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Glory: A Look From Within
It is the evening before a powerful and epic battle with more than victory at stake. Tomorrow, the 54th regiment will forever stamp themselves as a symbol of hope and freedom in a new world during an attack on Fort Wagner as soldiers for the North. Dozens of men with young children, wives, and an idealistic dream of a free world will die in a matter of hours. As the Northern soldiers gather on this night before war, there are no tears of fear to be shed. The din in the air is that of song and the feeling is that of an inspirational victory. On this night before their death, slaves turned soldiers have put aside their personal differences and become one; a metaphoric battle has been won. This is one of the final scenes from the movie Glory, a power depiction of the heroic efforts of the first African American regiment during the Civil War. The deep, multiple plot layers, and moving acting performances in Glory create a captivating viewing experience.
The story leads up to the summer of 1863, during which the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment led an unsuccessful attack on the Confederate’s Fort Wagner in South Carolina. The 54th regiment was the Nation's first black regiment and because of their skill, courage, and determination, they were credited with paving the way for the successful entry of other black soldiers into the ranks of the Union. In addition, these brave men demonstrated that black men were willing to fight and die both for their country and for their freedom. The setting was primarily outdoors and on the battle ground. There was some rain during training, but mostly the weather was mild in climate. The setting also alluded to the camaraderie of the regiment, and what was most memorable was the manner in which the men, who were once divided, came together for the common goal and good of all men regardless of the color of their skin.
Glory did not use make-up for the purpose of beautifying or improving the looks of the actors. Make-up was used to intensify the conditions and the severity of the wounds of soldiers who fought in the “Battle of the States.” The make-up helped to illuminate the emotional intensity of the soldiers and their roles in the war. The composition of the wounds brought reality to the movie and the human aspects of the soldiers. The make-up had a tremendous impact on how the viewer experience t...

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... historical significance of this film. When the film was made, it might have been considered a risk to cast Matthew Broderick as a valiant civil war leader. His past performances included childhood roles in movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, War Games, and Project X. In his first feature role as a serious actor, Broderick is believable and has just the right amount of emotion and dramatic resonance. Morgan Freeman is also well-cast as the patriarch of the group soldiers. His calm, yet powerful soliloquies of life as a hopeful slave painted many of the films non-battle scenes.
Glory had all the elements of a great motion picture. There were moving performances by both lead and supporting actors. There was great historical significance. The casting, setting, and writing were as close to perfection as I have seen in years. Most importantly, the depth of layers in Glory’s plot left many layers of theme for the viewer to absorb. The conflict associated with the basic human struggles of the characters defined this movie for me. Private Trip said it best on the night before the final epic battle: “Ain’t much matter what happens tomorrow, cause we men, ain’t we? We men, ain’t we?”
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