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The Declaration of Independence (1938)

Approved | | Short, Drama, History | 26 November 1938 (USA)

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This historical featurette focuses on Caesar Rodney of Delaware, who cast the deciding vote so that the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776.



Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Ted Osborne ...
Rosella Towne ...
Betsy Kramer
Richard Bond ...
Thomas Lynch Jr.
Owen King ...


This historical featurette focuses on Caesar Rodney of Delaware, who cast the deciding vote so that the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama | History






Release Date:

26 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Technicolor Specials (1938-1939 season) #2: The Declaration of Independence  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #8874-8875. See more »


Edited into March On, America! (1942) See more »


America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)
Music by Samuel Francis Smith
Performed by studio orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Good Short
15 February 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Declaration of Independence, The (1938)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Oscar-winning, Technicolor short centers in on the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the vote of Caesar Rodney (Ted Osborne) who will push it one way or the other. Knowing the history of Hollywood as I do, it's doubtful this film is too accurate in terms of history but that doesn't really matter as the film remains quite entertaining from start to finish. Shorts from this era only used Technicolor on films the studio thought were important enough for it so the colors adds a lot here. Even though the print shown on Turner Classic Movies is rather faded, the color of the outfits still manages to shine through as does the various scenes in the forest. Osborne does a fine job in his role as does John Litel as Thomas Jefferson and Walter Walker as Benjamin Franklin. The film ends with a mad horse dash as Rodney tries to get to the vote and we even get a nice fight and some gun play as well.

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