Synopsis: Shaw was an officer in the Federal Army during the American Civil War who volunteered to lead the first company of black soldiers. Shaw was forced to deal with the prejudices of both the enemy (who had orders to kill commanding officers of blacks), and of his own fellow officers.
Director(s): Edward Zwick
Production: TriStar
  Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 18 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
122 min

Dear Mother:

I hope you are keeping well

and not worrying too much about me.

You mustn't think

any of us are gonna be killed.

For they're collecting such a force

here that an attack would be insane.

The Massachusetts men

passed through this morning.

How grand it is to meet the men

from all the states...

...ready to fight for their country... the old fellows did

in the Revolution.

But this time we must make it

a whole country...

...for all who live here,

so that all can speak.

Before this war began...

...many of my regiment

had never seen a Negro.

But now the roads are choked

with the dispossessed.

We fight for men and women

whose poetry is not yet written...

...but which will presently be

as enviable and as renowned as any.

Last night we heard

of yet another defeat...

...but we are not disheartened.

I am honoured to be part

of such a splendid company.

They have made me captain,

of which I am enormously proud.

You would think it strange

to see me giving orders to 100 men...

...most of whom are older than I am.

Thank you for sending

my volume of Emerson.

His words come home to me like truth.

''A deep man, '' he says, ''believes

that the evil eye can wither...

... that the heart's

blessing can heal...

...and that love

can overcome all odds. ''

My dearest love to Father.

Your son, Robert.



Steady, boys!


For God's sake, come on!

Robert, come on!

We must fall back!

No! Morse!


You all right there, captain?

Please! Not my leg!

Where's the chloroform?


So it's the neck, captain?

The surgeons are all busy

but l'll fix you up right enough.

Let me know if l hurt you.

lt's nothing.

Heard the latest?

What's that?

l heard it from a friend

who's a dispatch rider...

...who got it from his friend,

one of Stanton's War Office clerks.

He says Lincoln's gonna issue

an Emancipation Proclamation.

Gonna free the slaves.


Maybe not those in the Border States,

but he's gonna free some.

- My God!

- Yeah.

Says he would've done it sooner

but he needed a big victory.

l guess that's what this is.

Oh, my God!

Please don't cut anymore!



Am l hurting you, captain?

l'm sorry.



Captain Shaw.

l was so proud when l heard.

They had no choice.

All the other officers are dead.

- And Forbes?

- lmpossible as always.

He's around here somewhere.

- How about you?

- Working for your father.

Helping him with

the Freedman's Relief Association.

There's a shortage of housing-

Are you all right?

Yes. lt's all right.

Darling, there's someone

who wishes to meet you.

General Hunter rounded up

slaves from the fields...

...called them contraband

and put them in camps, like cattle.

Then the War Department decided

to issue them pikes rather than guns.

Of course they deserted.

So would l.

Governor, you know my son, Robert.

- lt's good to see you again.

- Governor Andrew.

Have you met Frederick Douglass?

Mr. Douglass.

l understand you were at Antietam.

A great and a terrible day.

l could use your help.

The governor's proposing to raise

a regiment of Negro soldiers.

No, it was not just my idea.

Mr. Douglass has-

We'll offer pride and dignity

to those who've known only degradation.

Coloured soldiers, Rob.

Just think of it!


l've submitted your name

to be commissioned...

...colonel of the 54th

Massachusetts lnfantry.

Thank you, governor, that's...

That's a wonderful idea.

Excuse me.

Well done, Shaw.

- Splendid job, young man.

- Bravo, Robert.

What's the matter, Chester?

Too much punch?

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Kevin Jarre

Kevin Jarre (August 6, 1954 – April 3, 2011) was an American screenwriter, actor, and film producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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