The film version of the Broadway musical comedy of the same name. In the days leading up to July 4, 1776, Continental Congressmen John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerce Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence as a delaying tactic as they try to persuade the American colonies to support a resolution on independence. As George Washington sends depressing messages describing one military disaster after another, the businessmen, landowners and slave holders in Congress all stand in the way of the Declaration, and a single "nay" vote will forever end the question of independence. Large portions of spoken and sung dialog are taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants. Written by
Dave Heston <heston@iName.com>
Charles Thomson served as the Secretary of the Continental Congress throughout its entire existence up until its disbanding in 1789. He was not offered a post in the new government which had been created by the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. He died in 1824 at the age of 94, and was a close friend of Thomas Jefferson until his death. See more »
John Adams and Benjamin Franklin make oblique illusions to Sandro Botticelli's painting of the Birth of Venus. At his death in 1510, Botticelli had lapsed into obscurity and was all but completely forgotten until a revival of interest in his works in the mid-19th century - Adams and Franklin would probably not have been familiar with him and his art. See more »
[John Adams volunteers to visit New Brunswick after a report is given of Washington's soldiers being afflicted with venereal disease and alcoholism]
Wake up, Franklin, you're going to New Brunswick!
Dr. Benjamin Franklin:
Like hell I am. What for?
The whoring and the drinking!
[Franklin gets up and marches off right behind Adams]
See more »
The theatrical version has no credits at the beginning other than "Columbia Pictures presents" and the film's title. The Director's Cut and the extended laserdisc edition includes a main title sequence at the opening. See more »
Musicals are often looked at as foreign movies. Since most younger generations are not familiar with the musical genres of the 1930's and the 1970's, they don't understand the art form and style of communication / entertainment that the musical is. To screen this movie to a group of 7th graders, it will be a challenge to get them to enjoy let alone get "it". The entire cast is perfect. Each actor is their character. Although actors William Daniels and Howard Da Silva are known for other roles, here they are Adams and Franklin. 30 years since its premiere in cinemas, many of the actors are long gone. Many have been dead for a good ten years. Still, their performances live on for modern audiences to enjoy. More then that, it remains one of the better musicals made in a movie. Especially for a post 2001 audience, there are moments interesting to watch. The issues of protection, fear and terrorism are made clear, even for 1776. This remains a great film even though its audience is small.
37 of 47 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?