Give Me Liberty (1936)

Approved  |   |  Short, Biography, Drama  |  19 December 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 97 users  
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Patrick Henry's rousing speech before the Virginia legislature argues for colonial independence.



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Complete credited cast:
Nedda Harrigan ...
Doxie Henry
Capt. Milton
Robert Warwick ...
Boyd Irwin ...
British Commissioner
Gordon Hart ...
Anti-Rebel Delegate Speaker
Shirley Lloyd ...
Party Guest Giving Patrick a Violin
Ted Osborne ...
Randolph Peyton (as Theodore Osborne)


George Washington tries to encourage gifted orator Patrick Henry to use his considerable powers to argue the case for colonial independence before the Virginia House of Burgesses, but the lawmaker's promise to his wife initially deters him. When the political climate changes, she eventually gives her consent, and Henry delivers his rousing "Give Me Liberty" speech to an enthusiastic legislature. Written by Gabe Taverney (

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Release Date:

19 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1936-1937 season) #12: Give Me Liberty  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #7766-7767. See more »


The guests at General Washington's house are shown dancing to Beethoven's "Minuet in G," which was not composed until 1796. In fact, Beethoven was only born in 1770, i.e. five years after the events shown at the beginning of the film. See more »


Patrick Henry: What is it that gentlemen wish, what would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what cause others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
See more »


Edited into My Country 'Tis of Thee (1950) See more »


aka "My Country 'tis of Thee"
Music from "God Save the King"
Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith
Sung by a chorus at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Litel Makes it Worth Viewing
19 February 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Give Me Liberty (1936)

*** (out of 4)

Oscar-winning short from Warner gets extra credit for featuring a great performance by John Litel as well as being shot in Technicolor. The movie has Litel playing Patrick Henry, the man who would eventually rise up before Virginia legislators and demand that they join the American Revolution by giving the classic "Give Me Liberty" speech. I must admit that I found the direction to be too laid back and at times my mind actually wondered away from what the story was actually about but with Litel's performance it's impossible not to at least be entertained. Litel would play this character in three short films with this being the first and he perfectly nails the character. The fiery energy he brings to the film will have you wanting to stand up and cheer and especially during the final speech. The other big benefit was that the film was shot in Technicolor and while the film doesn't look as good as future films it's still an early part of history.

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