Films featuring
Cary Elwes

Glory

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144 years ago this coming week, a Union regiment from Massachusetts led a futile assault on a Confederate bastion near Charleston known as Battery Wagner. As Civil War battles go, it was relatively minor and would normally go unremarked compared to the Battle of Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg, which both happened at roughly the same time. What made this action remarkable was the fact that 54th Massachusetts Volunteers was the first regular unit of the Union army to consist entirely of black soldiers, led by a white colonel, the son of prominent Boston abolitionists.

As an account of this event, Glory is reasonably accurate and thoroughly inspiring, built around a core of superb actors giving some of their best performances. It’s portrayal of Civil War combat is technically on par with the later Gettysburg, only more realistic and bloody, fully deserving of the film’s R rating.

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Robin Hood: Men in Tights

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Following not so hard on the heels of Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights marks the second entry in the latter stage of Mel Brooks’ directing career. While not totally lacking in its share of entertainment value, it definitely fails to deliver the subversive zing found in most of the earlier Brooks films like Blazing Saddles or even History of the World, Part I.

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The Princess Bride

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There are very few movies that, after 18 years, I react to the same way I did when I first saw it. The Princess Bride is definitely one of those movies. I get exactly the same feeling of giddy delight from watching this that I did back in 1987. As a fantasy, it takes its fairy-tale elements just serious enough that it doesn’t feel condescending while still managing a knowing wink at a normally cynical modern audience.

Rob Reiner‘s fourth movie is as different from the three that came before it as they are from each other and nothing much like the many he has directed since. He obviously brings a great deal of love and respect to William Goldman‘s original novel and successfully communicated his enthusiasm to a talented cast.

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