Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Glory (1989)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Glory (1989)

In Edward Zwick's Civil War historical epic about the formation of the US' first all-African-American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

  • the announcement that white officer Captain Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) had been promoted to Colonel, following his participation in the bloody Battle of Antietam (where he received injuries), and was to command the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (the first black fighting regiment in US history)
  • the scene of one of Colonel Shaw's angry soldiers, Trip (Oscar-winning Denzel Washington), a former escaped slave and an African-American member, punished for desertion; he was tied to a cart-wheel and bull-whipped on charges of desertion (later declared false) and his back was scarred from the repeated lashings - with his steely defiant look (with one tear on his cheek) at Col. Shaw
  • the confrontation between wise ex-gravedigger Sgt. Major Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) and the angry Trip: (Trip: "So the white man give you a couple ot stripes, next thing you know, you hollerin' and orderin' everybody around like you the massa himself. Nigger, you ain't nothin' but the white man's dog." Rawlins: "And what are you? So full of hate you just wanna go out and fight everybody, 'cause you've been whipped and chased by hounds. Well, that might not be livin', but it sure as hell ain't dyin'. And dying's what these white boys been doin' for goin' on three years now. Dyin' by the thousands. Dyin' for you, fool! I know, 'cause l dug the graves. And all the time I'm diggin', I'm asking myself, 'When?' When, O Lord, is it gonna be our time?' Time's comin' when we're gonna have to ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. Like men! You watch who you call a nigger. If there's any niggers around here, it's you. Smart-mouth, stupid-ass, swamp-runnin' nigger. If you ain't careful, that's all you ever gonna be")
  • the unit's pre-battle campfire spiritual scene in which Sgt. Major Rawlins led the soldiers in prayer and singing - including Trip's confession ("Y'all's the only-est family I got. I love the 54th")
  • their doomed, suicidal, bloodbath, nighttime assault against Fort Wagner in South Carolina (prefaced by the battle-cry "Give 'em hell, 54!") with 1,000 Confederates defending the fortification
The Deadly Assault Against Fort Wagner
  • the final shot of Shaw's burial in a mass beach grave with his soldiers (including Trip next to him)
  • the concluding title cards: "The 54th Massachusetts lost over half its number in the assault on Fort Wagner. The supporting white brigades also suffered heavily before withdrawing. The fort was never taken. As word of their bravery spread, Congress at last authorized the raising of black troops throughout the Union. Over 180,000 volunteered. President Lincoln credited these men of color with helping turn the tide of the war."
  • the end credits shot of "The Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Memorial" relief sculpture by August Saint-Gaudens

Capt. Shaw (Matthew Broderick) in Battle of Antietam

Trip (Denzel Washington) During Flogging

Rawlins Confronting Trip: "So full of hate..."

Campfire Scene with Trip's Confession


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