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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 March 2011
Based around the actual letters sent by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw to his parents, this Civil War picture tells the story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the first black regiment to fight under the American flag. Led by their white leader (Shaw), they must overcome bigotry, in fighting and the war itself, just to feel like men of honour.

The most striking thing about Glory is that it is never over sentimental, with the subject at hand it would have been easy for the makers to over egg the pudding and rely solely on a racialist stance for impact. What we do get is actually a candidate for one of the most politically correct war films to have ever been made, harsh and at times heart tugging it may be, but the narrative never veers from the core essence of men wanting to be just that....men. Director Edward Zwick has many critics in the industry, but here his attention to detail should be roundly applauded, he perfectly captures the period whilst molding a tightly plotted piece of work. Zwick also needs a pat on the back for hiring cinematographer Freddie Francis (Academy Award Winner), who weaves his magic to bring the brutality of the surroundings vividly to life, while James Horner provides a wonderful swirling emotive score (fans of his work on Braveheart should definitely check out this earlier composition). Tho the film is essentially a multi ensemble piece, there are tremendous performances from the principal actors: Matthew Broderick (Shaw), Denzel Washington (Trip) {Academy Award Winner Best Supporting Actor}, Morgan Freeman (John Rawlins) and Andre Braugher (Searles).

We follow this regiment from its initial formation, ill equipped and never taken seriously, it appears that this army is not even worthy of being canon fodder. But thru sheer determination, and led by the empathetically driven Shaw, the 54th Regiment prove themselves to be a worthy force; and this ultimately leads to their place in American history with the culmination of events at South Carolina's Fort Wagner (a stunning emotive finale booming from the screen). Heroic and tragic is the tale of Glory, but its chief point of enlightenment thru historical facts, and its message of heroics having no colour, makes Glory a truly inspiring movie that demands to be seen, and, hopefully........respected. 10/10
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on 11 January 2014
A quick word of warning.

I bought this 2009 Blu-Ray edition to upgrade from my DVD copy and discovered on watching that I've completely wasted my money. I'm not sure how this will compare to the newer 2012 Blu-Ray release however this 2009 version is nothing more than a direct transfer from a DVD source and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be referred to as having a high definition picture quality.

I'd actually go so far as to say that the DVD is of better quality, as the Blu-Ray enhances picture grain in most scenes having not been digitally re-mastered prior to the transfer. The movie itself is a fantastic film if you enjoy this time period, fantastic direction by the brilliant Edward Zwick, excellent performances from all the actors involved not to mention outstanding sets and period detail.

As stated, I'm not sure if the 2012 release has been re-mastered, however this 2009 version is one to avoid. If in doubt, save your money and buy the DVD.
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I cannot believe that this fine film made over twenty years ago has simply passed me by. I have never seen it and did not even know of it's existence until I stumbled across it on Amazon and read all the positive reviews. But lots of positive reviews does not always mean a good film, but it certainly did on this occasion. I do not normally bother to review a film that has already been reviewed by so many, but feel that I should make an exception on this occasion.

The story is about the all black members of the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, who were lead by Col Robert Gould Shaw, the son of a wealthy Boston abolitionist. Shaw wrote over 200 letters to family and friends many of which are kept in the Houghton Library at Harvard. These letters formed the inspiration for books about the 54th and later this film. In a nutshell we witness how these soldiers are denied the courtesies and privaleges allowed their white counterparts, simply due to their colour. All this despite the fact that the war was being fought on their behalf. We then follow the regiment into battle as they distinguish themselves in bitter fighting, culminating in their heroic charge against the heavily fortified Confederate stronghold of Fort Wagner.

Firstly I must say how refreshing it was to see such authentic looking period detail. Many of the soldiers displayed the beards and moustaches so favoured in that period. Matthew Broderick who took the lead role, managed to look uncannily like Shaw. The costumes and battle scenes are entirely convincing, despite lacking the technical wizardry they have at their disposal today. Civil war buffs must surely have been rubbing their hands with glee. This is definitely the most realistic, and also happens to be the best Civil war film I have seen. Broderick excels in the lead role, and is given superb support from his black cast. Denzel Washington stands out as the rebellious Private Trip, and Morgan Freeman is his usual assured self as Sgt Major John Rawlins. The film avoids the obvious pitfall of submerging itself in cloying sentimentality, and simply tells a very worthy story in some style. The characters are developed without the usual bland stereo typing, so that you empathise with them as the film progresses. I defy a viewer of any colour not to be angry at the racism directed against the soldiers. The film closes in a magnificently staged battle sequence to James Horner's stirring musical score.

The real heroes of the story were ignored by history due to ongoing racism. This is something that thankfully in recent years has been rectified, and the debt of gratitude that the American people owe to the 54th has been recognised. This film covers a fascinating story with the due respect and sensitivity that those soldiers deserved. There are no false heroics here. Brave men die because someone has to take the initiatiative and throw themselves toward the waiting guns. This is the nature of war, and the 54th showed themselves to be brave men. The words inspirational and moving have been used by other reviewers and that certainly rang true for me. I see the average stars for this film is 4.5 based on current reviews which is spot on. I will round this up to a generous 5 stars. Well worth watching if you have not caught it already. Deservedly given the blu-ray treatment.
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VINE VOICEon 24 April 2013
In 1990, this film, made the year before, won three Oscars. It shows something of the gravity of this production, that a film about events in the American Civil War, should achieve this. The reason why is well-known, as this deals with the formation of the first Black regiment in the Union Army, to actually be allowed to fight in battle, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry.

The first part of the film concentrates on the racism that was still widespread in the North, and the opposition to arming black troops. There are the scenes from the training camp, the difficulties experienced by the all-white officers, and the eventual move South, to fight in the campaign in Georgia, and South Carolina. The predominantly black cast gave the producers a great opportunity to recruit the best black actors in the USA. Denzel Washington, (winning an Oscar) Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, as an educated Bostonian, and many more. The white officers are well cast also, with Matthew Broderick superb in the starring role, and Cary Elwes solid, as his second in command.
In the latter part of the film, the regiment is finally given the chance to fight, and the first battle scene, involving hand to hand fighting in woodland, is edge of the seat stuff. Later, they arrive at the siege of Fort Wagner, an almost impregnable Confederate position on the coast. Expected to take a place at the rear, Broderick's character pleads to be allowed to lead the forthcoming assault, and is allowed to do so. The futile attack is brilliantly portrayed on film, and despite failing to capture the fort, and suffering terrible losses, the 54th earn the respect of their fellow soldiers, as well as a place in history.
A moving war film, with an engrossing plot, good script, and a great cast.
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on 30 April 2014
This film is deceptively simple and perhaps its that, that makes it work..........Many modern film makers would be advised to look at the story telling, plot lines, scripting and acting involved in Glory as a guide to getting it right........ But beyond all else its the character development, each persons private story and motivations are understandable and so you quickly develop empathy for the soldiers.

Glorious sound track and the beginning scene at Fort Wagner sends shivers down my back every time, fabulous stuff
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on 25 November 2005
Id just like to say i am only 13 and i watched this film in a history lesson as we are learning about the civil war in America and, it was absolutly amazing. How one man gave his life to Black race touched me in such a way that by the end of the film i was crying. Id reccomend it to any one who really appreciates a true, patriotic film. It really puts things into perspective to you. Thank you x
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on 6 December 2000
The American Civil War does not interest me at all but this movie has made me think twice. It is a deep and thoughtful film based on a real life negro (54th) regiment.
It tracks the regiments formation and struggle to be deemed equal to other white regiments. Unlike other race related movies this one touching and non forceful and at times you feel a deep sympathy for the troops and the officers (white) commanding the regiment.
In all it includes hope, courage and truth. Bonuses on the DVD include well made documentaries on the 54th and directors/actors comments.
This movie is in my 10 all time movies and I highly recomend it.
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on 5 October 2014
One of the best movies ever made. Washington rightly won an oscar for best supporting actor but how Broderick didn't get the oscar for best actor I'll never know. This movie is a masterpiece. Brilliant script, acting, visually stunning and spine-tingling soundtrack, the movie builds at pace to an epic crescendo. The American Civil War is a major part of human history and this movie is a fitting tribute to the people affected by this war.
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on 18 April 2007
This a truly great war film, firstly in the sense that it focuses on the human experience in war, rather than glorifying war (the title is deliberately ironic in context)and, secondly, has a sincere message to convey. The true story of the first black regiment in the American Civil War is compelling, moving and inspiring in equal measure throughout the entire film. And it's interesting to see Matthew Broderick, in a rare heavyweight role, as the idealistic and caring young officer, who bears an almost overwhelming responsibility and learns as much from his men as they do from him. Broderick conveys the pressure and vulnerability his character suffers, often (and this is the mark of a good actor) without dialogue but with subtle expressive gestures. The interchanges between Morgan Freeman as the wise gravedigger turned soldier and Denzel Washington as the infantryman with a chip on his soldier are very moving. It's a quietly dignified film that tells its story so well and doesn't plod along as do so many war films that recount true events.
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on 27 March 2003
GLORY tells the Civil War story of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry which was comprised of black soldiers led by a young white officer named Robert Gould Shaw. The movie is dominated by strong performances by Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman as well as superb action scenes.
The tale of Colonel Shaw's exploits has long been familiar to school children in Boston where a statue of the Union Army hero is prominently situated on the Boston Common at the corner of Beacon and Park Streets.
GLORY won Academy Awards in 1989 for Best Supporting Actor (Denzel Washington) and Cinematography. Oscar nominations were also received for Editing, Art Direction and Sound.
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