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The Bill of Rights (1939)

 -  Short | Drama | History  -  19 August 1939 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 19 users  
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This short subject is a lavish costumed color production which dramatizes the birth of the American Bill of Rights. It depicts leading political figures of the American Revolution and the ... See full summary »

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Title: The Bill of Rights (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ted Osborne ...
Moroni Olsen ...
Royal Governor Dunmore (as Moroni Olson)
Leonard Mudie ...
Moreland
...
John Hamilton ...
Raymond Brown
Tom Chatterton ...
Richard Henry Lee
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Storyline

This short subject is a lavish costumed color production which dramatizes the birth of the American Bill of Rights. It depicts leading political figures of the American Revolution and the despotic British colonial rule which led to the creation of the Bill of Rights. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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Short | Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

19 August 1939 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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| (TCM print)

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

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

Soundtracks

America
Written by Samuel Francis Smith (music) and Henry Carey (lyrics attributed)
Performed by studio orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Historical short given A-film values and Warner Bros. gloss...
14 July 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Another in the kind of historical shorts the major studios produced during the '30s and '40s, given Grade-A production values and using the studio's stock company of supporting players for the leading roles.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS begins in 1774 in Williamsburg, Virginia with the colonists insisting that while they "respect the motherland", they are demanding a bill of rights for "the home country". What follows is a fervent replay of American history with the Americans vs. the British, with the British considering ways to get the "hot-blooded colonists" to obey their commands.

Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death" (overacted by JOHN LITEL) is a part of the proceedings, as are other fragments of history including the Minute Men and ending in 1787 with rebellion among the colonists as they work on an Amendment to preserve "the Bill of Rights".

Sets and costumes are strictly Grade A in presentation but the acting is uniformly stiff and self-conscious. Best in the cast is earnest TED OSBORNE as James Madison, while the rest of the cast indulges in energetic but stilted acting under Crane Wilbur's direction.


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