One of the very best films about the Civil War, this instant classic from 1989 is also one of the few films to depict the participation of African American soldiers in Civil War combat. Based in part on the books Lay This Laurel by Lincoln Kirstein and One Gallant Rush by Peter Burchard, the film also draws from the letters of Robert Gould Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick), the 25-year-old son of Boston abolitionists who volunteered to command the all-black 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Their training and battle experience leads them to their final assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina, where their heroic bravery turned bitter defeat into a symbolic victory that brought recognition to black soldiers and turned the tide of the war. With painstaking attention to historical detail and richness of character, the film boasts superior performances by Denzel Washington (who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Andre Braugher. Directed by Edward Zwick (co-creator of the TV series thirtysomething), this unforgettable drama is as important as Schindler's List in its treatment of a noble yet little-known episode of history. --Jeff Shannon
- Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman
- Director: Edward Zwick
- Encoding: 1 (U.S. and Canada)
- Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen
- Rated: R (Restricted)
- Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
- DVD Release Date: January 30, 2023
- Running Time: 118
- Language: French (Dubbed), Spanish (Dubbed), French (Subtitled), English (Subtitled), Portuguese (Subtitled), English (Original Language), French (Original Language), Thai (Subtitled), Unknown (Subtitled), Chinese (Subtitled), Korean (Subtitled), Spanish (Subtitled)
- ASIN: B000051YMQ
- Average Customer Review: Based on 299 reviews.
- Amazon.com Sales Rank: 3165
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Glory, Sep 19, 2023
My family enjoyed Glory as an excellent treatment of sensitive historical but little-known material, important to the development of our country.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
"Give 'em hell, 54th!" , Sep 12, 2023
While "Gone With the Wind" deals with the Civil War era, this 1989 film is perhaps the finest to deal with the war itself, i.e., the battles and the men who fought them. While I like "Gettysburg" very much for its detail and depiction of the battle itself, I still feel this is a far better film per se. It truly deserved the Oscars. Matthew Broderick has a different sort of role here as Robert Gould Shaw, the idealistic young New Englander who raises a regiment of African-American soldiers to fight for the Union. The film doesn't shy away from the way that his men were misused and mistreated, but it also shows how these men, many of them recently freed slaves, took their destiny in their own hands and shaped the course of American history. A Pre-"Homicide" Andre Braugher plays Shaw's childhood friend who grew up as a free man, while Denzel Washington plays an ex-slave whose scars reveal how different his experience was from Braugher's. Morgan Freeman plays the sergeant major, and he shines as always. Broderick does a fine job as the aristocratic colonel who doesn't completely understand what his men have had to to through, but is willing to put his life on the line to ensure their freedom. Cary Elwes has a fine role as his second in command. The battle scenes are stirring, the uniforms highly accurate, and the film gives a good feel for the era. The final scene of the assault on Fort Wagner, the Confederate stronghold on the South Carolina coast, is one of the most stirring battle scenes I've ever wactched on film. No matter how many times you watch this film, it doesn't lose its grip on you. Truly a stirring film about a frequently overlooked episode in African-American history and Civil War history.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Glory, Sep 6, 2023
Edward Zwick's vivid Civil War epic boasts terrific battle sequences, but aside from the story's inherent fascination, what sets this movie apart are the incredible performances glimpsed in between the gunfire. Broderick brings to Shaw a nuanced mix of determination and vulnerability, but Denzel Washington virtually steals the picture as a defiant enlisted man.( He won an Oscar for this.) Morgan Freeman also shines as a wise, seasoned regimental sergeant. Both great entertainment and history lesson.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
We need more stars!!!, Aug 27, 2023
What a disappointment that there weren't more oscars for this film. I don't know what what more I can say about this film. It's already been said. Morgan Freeman should receive awards just for breathing. He's phenominal. Just think, all that talent going to waste on that kids show, the electric company, many years ago. His best scene is probably when he comes across Shaw for the second time. The first time they meet is just after a battle where Shaw is wounded and laying on the ground, unconcious. Freeman's character kicks Shaw to see if he's still alive (he was the grave digger). The second time they lay eyes on each other, Shaw is reviewing the troops and Freeman's character is standing in the ranks. Shaw is riding by on horseback. The two men lock eyes and their heads slightly nod as they ackowledge each other. Freeman's nod to Broderick is the coolest thing in the movie at least to me. It lets us know that he is not easily scared or panicked. It serves him well later on in the film.
As for Matthew Broderick (Colonel Shaw), I believe that this is the best film he's ever done. He gave a wonderful performance as the leader of an all black unit. Broderick does a fine job of letting us see Shaw trying to find a way to communicate with his men and trying to figure out how to train men that will probably never get to fight like the white units do. I believe due to the subject matter, all parties tried to give it the proper respect and honor to the real soldiers of the 54th.
Frankly, I think all the performances were on target. Even the costuming department went through great pains to get the uniforms exactly as they were back then.
Denzel Wahington's finest scene is probably the whipping scene. His character, private Tripp, leave the camp to find shoes so that he can fight. Instead he finds himself charged as a deserter and is sentenced to be whipped in front of his unit. His shirt is remove and reveals that he has already beat beaten many times with the scars from the whip to prove it. In defiance, his stifles any screams that might escape from his throat while being beaten and instead, lets one tear roll down his cheek. The timing of that one tear just as the music swells to the crescendo is pure genius. Also noteworthy as this film unfolds are the relationships that develop between these three men.
Unforunately, everyone in the 54th unit dies (in the movie anyway) and it always makes me sad that my favorite characters don't survive. Shaw and Tripp who were at such odds in the beginnig of the movie are buried together in a mass grave at the end of the movie. I had never heard the story of the 54th nor had I known that there was an all black unit anywhere. I'm glad the movie brought the story to light.
This movie is a must see!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent Movie, Aug 22, 2023
in addition to the high quality of this movie, the additional materials included with it are highly educational and very useful.