
Jihmi Kennedy Jihmi Kennedy ... Pvt. Jupiter Sharts
Andre Braugher ... Cpl. Thomas Searles
John Finn ... Sgt. Maj. Mulcahy
Donovan Leitch Jr. ... Capt. Charles Fessenden Morse (as Donovan Leitch)
JD Cullum ... Henry Sturgis Russell (as John David Cullum)
Alan North ... Gov. John Albion Andrew
Bob Gunton ... Gen. Charles Garrison Harker
Cliff De Young ... Col. James M. Montgomery (as Cliff DeYoung)
Christian Baskous ... Edward L. Pierce
RonReaco Lee ... Mute Drummer Boy
Jay O. Sanders ... Gen. George Crockett Strong
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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.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tiempos de gloria See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,661, 17 December 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,830,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When shown in training in Readville, MA, a wagon rolls through with crossed sabers and the number 2 above the cross point, indicating it belongs to the 2nd Massachusetts cavalry. The regimental commander of the 2nd Mass. Cavalry, James Russell Lowell, would marry Robert Shaw's sister after Shaw's death. The 2nd Mass. contained 5 companies of men recruited from California, known collectively as the "California Battalion." See more »

Goofs

When Shaw goes to the Quartermaters office, he demands "600 pairs of shoes and 1200 pairs of socks." That would not have been enough, as the 54th Mass. had 1100 soldiers at full strength. 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 ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Classic
5 June 2004 | by WindWoman3See all my reviews

"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.


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