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1989, Sony Repertory, 122 min, USA, Dir: Edward Zwick

In this epic Civil War drama, Matthew Broderick plays Col. Robert Shaw, a Boston abolitionist chosen to lead the Union Army’s first all-black regiment, the Massachusetts 54th. In spite of Confederate threats to execute all captured black soldiers and their commanding officers, the ranks of the 54th swell with volunteers, including gravedigger John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) and escaped slave Trip (Denzel Washington). Though the Union treats them as second-class soldiers, the regiment becomes a fighting force, leading the charge on Charleston’s Fort Wagner. The 54th’s courage during that exceptionally bloody battle helped turn the tide of the war, bringing legions of black recruits to the Union cause. Winner of three Academy Awards®, including Best Supporting Actor for Washington. Screenplay by Kevin Jarre. “The magic of GLORY comes from the film itself. It speaks of heroism writ large, from people whom history had made small.” - Entertainment Weekly.

1993, MGM Repertory, 111 min, UK, USA, Dir: Kenneth Branagh

The second of Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare adaptations is also the most delightfully entertaining, as the director assembles an eclectic and wonderful cast (including Michael Keaton, Denzel Washington, Emma Thompson and Branagh himself) for a spirited sensual romp. Set and shot in a gorgeous villa in Tuscany, the film is a feast for the eyes, and the attention to detail in Shakespeare's language makes it heaven for the ears as well.

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