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Glory Glory captures the heroism of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the first black regiment in the Civil War, the Massachusetts "Fighting" Fifty-fourth. An extremely talented cast and crew earned three Academy Awards (cinematography, sound and supporting actor) and five nominations for their work in Glory. The outstanding cinematography, sound, score and acting recreate the events leading up to the Union attack on Fort Wagner on July 18th 1863. Matthew Broderick portrays the young Bostonian abolitionist Col. Robert G. Shaw who takes command of the Fifty-fourth, following the Emancipation Proclamation. Shaw along with Cabot Forbes (Cary Elwes) leads a band of ex slaves, servants and other black volunteers including a rebellious runaway slave Trip (Denzel Washington), Shaw's educated childhood friend Thomas Searles (Andre Braugher), and a former grave digger Rawlins (Morgan Freeman). Together these men face the adversity of a racist Union Army, struggling to prove themselves worthy of their government issued blue uniforms. After months of training and exploitation for physical labor, the Fifty- fourth gains the opportunity to fight in an attack on Fort Wagner on the beaches of South Carolina. Poised to dispel the belief that blacks would not be disciplined under fire, the Fifty-fourth leads the almost suicidal attack on Ft. Wagner. There Col. Shaw valiantly falls and the Fifty-fourth, suffering great losses, displayed the courage that persuaded the Union to enlist many more black soldiers. Matthew Broderick delivers a noteworthy performance in the role of Col. Shaw, which Leonard Maltin calls his most ambitious part. In an interview for the New York Times, Broderick spoke of his method acting, "The first step [in preparing for the role of Robert Gould Shaw in Glory] was to try to learn as much as I could about the real person. That was mostly from letters, photographs, descriptions and a poem by Emerson. The thing I had to do was bring myself into that situation. I didn't want to be an imitation of what I thought Shaw must have been like." Broderick's acting talent has been noted on Broadway as well as in films. Broderick won a Tony Award for his performance in "Brighton Beach Memoirs" in 1983, a year after his film debut in Max Dugan Returns. (Maltin, 102) But it was his role as a computer hacker in War Games and his role as a handsome young teen touring Chicago in Ferris Bueller's Day Off that alerted moviegoers to his talent. Denzel Washington has received critical acclaim for his role as Trip (as well as an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). Denzel commented on the role of Trip in an interview with the New York Times.

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