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Glory Essay

2391 words - 10 pages

Glory captures the heroism of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the firstblack regiment in the Civil War, the Massachusetts "Fighting"Fifty-fourth. An extremely talented cast and crew earned three AcademyAwards (cinematography, sound and supporting actor) and five nominationsfor their work in Glory. The outstanding cinematography, sound, scoreand acting recreate the events leading up to the Union attack on FortWagner on July 18th 1863. Matthew Broderick portrays the youngBostonian abolitionist Col. Robert G. Shaw who takes command of theFifty-fourth, following the Emancipation Proclamation. Shaw along withCabot Forbes (Cary Elwes) leads a band of ex slaves, servants and otherblack volunteers ...view middle of the document...

I didn't want to be an imitationof what I thought Shaw must have been like." Broderick's acting talenthas been noted on Broadway as well as in films. Broderick won a TonyAward for his performance in "Brighton Beach Memoirs" in 1983, a yearafter his film debut in Max Dugan Returns. (Maltin, 102) But it was hisrole as a computer hacker in War Games and his role as a handsome youngteen touring Chicago in Ferris Bueller's Day Off that alerted moviegoersto his talent. Denzel Washington has received critical acclaim forhis role as Trip (as well as an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor).Denzel commented on the role of Trip in an interview with the New YorkTimes. "Trip's an instigator - wild, rebellious, angry. He's aproduct of racism who's become a racist. He hates all white people,Confederates most of all. But in the end, when he sees the white officersmake the maximum sacrifice, he's the most patriotic one in the bunch."Director of Glory, Edward Zwick described Washington by stating, "Whateverthat mysterious chemical process is that makes the camera love someone, hehas more of it than any one person should."(Maltin, 921) It is thatpresence that earned him an Oscar for Glory and nominations for his rolesin Cry Freedom and Malcolm X. Equally as important as acting tothe impact of the movie Glory is the Musical score composed by JamesHorner. In the final battle scene in Glory, Horner chose the Boys Choirof Harlem which creates a moving effect during the death of Col. RobertShaw.(Magill, 158) Horner won a Grammy Award for the score for Glory.He was nominated the same year for an Academy Award for the score forField of Dreams. Horner's previous Grammy Awards include song of theyear and best song written for a motion picture or television, all for"Somewhere Out There" from An American Tale in 1987. (CTFT, 228) LeonardMaltin calls Horner one of today's most prolific film composer's. Hornercomposed thirty one motion picture scores from 1979 to 1989. (Maltin, 411)There are many elements that contribute to the success of a film.Glory combines the best cinematography, sound, score, and acting tocreate a moving representation of this portion of U. S. history. RogerEbert called it a "strong and valuable film." In his review written forthe Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert notes the amount of effort devoted toaccurate period detail. One of Ebert's criticisms of Glory is thatthe perspective of the movie is constantly seen from one view, that of thewhite officer. Ebert points out that a white man is cast as the leadrole when the movie is essentially about a black experience. Glory couldhave been told from the eyes of a black soldier in the Fifty-fourth.Ebert makes a valid assumption when he suggest that a totally differentfilm could be made from the same material. Indeed Glory is a storyof how the freed blacks were able to prove themselves in battle. TheFifty- fourth regiment could also be considered one of the first times wesee blacks look for equal opportunity. Ebert notes...

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