Military Culture

Civil War epic ‘Glory’ returning to theaters in July

A Civil War epic that earned Denzel Washington his first Academy Award is returning to theaters 30 years after it was first released.

“Glory,” starring Washington, Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, Matthew Broderick, and Cary Elwes, tells the harrowing story of the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, a July 1863 Union assault at Morris Island, South Carolina, on one of the Southern Confederacy’s prominent strongholds.

A movie the New York Times hailed as evoking an “almost overwhelming emotional impact,” “Glory” highlights the heroics of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the climactic assault’s spearheading unit that was made up of black soldiers and commanded by Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Broderick).

The formation of the 54th came in the immediate months following President Abraham Lincoln’s Jan. 1, 1863, Emancipation Proclamation, which authorized black men to officially serve in the U.S. Army and Navy. Law at the time dictated only white officers could command the regiment.

The heroics exhibited by the unit, according to the National Archives, “helped to dispel doubt within the Union Army about the fighting ability of black soldiers.”

To commemorate its July 1989 release — this July also marks the 156th anniversary of the battle — “Glory” will be returning to more than 600 theaters on July 21 and 24.

“'Glory' remains one of the most intelligent and gripping movies ever made about the American Civil War, and is a testament to enormous courage and bravery,” the Fathom release says.

Pre- and post-film commentary by TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz will offer an in-depth look at the historical context of the film and acting performances that brought the events to life.

Tickets can be purchased through Fathom Events and at participating theater box offices.

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