Overlooked auteur Charles Burnett’s first major studio venture was this provocative and suspenseful commentary on the efforts of a young officer to be integrated into the LAPD. During the course of duty, his own values are sorely tested, and most of the police come up short on any scale of justice.
One of America’s greatest, but perennially under-funded and under-appreciated filmmakers, Charles Burnett, the director of the lyrical L.A. ghetto portrait Killer of Sheep, here focuses with skewering vision on police and race relations. Made twenty years ago, the era still feels much like our own.
I wasn't really that impressed with The Glass Shield, besides the evocative subject matter nothing else really stands out. I felt like I was watching a TV film, everything from the lighting to the cinematography just felt cheap. Burnett handles the subject matter so bluntly that most of the time the film comes of as melodramatic. I appreciate the message of the film, but I just wish that the film itself was better.
Everything was so unremarkably solid. There is nothing to criticize. The acting was good, the narrative, the pace, the story and, though it's an American story that needs to be told again and again, it was flat. There was no magic. It needed some quirks. The cinematography/lighting was pure 1950's-era television. Victoria Dillard's great performance (and others) should have been given more of a chance to shine.