Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD Steelbook from director Edward Wick and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment celebrating its 35th Anniversary on Steelbook is the stunning film GLORY.

Young Captain Robert Shaw (Matthew Broderick) has been wounded the battle of Antietam during the Civil War. Home recuperating, he learns that he has been given the rank of colonel and is wanted to lead the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Learning it is an all-black regiment, Cpt. Shaw appoints friend Cabot Forbes (Cary Elwes) as second-in-command. 

Thrilled to be volunteering is Thomas Searles (Andre Braugher), a freeman who has known Cpt. Shaw since childhood and works for the Shaw family. Also signing up immediately is John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman), Jupiter Sharts (Jihmi Kennedy), and the full-of-attitude Silas Trip (Denzel Washington).

Knowing he needs to get the regiment up to par immediately, he requests Sgt. Mulcahy (John Finn) to do what he must. It also becomes clear quickly that he can not be seen to show favoritism because of his friendship. Cpt. Shaw also learns of the with the Emancipation Proclamation, comes a dire warning from the confederacy that African American soldiers caught wearing a uniform will be executed, as well as white officers. Offering to let the men go, Shaw is taken aback to learn that their determination is as strong as his own.

He turns to Rawlins in asking for help in understanding the men under his command and Rawlins obliges quickly. With that, Shaw is determined to get the men shoes and such as was promised when they joined. Rawlins is then rewarded for his character and becomes a Sgt. Major. The men are determined to be part of the fight but instead find themselves dealing with those who don’t think they belong.

There time comes when they battle on James Island and each show, they are fully capable to fight. Heading towards Fort Wagner, realizing there will be heavy casualties, Shaw volunteers his regiment to be the first to cross the beach. When they march out of camp, they are sent off with honor.

Broderick as Captain Shaw is a young man from a prominent family but does not use that to his advantage. Instead, he wants to do what is right by the men in his regiment and for something he truly believes in. The difficulty comes when separating his friendships and understanding his men. Broderick plays this role with thoughtfulness and as a young man of that time period having to do the unthinkable and it is beautifully done.

Braugher as Thomas is a man who believes in being a part of the fight but, like Shaw, has a hard time at first understanding how to separate his northern free life to what is happening all around him. His performance is so moving. Freeman as Rawlins is a man that doesn’t rush his feelings but, instead, considers each situation before him. Helping Shaw find his ground and the respect of his men are everything and Freeman is brilliant.

Elwes as Forbes is finding himself torn just as everyone else is. Its hard to go from a friendship with Shaw and James to being in the middle of a colonel and a private. He gets to be a little irate where the other two can not afford to. Kennedy as Jupiter is the surprise in this film because he goes through the paces and comes out as the being a constant source of pride in the midst of chaos. He has the support of Rawlins, the praise of his superiors and yet, he is a gentle spirit.

Washington as Silas as a man with a huge chip on his shoulder and he does not hold back on anything he feels. His anger is aimed at anyone, no matter color, who gets in his way or challenges him. But, with all men in war, there comes a turning point and maybe even a little bit of self-reflection on all that anger. Silas may be complex but he is also not one to shy away from a fight. Washington’s performance is equally as stunning and the story could not be told without his performance, or any of them for that matter.

Other cast include JD Cullum as Henry Russell, Cliff DeYoung as Col. James Montgomery, Alan North as Governor, John Andrew, Christian Baskous as Edward Pierce, RonReaco Lee as Honey, Donovan Leitch as Captain Morse, Bob Gunton as General Harker, Jay Sanders as General Strong, Richard Riehl as Quartermaster, Peter Goetz as Francis Shaw, Jane Alexander as Sarah Shaw and Raymond St. Jacques as Frederick Douglass.

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Special Features include on 4K Ultra HD include Restored from Original Camera Negative Presented in 4K Resolution with Dolby Vision, English Dolby Atmos, Visual Feature-Length Commentary, and Theatrical Trailer. On Bluray is Feature Presented in High Definition, English Dolby True HD, Director’s Commentary, Deleted Scenes with Commentary, Virtual Civil War Battlefield Interactive Map, “The True Story Continues” Documentary, “The Voices of Glory” Featurette and “The Making of Glory” Featurette.

GLORY is a stunning film that, amazingly, is told from so many sides of one coin. From those in control of the war to those who fight it to the inner struggles of them all, scene after scene is powerful. The performances by this cast are just as amazing in 2024 as it was in theatres in 1989.

The film is actually based on such books as Brave Black Regiment – History of the Fifty-fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (1891) BY Captain Luis F. Emilio, Lay This Laurel (1973) BY Lincoln Kirstein, One Gallant Rush (1965) BY Peter Burchard as well as the personal letters of Robert Gould Shaw.

Yes, the cinematography is stellar, the costuming is on point and the music brings you further into the story. All of these are so very important adding a luster to the film and bringing this cast together is the absolute cherry on the cake. Revisit the story of these brave men in the 35th anniversary of GLORY.

In the end – nothing would be spared in the fight for their freedom!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.