Glory (1989) Poster

(1989)

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10/10
A Classic
WindWoman35 June 2004
"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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10/10
Memorable and moving - truly glorious
4ize22 April 1999
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.
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10/10
This is the definition of a truly great war movie.
SteakSalad_1019 March 2007
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 the screen.

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.
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10/10
A terribly underrated film which deserved better
Agent109 July 2002
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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9/10
One of the most intricately perfect films
soapfan849 September 2004
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.
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10/10
STILL The Best Civil War Movie To Date!
solar_son19 September 2002
Warning: 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 as 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.
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Stunning, the best war movie ever.
Brad K.21 March 1999
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.
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9/10
Emotional experience
Adam Abercrombie23 December 2004
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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9/10
Wonderful Telling Of An Important Chapter In American History
Hancock_the_Superb10 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick), a young officer in the American Civil War, is singled out for heroism at the bloody Battle of Antietam. Promoted to colonel, he is commissioned the commander of the 54th Massachusetts infantry - a regiment made up entirely of black soldiers. With the help of his friend Cabot Forbes (Cary Elwes) and a loud-mouthed Irish drill sergeant (John Finn), Shaw whips his recruits into a fine unit. However, he learns that his superior officers - namely crooked department leader General Harker (Bob Gunton) and Colonel Montgomery (Cliff De Young), his racist brigade commander - have no intention of letting his troops into action. However, they finally do get a chance, winning a skirmish with a Confederate patrol and then leading an assault on Fort Wagner, one of the Confederate forts protecting Charleston, South Carolina. The attack fails, Shaw is killed, and over half the regiment with him - but the 54th Massachusetts earns its place in history.

If nothing else, "Glory" deserves credit for shining the light on one of the most overlooked chapters in American history. While thousands of white men died for the Union in fruitless charges from Fredericksburg to Shiloh, white leaders throughout the North were reluctant to arm blacks, for a variety of reasons - they couldn't fight, they would incite the border states to leave the Union, white soldiers wouldn't allow it - but finally, it occurred. The 54th Massachusetts was not the first black regiment raised, nor was it the first to see combat in the Civil War - but it was arguably the most important. After its attack on Fort Wagner, even the most bigoted white politicians had to admit that blacks were just as good as whites. By war's end over 100,000 blacks were in uniform, and black troops of the Union XXV Corps were the first to enter Richmond after its fall to Union forces in April 1865. This is movie is a perfect tribute to the men of the 54th, and to every black soldier who overcame the odds to prove themselves worthy.

The cast is amazing in this film, with Matthew Broderick giving a bravura performance as Shaw. Shaw himself is only in his twenties, but is forced to become the leader of some 700 men, most of them older than him, and train them to be good fighters. Shaw is doggedly determined to prove himself, and other than one or two overlong speeches, Broderick does a marvelous job (despite a ridiculous Boston accent) portraying this heroic figure. Denzel Washington got a well-deserved Oscar for his role as Trip, the bitter black soldier who struggles to find himself while serving in the regiment. Morgan Freeman as usual is amazing as Sergeant Rawlins, the gravedigger-turned-soldier who becomes a father figure to Shaw's ragged men. Jhimi Kennedy and Andre Brougher are also solid as other black soldiers, while Cary Elwes, John Finn, Cliff De Young, Bob Gunton, Jay O. Sanders, Richard Riehle, and Alan North are all fine in supporting roles.

Edward Zwick's direction is stellar, catching the feel of Civil War times with splendid detail. The battle scenes are spectacular, with the final assault on Fort Wagner one of the most heart-pounding action scenes in any war movie. Kevin Jarre's screenplay is exceptionally well-written, and a world apart from the more witty script he would write for "Tombstone" several years later. And James Horner's haunting score is an instant classic.

While it can be argued that the unsuccessful assault on Fort Wagner had little importance to the overall Civil War, it did have massive importance for America's black community and showed that they too had a place not only in the military, but in society as well. "Glory" is a fitting tribute to men who are overshadowed by the glories of Gettysburg and Chickamauga, but are just as deserving of recognition for their extraordinary heroism.

Nine stars.
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9/10
The Best Civil War Movie I've Ever Seen
FrankBooth_DeLarge1 February 2005
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 Freeman.

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.
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10/10
More Than My Words Could Praise, The History Glorifies Itself
sm28 January 2006
I find this one of my most difficult reviews to write. Even as I sit here for what must be the 206th viewing, I marvel, as acutely as I did in the very first viewing, that this tale has the compelling and overwhelming power to touch aesthetically, viscerally, profoundly and emotionally my sense of pride,injustice, soul. Even if this were not a true story, I would still recommend this movie to everyone with awe and reverence. And even as I watch, there is goose-flesh and damp eyes. As there always is...

Based on the letters compiled and only two reference books (including "One Gallant Rush" by Peter Burchard, which I proudly own), this tells the tale of the heretofore largely unknown 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the first Afro-American regimen in American history during the Civil War. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw was a 26-year old bright eyed Bostonian who was chosen by favor to lead the "first colored regimen" at the apex of the Civil War. Matthew Broderick portrays Col. Shaw as accurately as possible, bringing the youth and zeal of the real Shaw to grand light. He was truly overwhelmed by the thought of leading the troops, but idealistic and optimistic enough to give it everything he had and to make his family and title proud. Broderick never loses sight of the simple fact that Shaw was humble and grateful for every advancement he was given. Although in reality the 54th was compiled of mostly free black men from upper New England, Denzel Washington is cast as the runaway slave Trip who brings his grudges and injustices to the troop. He portrays a slave who is on a personal mission to hurt those who have hurt him (if you know about the history of slavery, one can hardly blame him), but in the process hurts himself all the more until by rote he learns to channel his hate into determination, and by his actions is humiliated and beaten down to the point that he can only rise up like a griffin and prove that he is as much a soldier as the rest of them. The 'whipping scene' in which you see him go through that exact process, every emotion known to a man culminating in a quiver of the cheek, a single tear escaping, and eyes that shred, plea, hate, mourn, haunt. That Denzel could convey that with a role that could have easily been a stereotype deserves more praise that I can type. Morgan Freeman is a man of quiet yet profound dignity that carries him in every role he plays, and this time as Rawlins is no exception. He is a victim of prejudice, but still carries his own as a man. He is there for his men as a leader even before being officially decorated, but he is not above reaching out to Shaw to help his men simply because Shaw is yet another white authority--he helps the cause, no matter the colors. And that cause is so much more than the War, which I will explain further below...

The score by the wunderkind James Horner is Majesty in every literary definition of the word. I know that if I'm ever stressed and need a release, all I have to do is pop in a CD of this score, listen for only a few minutes, and I will be sobbing. In my humble opinion he has yet to top himself with his work in this picture. From the subtle ache of a single horn to the swelling of the Harlem Boys' Choir and their keening voices that beg us to remember forever.

I won't break down the actors, directing or anything individually any more than I have because that's not the intention of this film. It's not a star vehicle, but rather hundreds of people coming together to tell a story they believe in. And as such, deserve to be praised as a whole, which only proves how well they've done their work. But some scenes cannot escape the psyche...The morning after they've been read a proclamation stating that they will be put to death, black and white, if caught bearing Union arms, and there they stand as a unit for roll call, not one man deserting, at attention for duty, prouder and taller than ever...The aforementioned Corporal Punishment scene (which, by the way, was the same punishment white officers would suffer if they deserted as well)...The charge on Fort Wagner--Shaw finally returning to the seashore he so loved all his life for what he knows in his heart is the last time, feeling home again and yet feeling already a walking spectre--Rawlins with a divine inner pride in his eyes marching toward the fort as Thomas looks to the others and Trip with no longer the mad lashing-out force to kill but the aggravated determination to win--the company as a whole marching into Fate with a gallant unified step...

The true meaning of "hero" is in the heart of a man who faces even death if it will prove himself a man, not only to others but to himself. This lies true for every person in that brave pioneering regimen, black and white. They didn't just die for their country or their rights, but for their own personal honors and faiths as human beings who are deserved of dignity. The likes of which this country will never see again, but must not fall into obscurity. At the heart, and in my heart, this is not a story of men, but what it means to be a man. And the sacrifice it sometimes takes to become one and prove yourself one.

We as a Nation, as Earth, should thank the 54th for that beautiful lesson. This pristine film will guarantee it so.
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9/10
Well worth your time
AppleBlossom25 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is the story of Col. Robert G. Shaw (Matthew Broderick) and the 54th Massachusetts Coloured Infantry, one of the first black regiments to see action in the Civil War.

The production values to 'Glory' were extremely well done in all areas. The acting was faultless, leading and supporting cast showed continuity throughout the film. Matthew Broderick's role sometimes irked me because I suppose he was young and unprepared of his leadership. Several times in the film his position was tested, he had to prove himself and stand firm on his commands which at times seemed naive and harsh. As the film progressed, you saw his character become stronger with the help of his black mentor John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman). The first time I watched this film I know I judged his character unfairly, watching it again I found a more subtle and hidden meaning to his personality.

The script enables some very convincing characterizations, especially for the four main African/American actors. The story is based on notes written by Col. Shaw himself….he tells of the racial bigotry on both sides. Unfortunately, as most Hollywood films go not all of the storyline is correct; apparently Col. Shaw didn't write about 4 bonded friends. Nevertheless, the main focus should be on the event and the men who participated in the Civil War and for those who gave their lives in the hope of freedom.

Quite a realistic film, 'Glory' might not display the level of impact as some of it's predecessors …….but it serves as an account to which certain men are prepared to give "their all" for what they believe in. 'Glory'(to me) was a film not just about war but a deeper meaning between men who bonded and gave themselves dignity and pride, a self-worth in the face of adversity and possible death.

The adversities these men had to overcome were many, basic requirements the average (white) soldier would take for granted. For instance shoes, uniform, equal pay…..every possible avenue Col. Shaw took, he was faced with resistance to assist his infantry. Even the absurd order which was passed down to deter the men even further, saying any coloured prisoner of war caught would be put to death and any white officers leading an infantry of coloured soldiers would meet the same fate. The Union whether or not it took their plot seriously had no intention to allow a black infantry to participate in any battles. Col. Shaw (in his quiet demeanour) persuaded/blackmailed his fellow officers to permit his regiment the right to fight. Hypocrisy was certainly rife in the ranks of the Union, did the attitudes of the South herald somewhat in the hearts of most white men of both sides???

The final battle scene shows the determination and strength these men had within….and their conviction to themselves and to their fellow man.

I took particular interest in the final footnotes after the film had finished. The notes capped off the final scene to say; the 54th had lost over half it's numbers in the assault on Fort Wagner……the Fort was never taken. As word spread of their bravery, Congress at last authorized the raising of black troops throughout the Union, over 180,000 volunteered. President Lincoln credited these men of colour with helping turn the tide of war. Makes you wonder who actually was the enemy…..the Union, the South or both?

For me 'Glory' rates….8.5/10.
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10/10
Very emotional film to watch
walsh-222 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I find it sad that no-one really knew about the 54th Maschusetts till this film came out. I certainly had no idea about the 54th and never knew there were black soldiers fighting in the war which to me is shocking. Those soldiers may not have taken Fort Wagner but they were brave and didn't flinch from the duty they volunteered for, no matter the treatment they endured by their own side.

The film has many multi-layered strands that are explored in this movie. One, this had never been done before, black soldiers fighting in the war and they had a lot more to prove than the white soldiers. Totally unfair.

Two, they had death threats from the Confederate Army who said they would not capture them but kill them on sight.

Three, the racism they faced in their own army. The Northerners liked to think they were better than the Southerners because they didn't have slaves and they would never treat them the way the Southerners did but they were just as bad as the South and this is shown in the film when the black soldiers are denied boots, uniforms, they are used for manual labour and don't see any fighting and are given less wages than the white soldiers.

Then we have the stories of soldiers where we see them grow into completely different people to when the film started. The actors are in one word, brilliant. I can't stop raving about them. I wouldn't like to say more because I can't put into any other meaningful words how well they fit into the characters.

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) finds himself overwhelmed with the responsibility of getting the men up to the task but at times finds himself doubting his abilities. There has been made mention Broderick's age and acting in this film but he was the perfect actor to play the role. For one, he looks like Shaw and for another, he was about the age Shaw was when he was given command. He plays Shaw just right, not too understated and not too over the top.

Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) is the wise man who is like a father figure to the soldiers who rely on him and also Shaw looks to Rawlins for his advice on the men.

Trip (Denzel Washington) starts off defiant. He wants to fight in the war but he also is scarred by his past as a slave and doesn't trust Shaw or any other white man. I didn't think I would feel any compassion about him as he is nasty to some of his fellow soldiers but I grew to like him very much and you see a softer side to him near the end when he admits to his fellow soldiers they are the only family he has now. I like to think at the end, he trusted Shaw because he picks up the colours which he said he didn't want to do when asked by Shaw earlier in the film.

Thomas (Andre Braugher) is a free black man who has lived in the North for most, if not, all of his life. He has never been a slave but is well educated and finds himself an outsider in the regiment because he has had an easier life then his fellow soldiers but you see him grow up in this film, he starts off as a little boy but by the end of it, he is a man who can face anything.

Major Forbes (Cary Elwes) knows that there is no-way the Army will let them fight and you can see how he genuinely cares for these men. He and Shaw find it hard to establish a different type of relationship with Thomas then they are used to as before they were friends.

This is a very emotional film to watch. It has many highs and lows and you have these foreboding feelings in the pit of your stomach when Shaw volunteers his men for basically, a suicide mission to Fort Wagner. You know that these men you have watched from the beginning and have rooted for will die and it is hard to watch when it happens. The scene that particularly upsets me is when these brave, courageous soldiers are dead, they are just chucked into a mass grave and the most moving scene for me is when the dead bodies of Trip and Shaw are thrown together in the mass grave. That had me in tears the most.

The 54th got praise for what they did at Fort Wagner and after but they were treated very badly, they were not invited to the parades to welcome the soldiers back at the end of the war and there was no help given to them to recover from it either. It does highlight that racism occurred in the military, not just in this war but in other wars before and after the American Civil War where people of different colour were treated as if they were not even human.

Love the film but if you're a girl, you will need tissues by your side.
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10/10
The best Civil War movie i have ever seen
Darkcloud30528 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This was without a doubt the single best war movie i have seen. Movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and Patton just didn't have the same feeling of excitement that i received while watching this movie.

Not only were the action scenes intense, the "in-between" scenes didn't lose any of the splendor that could be seen during several of the epic battles. I felt empowered when Thomas became the first draftee for the 54th. I was excited watching the regiment destroying the Confederates during their skirmish. I felt Thomas' pain when he was shot for the first time. I was proud of Pvt. Trip when he was asked to be the flag bearer for the regiment. And I cried when the regiment was decimated during the battle of Fort Wagner.

This movie sent me through such a range of emotions that i couldn't help but love it, and I'm sure anyone else who watches this movie would feel the same
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Broderick excellent as Shaw
jveitch12 December 2004
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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9/10
Impressive and moving Civil War movie with long-standing and emotive score by James Horner
ma-cortes25 March 2012
Classic Civil War film with an interesting screenplay written by Kevin Jarre , based on the personal letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, and the novel Lay This Laurel, by Lincoln Kirstein . 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 . The story is based on the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of the US Army to be made up entirely of African American men, as told from the point of view of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) , its commanding officer during the American Civil War. Captain Robert Gould Shaw leads a company of Union soldiers from a Massachusetts Infantry Regiment in an attack on Confederate troops at the Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862. His regiment suffers heavy losses, Shaw is wounded, and later loses consciousness. He is awakened by a black gravedigger named John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) and sent to a field hospital. While receiving medical attention, Shaw is told that President Lincoln is on the verge of passing the Emancipation Proclamation; freeing slaves in rebel held territory. While on leave in Boston, Shaw is promoted to Colonel, and given command of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first all-black regiment . Shaw was approached by his father (Peter Michael Goetz) while in camp in late 1862 to take command of a new All-Black Regiment and writes a letter her mother (Jane Alexander) . He accepts the assignment , and asks his friend , Cabot Forbes (Gary Elwes), to be his second-in-command . At first he declined the offer, but after careful thought he accepted the position. Shaw's letters clearly state that he was dubious about a free black unit succeeding, but the dedication of his men deeply impressed him, and he grew to respect them as fine soldiers. On learning that black soldiers would receive less pay than white ones, he inspired his unit to conduct a boycott until this inequality was rectified . Their first volunteer soldier is another of Shaw's friends, an educated black man named Thomas Searles (Andre Braugher). Later on , join other African-American soldiers (an utter all-star-cast : Morgan Freeman , Denzel Washington) and a tough Sergeant Major Mulcahy (John Finn). At the ending , Shaw volunteers the 54th infantry to lead an assault on Fort Wagner. After nightfall, he leads the men in a charge upon the fort. Numerous soldiers in the regiment charge up the parapet and die in the fighting too .

This wonderful film with an enormous attention to period detail is full of thrills , with battle scenes are truly breathtaking , historical events and moving scenes . Intelligent in its storytelling drama , it turns to be a thought-provoking and powerful story with several emotive moments . The picture's strength belongs to the powerhouse secondary casting with top-notch performances from Morgan Freeman , Andre Braugher , Jihmi Kennedy , Cliff De Young , Bob Gunton , Richard Rhiele , Donovan Leitch among others . Epic and stirring final battle carried out by Shaw volunteers the 54th infantry to lead an assault on Fort Wagner . Colorful cinematography by the British Freddie Francis , a magnificent cameraman and also filmmaker . Special mention to the marvelous soundtrack, composed by James Horner in conjunction with the Boys Choir of Harlem , one of the best of the cinema's history . Lavishly produced by TriStar and stunningly directed by Edward Zwick .The film deservedly received Academy Award nominations for Best Editing and Best Art Direction. It won a number of awards from the British Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his splendid portrayal of Trip , the proud and upright soldier . Rating : Above average , two thumbs up , it's long overdue and moving tribute to the African-American soldiers who fought for the Union cause in the Civil War . This is an admirable effort with true social significance that results to be surprisingly entertaining.
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9/10
The definition of a classic: Glory
supah7914 December 2006
The story of the 54th.

Although I think that the makers lended themselves a big dramatic freedom, this film feels real and human. It's sentimental and sometimes corny, but for the most part this is a very powerful film that says something about duty, honor, equality and comradery. I still can't believe that Shaw didn't have more resistance from within the regiment or that the regiment was this obedient. But perhaps in different times... And off course all the black soldiers of the 54th are even balanced, disciplined and ready to fight (with the exception of Trip). Not disgruntled, traumatized or even angry at the people who enslaved them or stood by as they were.

The battle scenes are now somewhat outdated (warmovies after 1989 raised the bar significantly) but they are still powerful and do the job. But the emotionally charge comes from the actors (who work from a very good script) although the film could have sunk if the dialogue was handled by lesser actors. Even Elwes shows us he can act. But off course Freeman and Washington steal the film.

Despite my critique, I watched this with a constant lump in my throat. I've seen this film a few times now and it still has the same impact it did when I saw it the first time. The definition of a classic: Glory.
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10/10
Top 5 war movies of all time
gkadam7 January 2005
WOW! That is all that can be expressed for this wonderful film. This has to be, without a doubt, Denzel's best work and well deserving of the Academy Award he took home. Great scenery, great acting, and great costume design reminiscent of the time frame. The scene at the end is what got to me and made this one of my top 5 films of all time. When Matthew Broderick galloped up to the shoreline before the last battle and looked out into the ocean and the approaching sunset, I just lost it. Through his eyes you can see a man looking out at the sunset for the last time in his life and with a foreshadowing knowledge that he would not live to see the sunrise again. A great tearjerker throughout and a marvelous film altogether!!
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10/10
Glorious... Best Movie I've ever seen
George Jozwiak17 September 2004
This is by far one of the best movies I have ever seen over and over again. From the sound track by James Horner and the singing of the Harlem Boys Choir to the acting of Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and the rest of the cast, this movie was most excellent and outstanding. It does something very few movies movies do. It run chills up my spine every time I see it. Some historical liberties may have been taken, but it is an outstanding story of courage, bravery, camaraderie and honor, as well as the horror that was the War Between the States.

From the opening scene to the last, the cinematography and the battle scenes are spectacular. Simply remembering the scene where the Confederate troops emerge from the smoke and haze in the forest during one of the battles scenes runs chills up and down my spine. I could actually feel in my own gut the fear and bravery of the soldiers of the 54th who held the line during the Confederate charge. Amazing.

The title "Glory" is most fitting and says it all. I highly recommend this movie.

Captain of Infantry George Jozwiak
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10/10
This is a good civil war film!
Seth Nelson21 February 2006
I've seen this movie twice now - once as a sophomore in high school in U.S. History class, and on the two-disc special edition DVD. This is a good movie to watch for historical and educational values, but of the two times I've watched this movie, I prefer the 2-disc DVD over the VHS. Why? For two reasons:

1. You have a choice of two aspect ratios (one for each DVD disc): the original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect on the blue disc, disc 1, or the cropped 1.33:1 fullscreen aspect on the red disc, disc 2. I've watched the widescreen version first and the fullscreen version twice (reason later).

2. You have lots of languages to choose from. The widescreen version has English and French audio, but the fullscreen ratio has not only those two languages, but Spanish and now Portuguese as well! And both discs have English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles (and some websites mention Indonesian as well even though that is really not an option)! I've watched this in Spanish (like I do with many DVDs) and Portuguese (just for fun) and it was great!

This is one DVD that should be viewed immediately!
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7/10
The best civil war movie to date
Muhls14 October 2008
Glory is a fantastic and well put together movie. It shows the hardships of Africa Americans during the civil war and how patriotic every single one of them were. It had a very well round plot with the beginning middle and end entertaining and easy to follow. I really love how Edward Zwick depicts the scenery of 1862- it was incredibly realistic. Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Mathew Brodrick made the film a remarkable work of art. Glory was a strong film and i think it is arguably the best civil war movie yet to be made. The ending was excellent and original.

The movie was seen through the eyes of Mathew Brodrick otherwise know as the white commander of the 54th regiment Robert Shaw and how he feels for his black soldiers, it was truly moving. Most Civil War Movies are long and drag some extent but Glory got to the point quickly. The action in the film was limited to three war scenes but that is not a bad thing. I was hoping for a little more action but i guess i was satisfied with what little war violence was in it.

In conclusion Glory was a magnificent movie and i would recommend it to anyone wanting to have an educational experience or just wanting to see a good movie
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10/10
This is a "war movie" that will not only entertain you perfectly but also leave you a better person!
MareNost8 March 2007
To call "Glory" a "war movie" is akin to calling "Hamlet" a "ghost story." While it is true that it is a movie set in the Civil War and complete with realistic battle scenes, authentically reproduced uniforms and weapons, and a film that introduces the viewer to an important part of American history that had been more or less ignored--the roles that African-American soldiers played in the Union army--it is still so much more than that.

I don't think I will ever find the precise words to indicate how satisfying and wonderful this film is and how much I love it. It is highly entertaining, moving, realistic, and downright transcendent in its beauty. Every actor does his job marvelously, from the amazing portrayal of "Trip" by Denzel Washington, to the steady, inspiring character that Morgan Freeman creates perfectly, to the baby-faced Colonel Robert Gould Shaw played with sincerity and intensity by Matthew Broderick, down to the minor role of the butt-kicking Irish drill sergeant who abuses his black recruits physically and verbally, calling them "You Mexican African whores!" and other lovely epithets. (That latter actor, incidentally, wanted so badly to be a part of the film that he offered to work for free!)

I'm frustrated when I recommend this movie to friends and others and they respond with "I don't like war movies." Sure, Welles's "Citizen Kane" is a movie about business, and Chaplin's "City Lights" is about panhandling, not true?

But like those two wonders, "Glory" tells its story perfectly, complete with great characters that you love, beautifully realized photography and action, and a deep, emotional wellspring that leaves a viewer lifted high above and beyond the TV room sofa. It is in my Top Five, and it is one of those films I just have to see every year or so, like the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy or "Bridge on the River Kwai," or "The Godfather" movies. If you aren't thrilled to the depths of your being during the last ten minutes of this movie, then you don't have a pulse.

It's just a great film, and if you've never seen it, do! It won't disappoint, and it will be etched in your memory forever. It is a masterpiece.
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8/10
Poignant and honest, with Denzel best in show
luke-a-mcgowan28 March 2016
1. The experience of watching Glory could be summed up by its music - there is an aching sadness yet a firm sense of patriotism in its soaring choral theme. This is reflected clearly amongst the story of black soldiers fighting for a nation, many of the citizens of which care little for their lives or sacrifice.

2. This is poignantly captured by the monologue of Private Trip towards this middle of the film; just one of many stirring moments contained within Kevin Jarre's screenplay.

3. Those words, when delivered by incredible thespians like Morgan Freeman or Denzel Washington, become something very special indeed.

4. I took one look at the poster for Glory and saw Matthew Broderick's wimpy facial hair and thought "this is going to stink". Fortunately, the story of the rich white kid leading up a black battalion suited someone significantly weedy and Broderick adds considerable dramatic heft to his performance.

5. Denzel is best in show as Private Silas Trip. He's a hard, cynical, somewhat belligerent man but underneath there's a man. This comes out most especially in Denzel's strikingly honest performance during the whipping scene and the final words before battle.

6. I love juxtaposition, and Ed Zwick does a killer job in the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam. Amid the howls of a man being amputated, Captain Shaw receives treatment for a minor neck wound (being told "this might hurt") and is informed of the great victory. With those screams and pleas, the scene is set.

7. Zwick superbly balances the film's central themes of acceptance without ever overdoing it. Something as simple as Trip helping Thomas stay on his feet is the pay off to the conflict set up throughout the movie. Where the black men fit in amongst the whites is clear from a scene in which a white officer shoots his own black soldier to protect a white Southern woman who he blames for initiating the incident anyway.

8. Rawlins' promotion to Sergeant doesn't feel profound enough because Trip was the one who showed leadership amongst the pay dispute and the shoes issue was only advice in response to something the audience and Shaw already knew.

9. The action scenes are dignified but have high stakes. Watching those bayonets come rushing towards you just looks like it hurts. There's some goofy choreography but for the most part the battles feel realistic. The decision (helped by real events, of course) to have several major characters die early in the final fight does a lot to keep the stakes of war in the front of one's mind.

10. Glory is over twenty-five years old but it feels younger. I hope that this is a sign that its message about acceptance and brotherhood is both timeless and universal.
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8/10
Not Your Typical Civil War Story
Logan McVey5 January 2014
Glory, directed by Edward Zwick, follows Robert Gould Shaw through his journey of leading the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the first all black infantry in the Civil War. The film begins on the fields of Antietam where Robert watches men die and is grazed by a bullet himself. He lies by the dead and hides until an unknown black man, hired by the Union to bury the dead checks to see if he is alive. While his injuries are being treated he learns that President Lincoln plans to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in rebelling states. While attending a party in Boston the Governor of Massachusetts, John Andrew, and Fredrick Douglas approach Robert about leading the first all black infantry. He accepts and is promoted to colonel. After gaining enlisted men, the first of whom is one of Robert's friends, the new regiment goes through boot camp. Not long after training began the Confederate Congress issued a proclamation stating that any slave who was caught fighting for the union would be returned to his owners, if they were in a Union uniform they were to be killed. All white officers in charge of the black regiments would be executed as well. At this point Robert tells the men that anyone who wishes to leave may do so without consequence, but the next morning he awakens to find all of his men still at camp ready for training. Once the men are trained they begin to ask when they will get their uniforms and guns. One man is caught trying to find shoes and is whipped because the commanders thought he was deserting. At this point the gravedigger who saved Robert named, John Rawlins, shows him the need for shoes and Robert confronts the quartermaster for holding out on them. Rawlins becomes the liaison between the black troops and the white commanders ,and is later unofficially promoted to Sergeant Major since blacks could not hold higher ranks. For a while things get better and the soldiers get their guns and blue uniforms, but then pay is issued. A white soldier would have been paid $13 for their services, but the colored soldiers are only paid $10. Trip, the soldier that was whipped, is infuriated by this and tells his comrades to rip their checks. Robert wins the men's respect by saying that if they refuse their pay no one in the group will take theirs.

As bonds within the group grow the tension from outside begins to grow. White soldiers outside the group scoff and belittle the colored soldiers saying they will never see any action and are only there to do chores like scavenging supplies. After bribing some officials Robert gets the men some action, but their first skirmish is overshadowed by the Battle of Gettysburg. As generals begin planning the attack on Fort Wagner, Robert volunteers his men for the dangerous mission of being the first troops in. As they began to head out the next morning they finally earn the support of the white troops. Before they depart Robert leaves a journalist with his letters and accounts so that the world can know what happened with the 54th. He then gets off his horse and stands with his men during the attack. Though the attack on Fort Wagner was a failure, the 54th fought bravely which helped pave the way for more black troops whom Lincoln credited with helping turn the tide of the war.

This movie for the most part is accurate, because it was written using some of Robert Shaw's actual letters. It correctly illustrates a timeline from Antietam to Fort Wagner. It is also very accurate on important dates for African Americans during the war like the Emancipation Proclamation and General Orders No. 111, which is only partly mentioned as the confederate congress's proclamation. This proclamation could also be considered an inaccuracy to some degree. It was really aimed at General Benjamin F. Butler and his men due to their hostilities towards southern women. Another inaccuracy appears at the end of the film at Fort Wagner. The movie leads one to believe that the 54th was completely annihilated, however in reality only 272 of the 600 men were captured, killed, or wounded.

Glory leaves out the beginning and end of the war, but there isn't really anyway to correct this within the context of the movie since it is following the African American involvement in the war. One thing that could have been included was a brief follow up on other black regiments that formed due to the 54th and their bravery. The movie was very accurate and gave good context to the battles that were important to Robert Shaw and the 54th,which means that a lot of important events like Gettysburg were swept under the rug. It also covers the most important issue during this time, slavery and views of blacks, very well. It shows how even though the North was fighting to free slaves they still thought less of them which can often be forgotten and left out of the history books.

In my opinion Glory is a great movie. It provides a new perspective to the war and focuses on more than just Gettysburg, Lincoln, and other major battles that we have all heard about. It praises the unknowns of history which I love. The fact that the director chose to use Robert Shaw's letters not only to make the script accurate, but also as voice overs to provide insight into feelings at the camp makes the movie seem so much more real. It does however end very sadly. I cried for the last ten minutes of the movie and so I can't say that it would be one to watch with friends or if you're looking for something happy, but if you want something that is historically accurate and an underdog success story of sorts this is the way to go.
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9/10
True Story.
AaronCapenBanner4 December 2013
Edward Zwick directed this stirring true life account of how Officer Robert Gould Shaw(played by Mathew Broderick) took the unprecedented step to lead the first all-black army unit during the American Civil War. It was the Massachusetts 54th infantry unit(played by actors like Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, and Denzel Washington, who won a best supporting actor Academy Award) who eventually came together under his leadership to distinguish themselves, and become the hated targets of the confederacy, as well as the bigotry from their own side, though they persevere, until the fateful charge on Fort Wagner leads to disaster... Surprisingly powerful film has superb performances, direction, and score, and is deeply moving by film's end. A fine tribute to this historical regiment.
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