Give Me Liberty (1936)

Approved  |   |  Short, Biography, Drama  |  19 December 1936 (USA)
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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

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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 The Bill of Rights (1939) 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
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User Reviews

…or Give Me Death!
5 March 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

A short film from the Warner Bros. company, "Give Me Liberty" boasts Technicolor photography as the main attraction. It won an "Academy Award" as the best color short film of the year. This was one of several patriotic themed short films released as bonus historical features; they probably put theater audiences in a good mood. This one features John Litel portraying revolutionary war hero Patrick Henry, who is credited with the rallying cry, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" The line is cemented into the brains of kids who listened to their American history teachers; it perfectly illustrates the passion and determination of the United States founders.

**** Give Me Liberty (12/19/36) B. Reeves Eason ~ John Litel, Nedda Harrigan, George Irving, Robert Warwick

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