Glory (movie, 1989)

Glory is an American film directed by Edward Zwick , released onwhich tells the story of the voluntary 54 th Massachusetts Regiment during the Civil War . The 54 th was the first regiment composed entirely of African Americans enlisted in a northern state (without the officers) that history has instead retained the Buffalo Soldiers .


During the American Civil War , after the terrible battle of Antietam , young northern colonel Robert Gould Shaw was given the first battalion of black volunteer soldiers after Lincoln declared their emancipation. After long months of preparation for combat and waiting, Shaw , not wishing to see his color regiment reduced to mere tasks on the periphery of the fighting, gets the order to go to the front. Shaw , head of the 54 th Massachusetts Regiment , then volunteered to storm the Fort Wagner ( South Carolina), deemed impregnable. During the assault, many of the men of the 54 th perished (Colonel Robert Gould Shaw included) but is also noted for his bravery.

Technical sheet

  • Title: Glory
  • Director: Edward Zwick
  • Scenario: Kevin Jarre , based on the books Lay This Laurel , Lincoln Kirstein (1973), One Gallant Rush , Peter Burchard (1965) and Colonel Robert Gould Shaw’s letters
  • Music: James Horner
  • Photography: Freddie Francis
  • Editing: Steven Rosenblum
  • Sets: Norman Garwood
  • Production: Freddie Fields , Pieter Jan Brugge , Sarah Caplan , PK Fields and Ray Herbeck Jr.
  • Production Company: TriStar
  • Budget: $ 18 million
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Format: Technicolor Colors – 1.85: 1 – Stereo Dolby – 35 mm
  • Genre: Drama, War
  • Duration: 122 minutes
  • Release dates:  (United States),  (La France)


  • Matthew Broderick (VF: Luc Hamet ) : Colonel Robert Gould Shaw
  • Denzel Washington (VF: Emmanuel Jacomy ) : Trip
  • Cary Elwes : Major Cabot Forbes
  • Morgan Freeman (VF: Med Hondo ) : Sergeant Major John Rawlins
  • Jihmi Kennedy : Jupiter Sharts
  • Andre Braugher (VF: Serge Faliu ) : Corporal Thomas Searles
  • Cliff De Young (VF: Hervé Bellon): Colonel James M. Montgomery
  • Alan North : Governor John Albion Andrew
  • Bob Gunton : General Harker
  • Jay O. Sanders : General George Crockett Strong
  • John Finn (VF: Jacques Frantz ) : Sergeant Major Mulcahy
  • Donovan Leitch, Jr . : Captain Charles Fessenden Morse
  • JD Cullum : Henry Sturgis Russell
  • Christian Baskous (VF: Herve Caradec) : Edward L. Pierce

Around the film

  • Of note are the appearances of actress Jane Alexander in the role of the mother of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw , and screenwriter Kevin Jarre as a soldier shouting Make them skin! .

The film and the historical facts

For an in-depth comparison with historical facts, read the article Robert Gould Shaw

  • In fact, the 54 th was not the only black regiment, he was preceded by the 1st Louisiana Native Guards (27 September 1862), two of Louisiana Native Guard Infantry Regiment and 3rd Louisiana Native Guard Infantry Regiment (October and November 1862) . The members of these three units were mostly from the Louisiana State militia (initially serving the Confederacy) and most of the officers were black. However, these black officers were quickly eliminated by the federal discrimination policy.
  • When conscription for 54 th , there were so many enlisted the 55 th Massachusetts Regiment was formed in parallel.
  • Of the main characters only Colonel Robert Gould Shaw is real, the others are fictional or composed.
  • During the assault on Fort Wagner , the sea is on the left of the assailants, in fact it was on their right.
  • The real second in command was Lieutenant-Colonel Edwin Hallowell. The character of Major Forbes, played by Cary Elwes , is inspired by it. Although he was seriously affected, Hallowell survived the assault on the fort and took command of the regiment until the end of the war in 1865.
  • The ending credits state that “Fort Wagner was never taken”. It’s technically accurate; however, after 58 days of siege and uninterrupted bombing, he was evacuated by the last southern troops in September 1863.


  • Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (Denzel Washington), Best Photography ( Freddie Francis ) and Best Sound (Donald O. Mitchell, Gregg Rudloff, Elliot Tyson and Russell Williams II), as well as Oscar nominations for Best Editing and Best Art Direction and sets (Norman Garwood and Garrett Lewis) in 1990.
  • Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor (Denzel Washington) and Golden Globe Nominations for Best Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Music in 1990.
  • Grammy Award for best film soundtrack in 1991.



Luis F. Emilio, A Brave Black Regiment: A History of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry: 1863-1865 (Boston: The Boston Book Company, 1891).

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