1776 (1972)

PG  |   |  Drama, Family, History  |  17 November 1972 (USA)
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A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.



(book), (based on a conception of), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard Da Silva ...
Roy Poole ...
David Ford ...
Ron Holgate ...
William Hansen ...
Emory Bass ...
Ralston Hill ...
Lewis Morris (NY)


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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1776 - Rebellion und Liebe  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (Laserdisc) | (extended Blu-Ray cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Richard Henry Lee talks as he mounts his horse, yet his mouth is closed. See more »


[first lines]
McNair: [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]
McNair: What do you keep coming up here for, Mr. Adams? Afraid someone's gonna steal our bell?
[he chortles]
McNair: Well, no worry. Been here more than fourteen years and it ain't been ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in Tru Calling: Brother's Keeper (2003) See more »


Cool, Cool, Considerate Men
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by Donald Madden, John Cullum, David Ford, and the Cast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Imaginative and Brilliantly Original Musical Gem...
23 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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