6.2/10
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16 user 22 critic

The Glass Shield (1994)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama | 2 June 1995 (USA)
Trailer
1:07 | Trailer
Two cops become compelled to act against corruption and discrimination within their police precinct.

Director:

Charles Burnett

Writers:

Charles Burnett, John Eddie Johnson (screenplay "One of Us") | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Erich Anderson ... District Attorney Ira Kern
Richard Anderson ... Watch Commander Clarence Massey
Thomas Babson ... U.S. Marshall
Monty Bane ... Coroner
Ernie Lee Banks ... Mr. Woods
Michael Boatman ... Deputy J.J. Johnson
Jean Hubbard-Boone Jean Hubbard-Boone ... Mrs. Woods
James Boyce James Boyce ... Paramedic #1
Gaye Shannon-Burnett Gaye Shannon-Burnett ... Woman Driver
Bernie Casey ... James Locket
Linden Chiles ... Sergeant Berry Foster
Janet Claire Janet Claire ... Juror
Victor Contreras Victor Contreras ... Mr. Cruz
Wanda De Jesus ... Carmen Munoz
Bill Dearth ... Guard
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Storyline

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. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world filled with violence... his only weapon is the truth!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense dramatic material | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 June 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf Ehre und Gewissen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,146,748, 4 June 1995

Gross USA:

$3,291,163

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,291,163
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CiBy 2000, Miramax See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Teddy Woods (Ice Cube) says. "Like the song says, 'My skin is my sin,'" which is the title of one of Cube's B-sides. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film Johnson's training officer, Chuck Gilmore, gets upset with him for not ticketing the woman in the red convertible for speeding and Gilmore decides to take over the wheel himself. Immediately after that we see their car chasing the red convertible again with a brief shot during the chase of Gilmore sitting in the passenger seat. See more »

Quotes

Detective Gene Baker: Save your judgements for when you make detective. In the meantime, just keep the traffic flowing.
See more »


Soundtracks

Black Man Sings the Blues
Performed by Lance Eaton and Ernie Lee Banks (as Ernie Banks)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen James Taylor, BMI
See more »

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User Reviews

An Excellent Film
7 May 2000 | by Craig-32See all my reviews

Being that I was only thirteen when this film came out, I vaguely remember the promos for THE GLASS SHIELD. As usual, the Hollywood establishment misrepresented this film during its release and I fear no one saw it, and those who expected 1) Ice Cube to have a huge role or 2) Lori Petty to get naked were severely disappointed. (I think this came out very close to CLOCKERS, too, which might have confused some people.)

I've been hearing a lot of underground talk about Charles Burnett, lately, so I picked up this film (thinking it was a usual cop-meets-gangsta film previous to my knowledge that Burnett directed it.) I must say that it is an excellent, incisive picture that manages to duck every convention one expects from Hollywood. I was reminded of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, but this was without the Mr. Tibbs-like over-the-top innocent; JJ (an excellent Michael Boatman) is truly a real character, with real guilt and real problems. Ice Cube plays his role well, and Lori Petty is good, but it is the creepy fraternity of mustachioed white cops that makes this film truly frightening. They are bad, but not outright evil; they are, instead, men too pumped up on the power of the badge and the sidearm and the encouragement of their peers.

This is a riveting film with less than two "action" scenes; the tension exists instead in the idea that terrible violence awaits every character at every turn, and when the higher-ups descend to the levels of insane criminals, we realize the significance of the title, and the vulnerability of peace.

Highly recommended.


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