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Glory [VHS]

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,499 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: June 22, 1994
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,499 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301777867

Editorial Reviews

final days during the war between the states.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sally Burnell on April 4, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
I first saw this film right after its release on video nearly 16 years ago, and I can say in all honesty that it changed my life. Having grown up with an interest in Civil War history, this film made me realise just how little I actually knew of the period beyond what most people learn in school about this era of American History. So as the credits rolled, I wrote down the names of the books quoted, sought them out at the library, and it wasn't long before I began to realise that this would beg some further research. Taking the bibliography of one of the sources for this film, "One Gallant Rush" by Peter Burchard, I did my utmost to find and read as many of his sources as I could possibly get my hands on.

The result of this research has been that now I wish that the film had been truer to the actual story of what really happened. There are some obviously glaring historical inaccuracies in the film, but if you don't know the actual story as intimately as I do, it does little to detract from the fact that this is a superb film that brought to light one of the less known and more obscure aspects of Civil War history, that blacks fought in rather large numbers for the Union Army and were instrumental in turning the tide in favour of the Union in the war. In the end, nearly 200,000 blacks would fight in blue under the auspices of the United States Bureau of Coloured Troops. The 54th would keep its state regimental designation, but all the rest of the black troops were part of the USCT, the United States Coloured Troops.

Had the filmmakers stuck more rigourously to the actual history of the 54th Massachusetts, it would have been far more dramatic than what the film suggests.
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Format: DVD
Here's one of those rare movies that succeeds as both a sweeping, visually sumptuous historical epic AND an intimate, character-driven personal drama. This fact-based account of the first black regiment to fight for the Union in the Civil War is filled with scenes of grand pageantry: the bloody battle at Antietam Creek; the first assembly of the 54th Regiment; the proud parade of the finally-trained and uniformed soldiers; the climactic attack on Fort Wagner. And yet despite these heart-pounding, majestic sequences, the film at no time loses its focus on the individual characters whose stories provide an emotional connection to the action. The performances of the once-in-a-lifetime cast are uniformly superb: Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, and Andre Braugher are all at the top of their game, and Denzel Washington (who deservedly won the Supporting Actor Oscar) is amazing, especially in the scene in which he undergoes a bitterly harsh punishment. The dozens of emotions that flicker across Washington's face in that sequence, wordlessly conveying his character's essence, represent a powerful economy of acting that is rarely achieved in any medium.

Happily, the DVD transfer of this cinematic masterpiece is exceptional. The Oscar-winning Cinematography and Sound are beautifully showcased, putting the viewer right in the middle of the story. (You'll understand Francis Scott Key's line about "the rockets' red glare" on a level you never before imagined!) And James Horner's soaring, elegant musical score is a revelation. This absorbing film makes for a phenomenal DVD experience!
________________________________________

BLU-RAY UPDATE: My original review was based on the first, single-disc DVD edition of "Glory".
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2 Comments 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
That line, uttered by an obscure character, a white Union soldier watching the Massachusetts 54th Infantry prepare to assault a heavily-fortified Confederate fort, signifies the acceptance of the Union Army's first all-black regiment. GLORY, director Edward Zwick's Civil War masterpiece, shows us the evolution of the 54th, from a ragtag group of former slaves and freemen--a group under supplied, underpaid, and initially used for manual labor and looting--to an efficient fighting machine.
Like many other reviewers, I was pleasantly surprised by Matthew Broderick's portrayal as Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the young, idealistic leader of the 54th. Broderick gives this character depth, compassion, credibility, and yes, maturity. And what else can be said about the supporting cast, including Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes, other than "exceptional?"
GLORY is profound entertainment: gripping, violent, raw, and emotional as the fragile subject of race--of racism--is brought to the forefront. It is a story that is as timeless as it is transcendent.
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Format: DVD
This is the kind of film that is very rare: an historically important creation where everything works. The writing is excellent, the acting is superb, the cinematography is outstanding, the scope is epic with a phenomenal score that courses through the movie lending it amazing depth of emotion. This film is flawless and filled to the brim with interesting characters and historical significance. There are many fine acting performances here, the lead actors shining on several occasions. Matthew Broderick has the performance in his career that finally shed that "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" stigma and established him as an A-list actor capable of carrying a dramatic role as well as sustaining comedy. Denzel Washington is mesmerizing to watch, owning each and every scene he is in and completely earning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Cary Elwes, fresh from his enthusiastic performance in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride," also shows some dramatic chops as surprising as Matthew Broderick brings to the table. Then there is Morgan Freeman, who is the pride and center of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, and his performance sparkles accordingly. There are so many great performances in this film that I could write for pages describing them all. Of course, there are the incredible battle scenes, as well. They are brilliantly staged, from long-range battle tactics to hand-to-hand combat with muskets fixed with bayonettes. The intensity is realistic and exciting and oftentimes chilling. At the time I saw this film in the theater back in 1989 I considered it the best Civil War film ever made. In my mind, it has yet to be surpassed. "Glory" is exceptional filmmaking on every level and should find a home in every DVD collection. Highly recommended.
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