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>
Director Peter H. Hunt and writer Peter Stone claim in the DVD commentary that President Richard Nixon was given a private screening of the movie before its release in 1972 by his friend, producer Jack L. Warner. The claim further goes on that the song "Cool, Considerate Men" offended Nixon (he thought that audiences would take it as a criticism of his presidency, even though the film was set two centuries earlier), so Warner removed it at Nixon's request. However, the documents from the Nixon Library (which lists all the movies viewed at the White House at the time) shows that "1776" was never previewed there. However, the documents do show that the Nixon family was given a performance of the stage play of "1776" at the White House on February 22, 1970, and this may be the cause of the confusion of about a private screening of the film. As Jack Warner was not in attendance for the 1970 performance, it remains an open question as to how much of the story behind Warner's cutting of the song is true. In any case, the song was restored on the deluxe wide screen presentation laserdisc and later was included on the restored director's cut DVD. See more »
Visible through the open door of the Assembly Room is the Supreme Court Room and on the wall is the coat of arms of Pennsylvania. This replaced King George's coat of arms which was torn down shortly after the first reading of the Declaration on Independence. See more »
[Adams stands with the Liberty Bell, lost in thought]
Mr. Adams? Mr. Adams? Mr. Adams! Well, there you are. Didn't you hear me calling, Mr. Adams? You could have shouted down something, save me climbing up four flights. A man that likes to talk as much as you do, I think...
[Adams turns and gives McNair a hard stare]
What do you keep coming up here for, Mr. Adams? Afraid someone's gonna steal our bell?
Well, no worry. Been here more than fourteen years and it ain't been ...
[...] 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 »
An Imaginative and Brilliantly Original Musical Gem...
1776 is the 1972 film version of the groundbreaking Broadway musical that chronicles the people and events that led to the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence. The musical centers on soon to be second President, John Adams, who according to this musical was a tireless but obnoxious advocate for the thirteen colonies independence from Great Britain and it was his zeal for this cause that led him to being central to the creation of the Declaration of Independence. William Daniels brilliantly recreates his Tony-winning Broadway role as John Adams, the restless and ever-vocal spokesperson for Independence who would not be silenced. He receives solid support from Howard da Silva, who does a scene stealing turn as Benjamin Franklin, Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson, John Cullum as Edmund Rutledge, and the lovely Blythe Danner as Martha Jefferson. Virginia Vestoff also recreates her Broadway role as Abigail Adams, John's wife who is presented as communicating with John through letters brought to life. The heart-pumping musical score features highlights such as "Sit Down, John", "He Plays the Violin", "Yours, Yours, Yours", "But Mr. Adams", "The Egg", "The Lees of Old Virginia", and the haunting "Molasses to Rum" (brilliantly performed by Cullum). One number, "Cool Considerate Men" was cut during the film's original release but has been restored to some prints. If you're a musical comedy fan with an open mind willing to experience something a little different, give this treasure a try.
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