No list of Civil War movies is complete with out Glory. Few would argue that it is one of the best of the genre, even if the history is a little loosey goosey. The actors are all A List and put everything they had into their roles.
Glory tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first all black Union regiments of the Civil War. Made up of freemen and runaways this group of people wanted a chance to fight for their beliefs. This at a time when it was assumed that all men of color were cowards who would run rather than fight when the time came. Up to this point these men were simply used as manual labor by the army. That rarely changed when they started to wear the uniform. Commanded by white officers their lot didn’t really change that much. The 54th was very lucky that the man chosen to lead them, Robert Gould Shaw, saw them their brave souls.
Matthew Broderick has had many unforgettable roles in his life, but as Shaw he helped to bring to life a unique person at a unique time. With such heavy weights as Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Carey Elewes (yes, I put him up there!) the story is expertly brought to life and even when i saw it twenty years ago made me want to learn more about this unit and these men.
So yes, one of the best Civil War movies, but also one with very few actual battle scenes. This only adds to the fabric of the movie. You as the viewer had the chance to build up the same anticipation as the members of the 54th. Both wanting to see the action and both in awe when the big battle finally dawns. The final battle at Ft. Wagner is one of the most visceral and heartbreaking scenes of any military movie. I would say spoilers, but, c’mon we all know how the war ends.
If you have not seen it, watch it. If you have not seen it in a while, watch it again. It holds up and should be held up.
As always, clicking on the image will take you to Amazon where you can buy this fantastic movie.