The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Glory (1989)

"Glory" (1989) film directed by Edward Zwick about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, one of the Union Army's earliest African-American regiments in the American Civil War. Kevin Jarre wrote the screenplay based on the books "Lay This Laurel" (1973) by Lincoln Kirstein and "One Gallant Rush" (1965) by Peter Burchard and the personal letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. The film features a fantastic cast, including Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Andre Braugher, and Jihmi Kennedy. Denzel won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

After the Academy nominated Morgan Freeman for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his abrasive character, Fast Black, in "Street Smart" (1987), Freeman's career reached another level. In 1989, Freeman not only appeared in "Glory," but also starred in "Lean on Me," "Johnny Handsom," and "Driving Miss Daisy." He earned another nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in "Driving Miss Daisy." Similarly, the same year the Academy nominated Freeman in '87, Denzel Washington also earned a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in "Cry Freedom." In addition, Washington appeared in several T.V. shows and films, including "The Mighty Quinn," released in 1989. 

For Andre Braugher, "Glory" was his first theatrical film after appearing in two "Kojak" T.V. movies. Afterward, he had an illustrious career, including winning two Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in "Homicide: Life on the Street," in 1998 and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in "Theif," in 2006. Lastly, Jihmi Kennedy appeared in several T.V. shows and films before starring in "Glory." He starred in four films in 1989, with primarily minor roles.

All four actors represented different characters in the movie. They brilliantly perform their character portrayals in a film with a great story. However, since it's a historical movie, many aspects require additional research for deeper understanding. Nevertheless, it's beautifully shot and does a great job of putting you into the environment. I highly recommend the movie for viewing.

Director: Edward Zwick
Writers: Kevin Jarre (screenplay), Lincoln Kirstein (book "Lay This Laurel"), Peter Burchard (book "One Gallant Rush"), Robert Gould Shaw (letters)

Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, Andre Braugher, John Finn, Donovan Leitch Jr., JD Cullum, Alan North, Bob Gunton

Following the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is offered command of the United States' first all-African-American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. With junior officer Cabot Forbes (Cary Elwes), Shaw puts together a solid and proud unit, including the escaped slave Trip (Denzel Washington) and the wise gravedigger John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman). At first, limited to menial manual tasks, the regiment fights to be placed in the heat of battle.