Glory (1989 with Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington)


USA / 1989

Dir: Edward Zwick
Writer: Kevin Jarre, from the books Lay this Laurel by Lincoln Kirstein and One Gallant Rush by Peter Burchard, and the letters of Robert Gould Shaw

Cast: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy

Glory focuses on the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first unit of black troops raised by the Union a month after President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation on 22 September 1862. The film boasts a fine screenplay by Kevin Jarre, which is remarkably faithful to the historical fact including the moving and fascinating letters, written to his mother, by Robert Gould Shaw, the first officer to lead the 54th against the Confederacy.

Matthew Broderick was perfectly cast as the callow Northern Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who is given command of the 54th and persuades his sceptical friend Major Cabot Forbes (Cary Elwes) to join him as his second-in-command. His educated black friend Thomas Searles (André Braugher) also joins up and is dismayed at the training camp to find himself sharing a camp with Sergeant Major John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman), embittered runaway slave Trip (Denzel Washington) and field hand Jupiter Sharts (Jihmi Kennedy).