A musical based on the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. When young newspaper sellers are exploited beyond reason by their bosses they set out to enact change and are met by the ruthlessness of big business.
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 final shot required the camera to pull back to show the entire Congressional chamber. However, there was not enough room on the set for the camera truck to pull back far enough. Since the sound stages being used were slated to be demolished after production ended, and this was the final shot being done, a large hole was made in the wall - with the camera truck protruding outdoors after pulling all the way back. As it turned out, the sound stages were never demolished and the wall was rebuilt. See more »
At the Congress, John Adams says "Benjamin Franklin smote the ground, and out sprang George Washington, fully grown and on his horse. Franklin then electrified them with his miraculous lightning rod and the three of them - Franklin, Washington, and the horse - conducted the entire Revolution all by themselves". Adams made that speech in April of 1790 at Franklin's funeral. See more »
[a brawl has broken out]
Stop it! Stop it! This is the Congress! Stop it I say! The enemy's out there!
No, Mr Rodney, the enemy is here!
No! I say he's out there! England! England closing in, cutting off our air! There's no time!
[suddenly very weak]
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This movie scarcely saw the light of day in Britain and has not been seen on T.V. there for 20 years and this is their loss as this intelligent,witty and tuneful musical is up there with the best of its genre. Okay,so no-one goes round whistling these tunes like they do for the likes of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe but the music and lyrics provided for "1776" work like a dream and all are zestfully performed.As for the cast,you imagine that if you were to travel back in time these 200 years and more and asked the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin to sing to you,this is what they would have sounded like and these are the words they would have sung.William Daniels,short in stature but long in charisma was perfect here as John Adams.A shame that the big screen did not make greater subsequent use of this gifted performer.Full marks to all of those involved.
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