May 28th, 2014: Glory (1989)

Cast and Crew: Lincoln Kirstein (Book); Bob Gunton, Cliff De Young, Richard Riehle, Jay O. Sanders, Ethan Philips, Bob Minor, Bill Nunn, Raymond St. Jacques

What It’s About: Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) trains and leads the men of the 54th Massachusetts (the first African-American regiment in the Civil War) through training, the prejudice of both sides, and eventually, to glory in a doomed assault on Fort Wagner.

Why Watch it Today?: The 54th Massachusetts marched out of Boston today in 1863, heading for the South and eventual combat.   While director Edward Zwick gives the film a formulaic feel, the cast, including Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes and André Braugher, and a stirring score by James Horner, beautiful costumes, the large casts of extras, and the historical events covered are stirring enough to overcome the Hollywood moments.

3 comments on “May 28th, 2014: Glory (1989)

  1. geelw says:

    When i saw this back when it was released, I was torn on liking and not liking it thanks to what you noted above. I felt it was too much of an “Oscar Bait” film, but extremely well made nonetheless.

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      Yeah, its tough because there is a lot to like about this and it’s a story that should be told, but it gets overwhelmed by a lot of easy Oscar Bait choices. I saw it when I was young enough to not be terribly critical, which was probably the best way to see it.

      • geelw says:

        I think more unknowns in the cast (who could act well) would have made a big difference. I do recall overhearing some of the folks in the audience debating that and a few other things while exiting the theater. Then again, it was definitely not as disastrous as Legends of the Fall (a film I still think was/is more a really expensive period comedy than anything else)…

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