A few words about…™ Glory — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

4 Stars

One could easily be led to believe, by viewing the new 4k of Edward Zwick’s 1989 Glory, that the folks at Columbia have a secret sauce, enabling them to perfectly capture the appearance of an OCN Print to one of those tiny discs, we call Blu-ray.

It’s perfect.

Especially, projected, the velvety textures of the grain make it obvious that one is viewing something very special.

Color, black levels, shadow detail, and overall resolution, are meticulously reproduced.

As a film, Glory holds up beautifully, as history told as at least close to history.

That Glory concerns the first all-colored Civil War battalion, led by one Robert Gould Shaw, of the Boston Shaw’s, who set about to gather and train a fighting force that few in leadership believed was worth gathering or training.

They would be proven wrong.

Had they not, we would not have Glory.

Nominated for five Academy Awards, it took three, for Freddie Francis’ cinematography, for Best Sound and for Best Actor in a Supporting role, which placed Denzel Washington properly at the top of his craft. One look at his work over the following three decades, and you’ll find that his talent remains totally intact.

The majority of the cast is black, with Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes leading the officers in charge.

Among the newly trained battalion, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, and Andre Braugher are stand-outs.

The trick in creating any film, is that audience must care about those on screen, and here, one cannot but care, and be concerned.

Keeping in mind some beautifully choreographed battle scenes – there are no digital soldiers in this film, it’s hard to believe that it was produced for a reported eighteen million dollars. I would have guessed far higher.

Of interest, is that the story of about the colored ex-slaves and free men, who become soldiers, but the film is told from the perspective (based upon his letters) of Shaw, along with two books. The screenplay is by Kevin Jarre, who held an interest in the Civil War.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Without a doubt!

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

19 Comments

  1. And speaking of Freddie Francis.
    I wonder what state and condition his other Oscar winning work is in?
    Of course, I'm referring to "Sons and Lovers" (1960), which was out of 20th Century-Fox.
    But, Damn, it's now with Disney; so let us disregard the question.:(

    Well, then, "Glory" it is; in glorious 4K/UHD.:)

    P.S. Grover Crisp and Columbia rocks and rules.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  2. This is a very small thing, but what color is the prologue/epilogue text?

    In every previous release, it was gold, presumably to match the opening titles. But in the new digital versions, it's solid white. Like I said, a small thing, but a strange error nonetheless.

  3. Aaron Silverman

    My favorite movie. Gets me every time.

    (Small suggestion for Mr. Harris, though. . .you might want to limit your use of the term "color" to describing the image. 🙂 )

    Merely using the terminology of the film, and its era. No disrespect intended. Words tend to be fluid things. I recall reading the Technicolor cutting continuity of Jesse James – 1939.

    In describing, the wonderful actor, Ernest Whitman, the continuity read – presumably because the individual doing notes didn’t know his name – “MS – Darky.”

    Caused the hair in the back of my neck to stand up. They apparently thought nothing of it in 1939, but I found it so offensive, that I stopped working and went to discuss it with staff.

    But we can always make matters worse. What was the name of the character that Mr. Whitman played?

    “Pinky!”

    Sometimes being PC can be a good thing.

  4. An iconic film and achievement, still. On my recent trip to Boston, I absolutely HAD to see the monument to the 54th, and there it was at the NE corner of Boston Commons. Held my breath and snapped a dozen or more photos. It made the whole trip worth while for me.

  5. Richard V

    An iconic film and achievement, still. On my recent trip to Boston, I absolutely HAD to see the monument to the 54th, and there it was at the NE corner of Boston Commons. Held my breath and snapped a dozen or more photos. It made the whole trip worth while for me.

    If you’re a history buff, consider Mr. Atkinson’s latest on the earlier war, the British are Coming. Beautifully researched, and written

  6. Richard V

    An iconic film and achievement, still. On my recent trip to Boston, I absolutely HAD to see the monument to the 54th, and there it was at the NE corner of Boston Commons. Held my breath and snapped a dozen or more photos. It made the whole trip worth while for me.

    Used to walk by that all time when I was living in Boston:

    Right in the van of the red rampart's slippery
    swell with heart that beat a charge he fell
    foeward as fits a man: but the high soul burns
    on to light men's feet where death for noble
    ends makes dying sweet.
  7. Robert Crawford

    Apparently, it's the same 2009 Blu-ray.

    That's disappointing to hear. At least they could have included the 2013 transfer, which is supposed to be an improvement over the 2009 one.

  8. Bryan Tuck

    This is a very small thing, but what color is the prologue/epilogue text?

    In every previous release, it was gold, presumably to match the opening titles. But in the new digital versions, it's solid white. Like I said, a small thing, but a strange error nonetheless.

    The text on the 4k to me looks a sepia tone definitely not white. But if you play the Video commentary version the text is white. For this video commentary version Sony stuck a completely seperate 1080p encode of the old transfer on the 4k disc.

  9. ghostwind

    That's disappointing to hear. At least they could have included the 2013 transfer, which is supposed to be an improvement over the 2009 one.

    Yes the "Mastered in 4k" disc from 2013 was an improvement PQ wise over the 2009 disc but it had no extras.

  10. Matt Hough

    I would have given Best Supporting Actor that year to Morgan Freeman. Of course, he wasn't nominated, but I found him the most outstanding member of Glory's cast.

    One could easily argue a case for either Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman to have won Best Supporting Actor;
    but the true head-scratcher in my reading of Mr. Hough's post was the realization that Morgan Freeman wasn't even nominated.
    I once thought I had my Oscar trivia memorized, but I stand corrected.
    Truly, I've traveled through these 30 years always believing that Mr. Freeman shared a dual nomination.
    And why? Because it's Morgan Freeman, for goodness sake. This is also "Glory" we're talkin' about.
    Thankfully, AMPAS oversights do not alter, change or diminish the great work and performances that's been captured on celluloid.:)

  11. PMF

    One could easily argue a case for either Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman to have won Best Supporting Actor;
    but the true head-scratcher in my reading of Mr. Hough's post was the realization that Morgan Freeman wasn't even nominated.
    I once thought I had my Oscar trivia memorized, but I stand corrected.
    Truly, I've traveled through these 30 years always believing that Mr. Freeman shared a dual nomination.
    And why? Because it's Morgan Freeman, for goodness sake. This is also "Glory" we're talkin' about.
    Thankfully, AMPAS oversights do not alter, change or diminish the great work and performances that's been captured on celluloid.:)

    It is possible that neither would have won, if both were nominated.

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