Glass Shield

The Glass Shield

Director: Charles Burnett

Cast: Charles Burnett, Michael Boatman, Lori Petty, Ice Cube

     
 

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In this crime drama, an honest lawman has to decide where his loyalties lie in a corrupt system. All his life, J.J. (Michael Boatman) has dreamed of being a cop, and after graduating from the Police Academy, he gets his wish, becoming the first African-American policeman based out of Los Angeles' Edgemar station. However, J.J. discovers that his race makes him an…  See more details below

Overview

In this crime drama, an honest lawman has to decide where his loyalties lie in a corrupt system. All his life, J.J. (Michael Boatman) has dreamed of being a cop, and after graduating from the Police Academy, he gets his wish, becoming the first African-American policeman based out of Los Angeles' Edgemar station. However, J.J. discovers that his race makes him an outsider among his fellow officers. His presence is not welcomed by his superior, Massey (Richard Anderson), and the only colleague who is truly hospitable to him is Deborah (Lori Petty), the only female cop at Edgemar and the target of as much abuse as J.J. Hoping to somehow fit in, J.J. digs into his work and tries to be "just one of the guys," ignoring the racism and corruption around him. However, one night J.J.'s fellow officer Bono (Don Harvey) pulls over Teddy Woods (Ice Cube), an arrogant and uncommunicative young black man, and in the midst of an illegal search of his car, he finds a gun; even though he knows that Bono acted improperly, J.J. put his loyalty behind the force and lies to support Bono's story. The gun's serial number matches that of a weapon used to murder the wife of Mr. Greenspan (Elliott Gould), a prominent Jewish businessman, and Woods is charged with the killing. However, J.J. discovers that the number of the gun had been altered, and he has to decide what to do when he realizes that Teddy could be sentenced to death without having committed a serious crime. The Glass Shield also features Bernie Casey, Sy Richardson, and M. Emmet Walsh.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
After making a comeback of sorts with the relaxed, atmospheric To Sleep with Anger, veteran independent filmmaker Charles Burnett applied his skills to issue-oriented cop melodrama with The Glass Shield. The marriage is an odd one, but it ultimately works: Burnett's tendencies toward the ponderous and philosophical add depth to what could have had the tone of a TV movie-of-the-week. Though the film's central character is rookie cop J.J. (Michael Boatman) -- whose idealistic notions of police work are chipped away by the casual, everyday racism around him -- Burnett is very democratic with his attention, allowing the supporting players (Ice Cube, Lori Petty) to make as much of an impression as Boatman. The pat unveiling of villains in the third act may disappoint, but the film's subtle, situational concerns stay in memory.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/15/2012
UPC:
0096009783792
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Miramax Echo Bridge
Time:
1:50:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Boatman J.J.
Lori Petty Deborah
Ice Cube Teddy Woods
Michael Ironside Baker
Richard Anderson Massey
Bernie Casey Locket
Elliott Gould Greenspan
M. Emmet Walsh Hal
Don Harvey Bono
Sy Richardson Mr. Taylor
Natalia Nogulich Judge Helen Lewis
Wanda De Jesus Actor
Victoria Dillard Actor
Biff Yeager Actor

Technical Credits
Charles Burnett Director,Screenwriter
Penny Barrett Production Designer
Gaye Burnett Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas S. Byrnes Producer
Veda Campbell Sound/Sound Designer
Joel Carter Art Director
Paul Childs Asst. Director
Curtiss Clayton Editor
Elliot Davis Cinematographer
Jacek Laskus Cinematographer
Hugh A. O'Brien Stunts
Carolyn Schroeder Producer
Gaye Shannon-Burnett Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephen James Taylor Score Composer
Tom Tyrnes Producer
Chet Walker Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Glass Shield
1. Chapter 1 [9:59]
2. Chapter 2 [9:59]
3. Chapter 3 [9:59]
4. Chapter 4 [10:00]
5. Chapter 5 [9:59]
6. Chapter 6 [9:59]
7. Chapter 7 [9:59]
8. Chapter 8 [10:00]
9. Chapter 9 [9:59]
10. Chapter 10 [20:11]

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