GLORY (1989) C widescreen 122m dir: Edward Zwick
w/Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, Andre Braugher, John Finn, Donovan Leitch, John David Cullum, Alan North
From The Movie Guide: "Never self-serving, this glorious film tells the hitherto shamefully uncelebrated story of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first unit of black troops raised by the Union to fight in the Civil War.
"Commanded by Colonel Robert Shaw (Matthew Broderick), the 25-year-old son of abolitionist Boston Brahmins, the ragtag assemblage includes Rawlins (Morgan Freeman), a gravedigger who is the regiment's anchor and voice of reason; Trip (Denzel Washington), an embittered, bullying, but tough-as-steel runaway slave; Searles (Andre Braugher), a bespectacled Emerson scholar; and Sharts (Jihmi Kennedy), a shy, stuttering former field slave. While undergoing relentless training, the black troops are subjected to the racism of white enlistees and officers, denied shoes and uniforms, and offered less than standard wages, which, with Shaw's support, they refuse to accept. Finally given a chance to enter combat, the 54th acquit themselves heroically, then make a brave suicidal assault against an impregnable harbor fortification --- South Carolina's Fort Wagner.
"Based partly on the real Robert Gould Shaw's letters, GLORY is remarkable in its fidelity to history. Director Edward Zwick (ABOUT LAST NIGHT, television's 'thirtysomething') re-creates the period with remarkable accuracy, both in the observation of small details and in the truly harrowing battle scenes. Though essentially an ensemble piece, GLORY also contains especially compelling performances by Broderick, Washington, and Freeman. Richly plotted, alternately inspiring and horrifying, GLORY is an enlightening and entertaining tribute to heroes too long forgotten."
GLORY won three Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Washington), Cinematography (Freddie Francis), and Sound (Donald O. Mitchell, Gregg C. Rudloff, Elliot Tyson, Russell Williams II). It was also nominated for Best Editing (Steven Rosenblum) and Art Direction (Norman Garwood, Garrett Lewis).