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  • The Glass Shield (1994)
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  • Glass Shield 1994
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The Glass Shield (1994)

  • Drama Action Thriller Crime
  • J.J. is a rookie in the Sheriff's Department and the first black officer at that station. Racial tensions run high in the department as some of J.J.'s fellow officers resent his presence. His only real friend is the other new trooper, the first female officer to work there, who also suffers similar discrimination in the otherwise all-white male work environment. When J.J. becomes increasingly aware of police corruption during the murder trial of Teddy Woods, whom he helped to arrest, he faces difficult decisions and puts himself into grave personal danger in the service of justice.

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    J.J. is a rookie in the Sheriff's Department and the first black officer at that station. Racial tensions run high in the department as some of J.J.'s fellow officers resent his presence. His only real friend is the other new trooper, the first female officer to work there, who also suffers similar discrimination in the otherwise all-white-male work environment. When J.J. becomes increasingly aware of police corruption during the murder trial of Teddy Woods, who he helped to arrest, he faces difficult decisions and puts himself into great personal danger in the service of justice.

    IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109906/

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    Reviews

    Comments

    3 years ago

    Charles Burnett sculpts the movie with star protagonist JJ or John Johnson played by Michael Boatman is a young African American Cop who is excited and eager to be a police officer. He soon realizes that being a police officer is not what he expected as he soon realizes the wrong and dishonest dealings going on with in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Our young Valen JJ teams up with another minority, young female officer Deborah Fields (Lori Petty) to right the wrongs and restore justice as any honest, moralistic young adult would do. These young officers' morals are what drives the plot and leads their actions to fulfill justice in their hypocritical department.JJ's suspicions began when he is involved with the unlawful arrest of Teddy Woods (played by Hollywood Star Ice Cube). He is convincingly framed as a murder, so much that JJ believes this until other suspicious behaviors leads him to the truth. Teddy Woods's case goes to court and becomes the center of attention to the audience via Deputy Johnson's role in arresting Mr. Woods, to reveal the injustices of the department. Throughout the judicial fiasco JJ and Deborah are harassed by other officers about being a minority in the white male department. If that isn't enough JJ must deal with a frustrated relationship with his girlfriend (you will have to watch and see for yourself if their romance endures).Young and Zealous JJ deals with more than just romantic issues and physical harassment. He develops an internal struggle with his morals over if it is more important to bring forth justice at whatever cost or bring justice through the law and in accordance with its procedures. This is strategically shown through JJ's interaction with friends and family outside of work. Johnson views many of his colleagues as men seeking to put the bad guys behind bars and willing to bend the rules in order to do so, a white lie as to why you pulled someone over if it means you are putting a bad guy behind bars.Many viewers of the film will undoubtedly connect this film's message with the Black Lives matter campaign and other civil rights protests. This aspect of the movie connects generations of Americans in three generations. A grandparent may connect to it from the civil rights movement in the 1960's, their child may relate to the movie in the time that it was released (1994) along with the Watts Riots, and finally the potential grandchildren and my fellow peers view the movie as a prophecy of the Black Lives matter campaign. While the ending may have been to potential of lack of money (as often is the case in independent films), this eight-million-dollar film does a great job of wrapping the viewer into the film to see a struggle that still is not resolved in our society despite the horrible acting that "hurts like getting hit with a bat". Yes, that is an actual line from the movie that comes during one of the worst scenes of acting I have ever seen. However, director Charles Burnett shows us hope through JJ.

    3 years ago

    I just saw The Glass Shield for the first time since it was released theatrically. I'm very glad to say it hasn't gone stale with time. Despite the violent overtones, the film is a subtle and compelling parable on race, power, and sex in the US. It won't satisfy anyone with the attention span of a fruit-fly or a fetish for blood and guts, but it gets under your skin (so to speak) if you pay it the slightest bit of attention.As a side note — this is one of the very few feature films chosen by the Whitney Museum of American Art for its biennial surveys of contemporary art (there was another film that year as well, The Hours and Times, also excellent).

    3 years ago

    There's a strong resemblance to the much praised L.A. CONFIDENTIAL in this vivid story of crime and corruption on the police force, based partially on a true story involving these events.Basically, it's the tale of a black police rookie who tries to fit in by covering corrupt practices and tries to uncover the truth behind the false prosecution of a black man (ICE CUBE). The black rookie (MICHEAL BOATMAN) suffers slurs inherent with being the first black man on the force and other social injustices within the department.All the performances are first rate, beginning with Boatman, who does a fine job, MICHAEL ANDERSON, BERNIE CASEY (especially good as Ice Cube's lawyer), and ELLIOT GOULD--all first rate. LORI PETTY is also convincing as the only woman rookie who helps Boatman in his investigation. MICHAEL IRONSIDE is chilling as one of Anderson's most corrupt officers.Given terse direction by Charles Burnett in well paced, brisk, documentary style, it maintains a grip on the attention throughout as it unravels a tale of police corruption and the hard decisions that have to be made.

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