Ed Zwick’s Glory An Exemplary Model For Historical Films

2303 words - 9 pages

Ed Zwick’s Glory - An Exemplary Model for Historical Films

“History, I am convinced, is not just something to be left to the historians.” - Warren Susman

[1] From a critic’s point of view, what is there not to scrutinize when a white, Jewish filmmaker is responsible for a historical film about African-Americans during the Civil War? One which happens to have a brave young Boston Brahmin as the supposed leader of a colored battalion? Surely he does not have the license to create a film based on a heritage with which he has no affinity. Director Ed Zwick was apprehensive with the task and struggled with his entitlement to create such a film.

I was afraid initially that a young, white, liberal, Jewish director would be presuming a lot to talk to them [African-American actors] about their slave antecedents. In fact, what I discovered in rehearsal and everyday shooting was that they approached the situation with extraordinary humor and generosity. And I realized that if I was to act out my ancestors in the shtetl in Poland, that I would approach it in a similar way.

In retrospect, it is both fortunate and honorable that Zwick overcame his misgivings and came to this realization, because the finished product can serve as an exemplary model for future historical films. While not entirely perfect in form or substance, reputable critics ultimately praise Glory’s end result.

[2] James McPherson, author of Pulitzer Prize winner Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, analyzed Glory with the crucial understanding of its role as a film and not a documentary. Accordingly, McPherson had this to say about Zwick’s work: “Glory is not only the first feature film to treat the role of black soldiers in the American Civil War, [but] also the most powerful and historically accurate movie about that war ever made." He also credited the film for its overall attention to detail, particularly dealing with the precision of the battle scenes. The critic does point out that Glory is by no means flawless, citing historical discrepancies; nevertheless, a sound approval is given.

[3] From a supportive angle, Morgan Freeman, an academy-award-nominee black actor, fully backs every aspect of the project. Freeman was not only ecstatic about the idea for the film, but he also defended Zwick and screenwriter Kevin Jarre from criticisms about the film’s alleged "whiteness." In rebuttal to a charge by Roger Ebert that Glory concentrates too much on the white point of view, Freeman claimed:

I don’t have a problem with that. You cannot reasonably ask a white writer to do it differently. Now, if we’re going to start citing some unfortunates, it might be unfortunate that a black writer didn’t write it, but if a black writer had written it, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t have found a producer. So there you are. This is a movie that did get made, and a story did get told, and that’s what is important.

Reportedly, Freeman was so adamant...

Find Another Essay On Ed Zwick’s Glory - An Exemplary Model for Historical Films

Cleopatra, by Cecil B. de Mille, Cleopatra, by Joseph L. Mankiewcs, and Cleopatra Jones, by Jack Starrett

1490 words - 6 pages Cleopatra in modern glory and power. They meant to appeal to both men and women; to the woman’s want and need for power in a still male-dominant world, and to the man's lust for an intellectual, and beautiful woman. All three of these films served their purpose accurately; they maintained a close connection to the historical context of Cleopatra, yet successfully attracted their target audience. Claudette Colbert dazzled audiences as the “girl-next

Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock - influences

1142 words - 5 pages the mechanical sharks had not been tested in water, and when placed in the ocean the full model sank to the ocean floor. The sharks worked on a shallow sandy bottom but would regularly malfunction after corroding from seawater. Spielberg worked around this problem, using suspense in an Alfred Hitchcock manner. Technology influenced his way of creating the film. (Blake, 1975)Creating science fiction films in the 1980's was a popular selection

A review of glory, includes biographical information on Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington as well as an analysis of three published reviews

1799 words - 7 pages Includes biographical information on Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington as well as an analysis of three published reviews Needs better transitionsGlory captures the heroism of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw andthe first black regiment in the Civil War, the Massachusetts'Fighting' Fifty-fourth. An extremely talented cast and crewearned three Academy Awards (cinematography, sound and supportingactor) and five nominations for their work in Glory


1365 words - 5 pages Glory: A Look From Within It is the evening before a powerful and epic battle with more than victory at stake. Tomorrow, the 54th regiment will forever stamp themselves as a symbol of hope and freedom in a new world during an attack on Fort Wagner as soldiers for the North. Dozens of men with young children, wives, and an idealistic dream of a free world will die in a matter of hours. As the Northern soldiers gather on this night before war

Hollywood Movies Compared to Other Countries' Movies

1277 words - 5 pages fifteen minutes discussing how they feel about love and relationships. Another scene where interrogation plays a major role is the scene in which Paul is interviewing the model for the magazine. In this scene, the characters discuss multiple topics. They range from politics to love. This is something that is not often seen in Hollywood films. In general, the American public is more interested in fast-pace scenes often containing sex and violence

Researching Followers

2207 words - 9 pages slogan was finally abandoned. It was so successful because it “tapped into a fear rooted deep in the American psyche” (Kellerman, p3). Who wants to be second best? On the other hand, who wants to diminish their own followers? Kellerman noted that North American culture has the perception that “there is no glory in toeing the line” (p.5). Companies are learning that followers deserve a more positive reputation and that followers are an

Cinematic Styles in Sholay, women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown, and Amores Perros

1399 words - 6 pages Sippy's Sholay offers a model lesson on how sound can be used to signify the terror a character evokes, whereas some Indian filmmakers have paid close attention to the sound design of their films to combine aesthetics with realism in order to work out a smooth harmony between sound and other elements of film. Lastly, this film became a classic, opening a new path for the masala genre. A genre of films that contained a cinematic blend of an

A political economic analysis of "Sahara" and "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". High distinction.

3136 words - 13 pages place in an industrial, capitalist society. A political economic approach seeks to understand, and critique this social context. As the content of a film flows from its economic and ideological basis, a political economic approach can provide the basis for text-based analyses. Sahara and The Chronicles of Narnia are both exemplary of the kinds of films which Hollywood produces, firstly to attempt to make profit, and secondly, because they conform to


639 words - 3 pages . Throughout the movie she started to fall in love with a semi-poor man who was hired to paint her doors. There are many American made films that have almost this exact same topic. It may be during a different time period or in a different area but they are still the same topic. Every country has the same type of movies whether it be an action film, love story, comedy, or Historical film. The acting, filming, and setting is very different

Glory, by Edward Zwick

1719 words - 7 pages With any Hollywood movie based on historical events there always exists an attempt to balance historical accuracy with artistic license. Remaining accurate enough to appeal to those with backgrounds in the field of history while still being entertaining enough for the masses is a difficult task. One that can often lead to disaster. The film Glory is no exception to this attempt at maintaining an equilibrium of fact and fiction. There are

Stanley Kurbick

681 words - 3 pages with pictures when he was in high school and he soon had a dream to become a director. He followed his dream through the years and after only a few years after completing school, he had found his dream. His first film ever was Day of the Fight and soon after he made his break though film which was titled Fear and Desire. With Fear and Desire came the coming for some of his greatest films ever, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Dr. Strange Love, 2001, A

Similar Essays

Past, Present, And Future: An Examination Of The Hood And Historical Films

1793 words - 7 pages diverted away from such pessimism, yet, historical films gives an appropriate identity for the African-American community. Daughters of the Dust (1991) and other historical films argue against hood films because the hood film portrays a detrimental view for black youth. Like hood films, Daughters of the Dust (1991) also portrays African-American reality through connecting the black audience to their past. What Dash does right is addressing the

Retaining Best Employees Is Somewhat Crucial For Organization’s Development. How Managers Can Use An Integrated Model Of Motivation To Enhance Productivity And Human Resource Maintenance?

1747 words - 7 pages Retaining best employees is somewhat crucial for organization's development Retaining best employees is somewhat crucial for organization's development. How managers can use an integrated model of motivation to enhance productivity and human resource maintenance? The purpose of preparing this essay is to discuss retaining best employee is somewhat crucial for organization's development. This essay also focuses on the

In What Circumstances Is It Possible For A Court To Award Exemplary Damages In Tort?

1421 words - 6 pages arbitrary or unconstitutional action by the servants of the government" ,(2)"the defendant's conduct has been calculated by him to make a profit for himself which may well exceed the compensation payable to the plaintiff" ,(3)"where exemplary damages are expressly authorised by statute."Even though Lord Devlin's restriction was rejected in many common law jurisdictions such as Canada and New Zealand , the Hong Kong courts follow strictly with the

The Discourse On Disney Princess Culture

2292 words - 9 pages these messages are powerful and so are the images portrayed. Giroux writes, “Disney films, in particular, combine an ideology of enchantment and aura of innocence in narrating stories that help children understand who they are [and] what societies are about” (The Mouse that Roared 90). Children look for these films to tell them more about the world they live in. Little girls learn about gender roles through these films. As criticism over Disney’s