Edward Zwick's Film, Glory

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Edward Zwick's Film, Glory

“Glory”, the excellent war film about the first black regime, showed how a group of black men who first found bitterness between each other, rose above it and became one to form a group of black men that marched with pride not animosity. When dealing with a great film that involves African Americans, the roles have to be filled by strong black actors. Edward Zwick falls nothing short of this. The two black roles are filled by Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman. This war film seemed to be just like every other war film. Meaning that mostly all war movies have the singing among troops and playing cards or in this case, craps. This helps the viewer see past the soldier, and see the real person and notice their human as well. This paper will show how Zwick used different characters, racial wars, music, and camera to portray what really goes on during a time of war.

In “Glory” there are very different meanings to all the unique characters. Matthew Broderick, who plays Colonel Shaw, has many different meanings behind his character. The opening scene when he is lying on the battlefield he is feeling like he is in a living hell. When he is awakened the next morning, the first thing he sees is the sun. The sun looks like a narrow path of light, maybe resembling new life. Colonel Shaw, believing he was in a living hell, was awakened by a new heaven. Shaw, believing that he should of also died for his country, takes the responsibility of leading the first black regime and going back to the living hell for where he once was. Denzel Washington plays the next character, Private Trip. Trip is the rebel of the crew and talks like he has been through everything. Throughout the film, Zwick emphasizes Trip’s feet, which are badly scared, bruised, and cut. The bruised feet symbolize the journey that he has gone through since the age of twelve when he first ran away from home. This is very deep because since the age of twelve he has been on his own and there had to be bigger battles to fight than the war he was in getting himself into at the time. The feet also symbolize all the training that the troops are doing and they are not being rewarded with proper attire such as uniforms. The third main character is Sergeant Major John Rawlins played by Morgan Freeman. He at first is part of the regime and then is appointed Sergeant. He is the i...

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...stage and the troops being on the ground, this shows that Shaw has the power over them and that the troops are inferior to him. Throughout the movie Shaw is on and off his horse. When he is on his horse doesn’t talk to the soldiers and when he does the camera angle shows him looking down, again showing more power. When off the horse he talks to the troops and treats them as not only troops but also as human beings the camera now is at conversation level, showing that Shaw and the troops are both there for the same purpose which is war.

“Glory” is an excellent movie not only on the screen but also behind the scenes. A better understanding is developed when the movie is watched from a critical point of view. There is a better understanding of the racial issues and how Zwick portrays the white and black issues by the different positions of the camera. Zwick shows an incredible camera view at the end when they all are one running for the fort and all the racial issues are erased. There is no better movie to review when you have to look behind the scene and get the true meaning, and in “Glory” the war against each other is erased and the unity rises above all negative issues.

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