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>
The original Broadway production of the musical "1776" opened at the 46th Street Theater on March 16, 1969 and ran for 1217 performances. William Daniels (portraying John Adams (MA)), Howard Da Silva (portraying Dr. Benjamin Franklin (PA)), Ken Howard (portraying Thomas Jefferson (VA)), Roy Poole (portraying Stephen Hopkins (RI)), Virginia Vestoff (portraying Abigail Adams), David Ford (portraying Congressional President John Hancock (MA)), Ron Holgate (portraying , William Duell (portraying ,Ralston Hill (portraying Richard Henry Lee (VA)), Jonathan Moore (portraying Dr. Lyman Hall (GA)) and Charles Rule (portraying Joseph Hewes (NC)) all recreated their roles in the movie. The original Broadway production won 1969 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ron Holgate) and Best Direction (Peter H. Hunt also directed the Broadway musical), and received nominations for Best Featured Actress in a Musical(Virginia Vestoff), and Best Scenic Design. See more »
The beginning of the film takes place in early June, 1776 in Philadelphia. There are several references to the heat, and several delegates are clearly sweating. After a squabble breaks out during the debate, John Hancock orders McNair to remove a dog from the room because it smells bad. As McNair complies, Hancock shouts, "Christ! It's hot!" and Thomas Jefferson sits on a sill by an open window to read a book. In the next scene, the dog is out on the sidewalk. It barks twice, and you can see its breath. See more »
Dr. Benjamin Franklin:
[to John Dickinson]
Be careful, Mr. Dickinson. Those who would give up some of their liberty in order to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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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 »
The NYC Broadway Musical was a great experience for me to have seen. However for some reason I did not see the film version until it was shown in Arcola, Illinois on a 4th of July celebration! William Daniels (John Adams)"Her Alibi",'89, gave a great performance
along with Howard Da Silva(Dr. Benjamin Franklin),"The Great Gatsby",'74 who looked exactly like the many pictures of Ben Franklin. Ken Howard,(Thomas Jefferson),"At First Sight",'99, gave all his fellow Planner's of the Declaration of Independence a very hard time, playing a violin and enjoying the pleasures of romance with his wife. It is a wonder the Declaration was ever accomplished! The music and singing was very comical among the politicians. This is a great outstanding American FILM which all Americans can enjoy seeing every 4th of July for many generations!
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