The Truth About Glory

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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Glory tells the story of a Civil War colonel put in command of the 54th brigade. This movie displays the trials, emotional battles, and unique situations that arise in one of the first colored regiments fighting for the Union. It directly deals with the issues such as war, racism, segregation, honor, and respect. Glory embodies all the emotions of a colored regiment fighting for more then their country in the Civil War.

In my opinion this movie showed exactly what needed to be seen, gory as it may have been, war is not a pleasant thing and that point was made. War is difficult to display in movies. Comparing this war movie to other more recent films it lacked in effect in displaying war. However, this movie did bring out true emotion and reality when showing slave treatment and the harsh reality the colored regiments went through. Glory portrayed exactly what needed to be seen to feel the full effect, overall, of war and segregation.

A characteristic I truly enjoyed about this movie was its attempt to make the viewer see both white and black views and contrast in lifestyle. For example, the movie showed how the black soldiers needed shoes, one soldiers attempt to find better shoes, and his punishment for "deserting". They later showed you Colonel Bradshaw's realization of his soldiers need, when it was too late. This example clearly shows the difference between races and that on both sides growth occurs. An example of this would be when all the black soldiers rip up their pay slips because they are receiving three dollars less because they are black. Whites never had to deal with this type of rebellion and with it they were forced to change gears. Colonel Bradshaw's character was one of constant growth and change because of his one on one contact with the black soldiers.

This movie was very hard for me to watch. I would say that it does reach its goal of showing the harsh realities of war. Glory succeeded in mixing key historical fact with emotional trial. I would definitely recommend this movie to someone who has an interest in historical movies and/or war movies. Personally this would not be a movie I would want to watch time and time again, maybe for the selfish reason that I wish not to face such a harsh reality and that it is too mind boggling to comprehend. All in all Glory was a touching, inspiring, learning experience that I feel I benefited from as well any other that have seen it.