Glory Film Review

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Film review History 110
October 24, 2011

The main topic of the 1989 movie Glory, is the formation of, and the difficulties faced by the first black regular army regiment during the Civil War. The movie emphasizes Colonel Robert Gould Shaw of Boston as the young commanding officer of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment.  Much of the movie is experienced through the letters Shaw writes home revealing his feelings, doubts and in the end belief in the Fifty-fourth Regiment. The movie offers a firsthand view of the physical, mental and political, and difficulties facing the first black regiment. In addition we witness the vast bloodshed and loss of life during the battles of Antietam where Shaw is wounded, James Island, South Carolina on July 16, 1863, and the final battle of defeat, and demise during the attack on Fort Wagner two days later. Shaw and most of his men were killed during the attack on Fort Wagner. Aside from Shaw, other important historical figures in Glory; is the second in command, Major Cabot Forbes, a close friend of Shaw’s. This causes tension and difficulties for both commanders as they navigate their roles as commanders and friends. Three other important men from the Regiment are, Private Trip a rebellious and outspoken runaway slave who embodies the frustrations and hatred of blacks towards the whites, Sergeant Major John Rawlins who is an older and confident runaway slave, but clam and wise which helps the soldiers. The soldiers , Shaw and Forbes respected his abilities as a leader to the troops. The childhood friend of Shaw is Thomas Searles who grew up with the abolitionist Shaw family in Boston. Searles and Shaw also have conflict in their roles as commander and soldier. Searles is a well educated freeman who had great difficulties in becoming a competent soldier. In regards to American History this is a very important movie to see. Although difficult and emotional to watch due to the violence, death...
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