Lunchtime Movie Review

Glory (1989)

Episode #120

TriStar Pictures released Glory on December 14, 1989. Edward Zwick directed the film which starred Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Cary Elwes.

Glory Movie Summary

Glory–based on the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry: the first unit of the U.S. Army made up entirely of black soldiers–takes place during the Civil War.  This story of brave black soldiers, is told through the eyes of a white man.  In 1989, there was but one white actor who possessed the qualities necessary to play emissary and spokesman for all African-Americans, only one man who had the gravitas one would expect of Surrogate Negro.  That actor was Matthew Broderick, of Project X and War Games fame.

Matthew Broderick plays Robert Gould Shaw, one of the only historical figures in this movie based on history.  Shaw was born in 1837 in Boston to a family of great wealth and social and political prominence.  Shaw’s parents were abolitionists, and Shaw took up the family cause by dropping out of Harvard, and taking a commission as an infantry officer shortly after the Civil War began.

Glory begins with Shaw, now a captain, leading an infantry unit at the Battle of Antietam, which would become the bloodiest single day in our nation’s history, with about 23,000 casualties.  Shaw suffers a minor flesh wound to his neck, but a greater wound to his psyche.  He spends the rest of the movie wrestling with PTSD, or in playground terminology: whether or not to puss out.  After the horrors he witnessed in the battle field and army hospital, Shaw now spills punch onto his dress blues any time a servant closes a shutter.

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TriStar Pictures released Glory on December 14, 1989. Edward Zwick directed the film which starred Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Cary Elwes.

User Rating: 4.45 ( 1 votes)
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