Glory (film)

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Glory is a 1989 film about the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both their own Union army and the Confederates.

Directed by Edward Zwick. Written by Kevin Jarre, based on books by Lincoln Kirstein and Peter Burchard and the letters of Robert Gould Shaw.
Their innocence. Their heritage. Their lives. Nothing would be spared in the fight for their freedom.

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw

  • Good morning gentlemen, I am Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. I am your commanding officer. It is a great pleasure to see you all here today. It is my hope that the same courage, spirit, and honor, which has brought us together, will one day restore this Union. May God bless us all.
  • [in a letter] Dear Mother, They learn, learn quickly, faster than white troops it seems to me. They are almost grave and sedate under instruction and they restrain themselves. But the moment they are dismissed from drill every tongue is relaxed and every ivory tooth is visible and you would not know from the sound of it that this is an army camp. They must have learned this from long hours of meaningless, inhuman work to set them free so quickly. It gives them great energy. And there is no doubt we will leave this state as fine a regiment as any that as marched. As ever, your son, Robert.
  • [Writing a letter to his mother] We are fighting for a people whose poetry has not yet been written.
  • If you men will take no pay, then none of us will.
  • There's more to fighting than rest, sir. There's character. There's strength of heart. You should have seen us in action two days ago. We were a sight to see! We'll be ready, sir. When do you want us?
  • [Handing a journalist his letters home] Got some letters here, personal things. Also, if I should fall, remember what you see here.

Private Trip

  • Let me tell you something, boy. You can march like the white man, you can talk like him. You can sing his songs, you can even wear his suits. But, you ain't NEVER gonna be nothing to him, than an ugly ass chimp... in a blue suit.
  • [to Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins] Nigger, is you an old man or is you an old woman? I forget.
  • [about his paycheck, after the 54th learns they will be paid less than an all-white regiment] Tear it up! Tear it up! TEAR IT UP!
  • [addressing the 54th the night before battle] I ain't much about no prayin', now. I ain't never had no family, and...killed off my mama. Well, I just... Y'all's the onliest family I got. I love the 54th. Ain't even much a matter what happens tomorrow, 'cause we men, ain't we? We men.


  • Cpl. Thomas Searles: It's not true is it? I mean about not being allowed to fight. The men are living for that day. I know I am.
  • Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: That's right, Hines. Ain't no dream. We runaway slaves but we come back fightin' men. Go tell your folks how kingdom come in the year of jubilee!
  • Col. Montgomery: That wouldn't have been necessary if that secession woman hadn't started it. They never learn. You see secession has to be cleared away by the hand of God like the Jews of old. Now I will have to burn this town.
  • Pvt. Jupiter Sharts: [after getting handed a musket] I can knock something down with this!
  • Pvt. Jupiter Sharts: [praying aloud] Tomorrow we goes into battle, so Lordy, let me fight with the rifle in one hand, and the Good Book in the other. So that if I may die at the muzzle of the rifle... die on water, or on land, I may know that you blessed Jesus almighty are with me... and I have no fear.


Mulcahy: Left! Right! Left! [to Sharts] What the hell are you doing, boy? Don't you know your right from your left?
[Scared, Sharts shakes his head]
Mulcahy: No? How many here do not know right from left?
[Half a dozen hands are raised. Mulcahy mutters something under his breath, then slaps Sharts on the chest]
Mulcahy: THIS is your FRONT!
[slaps his back]
Mulcahy: THIS is your REAR!
[stomps on his right foot]
Mulcahy: THIS is your RIGHT!
[goes to stomp on his left foot]
Mulcahy: And THIS...!
[Sharts lifts his foot out of the way]
Mulcahy: Now you're learnin', boy-o!

Mulcahy: [watching Searles practice with his bayonet] Oh, what do we have here? Bonnie Prince Charley and his toy bayonet! Stab me.
Searles: What?
Mulcahy: Stab-me.
[Searles comes at him gingerly and Mulcahy slaps it away]
Mulcahy: I said STAB, not TICKLE! Come on, you prissy little schoolgirl!
[Searles comes at him again, Mulcahy disarms him and slams the rifle butt into his stomach, then his face. Searles falls to the ground, writhing in pain and sobbing]
Mulcahy: No shame, son, get up... I SAID GET UP!
Trip: Nigger forgot to duck, that's all!
Shaw: Sergeant, deal with that man!

Shaw: Sgt. Mulcahy!
Mulcahy: Sir!
Shaw: I have no doubt you are a fair man, Mulcahy. I wonder if you are treating the men a little hard.
[Mulcahy pauses]
Shaw: You may speak freely.
Mulcahy: [referring to Cpl. Thomas Searles] The boy is a friend of yours, is he?
Shaw: Yes, we grew up together
Mulcahy: Let him grow up some more.

Shaw: Never, question my authority in front of others
Forbes: Well I is sorry, mas'sa. You be the boss-man now and all us chill'ins must learn your ways.

Rawlins: Where about you from?
Trip: I'm from around Tennessee. I ran away when I was 12 years old and I ain't never looked back.
Sharts: What ya doin' since then?
Trip: I've been running for President. I ain't winning though.

Trip: Hey, yo, nigger, that's my spot, see.
Searles: If you don't mind, there's more sufficient reading light here.
Trip: Oooh, I like it when niggers talk good as white folks!
Searles: I'd be happy to teach you.
Trip: Now, listen here, I ain't got nothin' to learn from no house nigger, you hear?
Searles: I am a free man, like my father before me.
Trip: Oh, really? Then move your free black ass out my spot, see!

Forbes: Why do you treat the men this way, Robert?
Shaw: How should I treat them?
Forbes: ...Like men?

[Trip and Searles are about to fight when Rawlins steps in]
Rawlins: Look, goddamn it! The whole world gotta stomp on your face?
Trip: Oh, I see, white man give you some stripes, you start hollerin' and orderin' everybody around, huh! Like you the massa hisself? Nigger, you ain't nothin' but the white man's dog! Shit.
[Rawlins slaps him]
Rawlins: And what are you? So full of hate that you have to fight everybody, because you've been whipped and chased by hounds. Well that might not be living, but it sure as hell ain't dying. And dying's been what these white boys have been doing for going on three years now, dying by the thousands! Dying for you, fool! I know 'cuz I dug the graves. And all this time I keep askin' myself, when, O Lord, when gonna be our time? Gonna come a time when we all gonna hafta ante up and kick in like men, LIKE MEN! You watch who you callin' nigger. If there's any niggers around here, it's YOU, just a smart-mouthed, stupid-ass, swamp-runnin' nigger. And if you not careful, that's all you ever gonna be.

[Shaw approaches Rawlins after having Trip horse-whipped for deserting]
Shaw: Mr. Rawlins... this morning, I... it would be a great help to me if I could talk to you from time to time about the men. That's all.
[turns to leave]
Rawlins: Shoes, sir.
Shaw: I beg your pardon?
Rawlins: The men need shoes, Colonel.
Shaw: Yes, I've been after the quartermaster for some time.
Rawlins: No, sir. Now. The boy ran off to find him some shoes, Colonel. He wants to fight. Same as the rest of us. More, even.

Kendric: Morning, colonel. Change your mind about that bottle?
Shaw: I want 600 pairs of shoes and 1200 pairs of socks... and anything else you've been holding out on us, you piece of rat filth!
Kendric: I don't have any.
Shaw: Not for niggers you don't!
Kendric: Not for anybody.
Shaw: I see. I'll just look around to see if you haven't misplaced them!
[He begins to smash up the place]
Kendric: HEY!
Shaw: You son of a bitch!
[smashes the place even more]
Kendric: Goddamn it, you can't...!
Shaw: Can't I? I'm a colonel, you nasty little cuss! You think you can keep 700 Union soldiers without proper shoes because you think it's funny? Now, where would that power come from?

Rawlins: [about Col. Shaw] He's just a boy.
Trip: He a weak white boy, and beatin' on a nigger make him feel strong.

Trip: I ain't fightin' this war for you, sir.
Shaw: I see.
Trip: I mean, what's the point? Ain't nobody gonna win. It's just gonna go on and on.
Shaw: Can't go on forever.
Trip: Yeah, but ain't nobody gonna win, sir.
Shaw: Somebody's gonna win.
Trip: Who? I mean, you get to go on back to Boston, big house and all that. What about us? What do we get?
Shaw: Well, you won't get anything if we lose.

Shaw: So what do you want to do?
Trip: Don't know, sir.
Shaw: It stinks, I suppose.
Trip: Yeah, It stinks bad. And we all covered up in it too. Ain't nobody clean. Be nice to get clean, though.
Shaw: How do we do that?
Trip: We ante up and kick in, sir. But I still don't want to carry your flag.

Trip: See the way I figure, I figure this war would be over a whole lot sooner if you boys just turned right on around and headed back on down that way, and you let us head on up there where the real fighting is.
Union Soldier: We got men dyin' up that road.
Trip: And there wouldn't be nothing but rebs dyin if they'd let the fifty-fourth in it.

Rawlins: The town is clean sir. Ain't no rebs here, just some women.
Col. Montgomery: You hear that! Let's clear er out!
[His men begin looting the town]
Shaw: What are you doing?
Col. Montgomery: Liberating this town in the name of the Republic.

[The 54th Massachusetts is marching through Union soldiers, preparing to attack Fort Wagner]
Union Soldier: Give 'em Hell, 54!
All: Give 'em Hell, 54!

'Shaw: [points at the flag bearer] If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?
[Searles steps forward]
Searles: I will.
Shaw: I'll see you in the fort, Thomas.


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