Glory (1989) Essay (Movie Review)

Glory is a movie that represents a celebration regarding a bravery act witnessed in the course of the Civil War. The movie depicts the way members of a battalion treated one another because of racial segregation. Furthermore, the leaders of the regiment treated members differently depending on their race.

The members of the “54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry” were segregated because of their racial origin (Zwick, 1989). Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who plays Mathew Broderick headed the regiment. The black members of the regiment faced serious discrimination than their white counterparts. They did not access several rights and amenities. Furthermore, they performed demeaning roles. However, they did not abandon the regiment when they had opportunities to quit.

The movie begins with a serious battle, which leaves Shaw hurt and forced to return home. While at home, Shaw gains information concerning plans by the government to form a regiment incorporating mainly black soldiers. He takes up the role of a commander. He later asks Major Forbes to deputize him (Zwick, 1989). Colonel Shaw eventually started enlisting soldiers into the regiment thus leading to the emergence of the other actors depicted in the movie.

The movie depicts a real story regarding the experiences members of the “54th Massachusetts regiment” underwent (Zwick, 1989). It is important to note that the regiment was the first ever to incorporate many African American combatants. The theme of racial discrimination appears to be at the core of the movie as depicted throughout its setting.

The soldiers had several battles to fight. The movie depicts them as a group who has the desire to achieve their freedom. The black soldiers also has the desire to secure the freedom of their colleagues in the south (Zwick, 1989). They are also fighting to end discrimination that is so rampant within the military union. It is notable that discrimination also dogged the Northern states in the country affecting the lives of many.

The Union Army staff plays a critical role in promoting discrimination. The personnel discriminate against the members of the regiment by failing to give them appropriate weaponry, apparatus, and other items that are critical for their victory. However, Robert Gould Shaw who at early twenties has attained the rank of a colonel has faith in his regiment becoming better that the Union Army.

He has faith that the group can triumph if accorded appropriate support. Morgan Freeman plays Sergeant Major Rawlins in the movie (Zwick, 1989). The colonel also comprehends appropriate ways of gaining the trust, esteem, and dependability of his regiment with the assistance of Sergeant Major Rawlins.

Broderick manages to illustrate the learning progression in a manner that is easy to comprehend. Initially, skeptics doubt his ability to provide leadership roles because of his previous areas of acting. Broderick had just left Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where he had never played series acting roles (Zwick, 1989). Therefore, most members of the regiment noted that he was unfit to play a critical role. It is notable that he proved his doubters wrong.

In addition, the movie depicts Denzel Washington as a person who can play several roles. Initially, Denzel was a slave. However, as the movie progresses, Denzel became a soldier and joined the regiment. It is notable that Denzel joined the regiment with several years of pent up animosity, fury, and frustrations because of his experiences as a slave. Therefore, after joining the regiment, he needed a way of letting out the emotions associated with his experiences as a slave.

The movie depicts Denzel taking out his emotions on everyone indiscriminately. However, at one point Denzel realizes that the way he takes out his anger on other soldiers was not appropriate. He also realizes that his behavior towards others and his great hate of the world was inappropriate.

The actor manages to depict the transformation into a soldier who learns to believe, cherish, and develop high esteem for his colleagues (Zwick, 1989). Indeed, the movie depicts Denzel as someone who shows love to his colleagues without prejudice or racial discrimination. Denzel’s transformation is depicted through the change Tripp undergoes throughout the experience.

The movie emerges as one of the most interesting works focusing on the civil war and racial discrimination against Black Americans. Furthermore, the movie depicts the existence of various thoughts and views regarding civil war. The purpose and ultimate effect of the movie also makes it outstanding.

The actors in the movie also come up with varying understandings (Zwick, 1989). For example, the sentiments and understandings of Broderick and Major Forbes differ from those of Denzel and Rawlins. Furthermore, Andre Braugher who portrays Searles develops entirely varying anticipations and emotions.

The movie has a strong significance in its depiction of how actors with varying expectations, opinions, and emotions are capable of forging unity, understand colleagues, and show belief and love for one another. The movie shows other unwelcome aspects of peoples’ experiences such as racial discrimination, animosity, irritation, and frustrations (Zwick, 1989).

On the other hand, it depicts the desirable aspects of humanity such as courage, believing in one another, compassionate, and sacrifice. Admittedly, the movie is visually magnificent. It also portrays fighting experiences to give viewers real insights about the civil war.


Zwick, E. (Director). (1989). Glory [movie file]. Retrieved from

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