1776 (1972)

PG  |   |  Drama, Family, History  |  17 November 1972 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,115 users  
Reviews: 128 user | 35 critic

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 »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing antisemitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey
Adventure | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Johnny Tremain is drawn into the Revolutionary War, and becomes a patriot fighting to free the colonies from England. Along the way he learns about life and about himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hal Stalmaster, Luana Patten, Jeff York
Animation | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A gentle and wise grey spider with a flair for promotion pledges to save a young pig from slaughter for dinner food.

Directors: Charles A. Nichols, Iwao Takamoto
Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Henry Gibson, Paul Lynde
Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Swiss family must survive being shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth
Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A college professor invents an anti-gravity substance which a corrupt businessman wants for himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn
Show Boat (1951)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The daughter of a riverboat captain falls in love with a charming gambler, but their fairytale romance is threatened when his luck turns sour.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The American Revolutionary War is seen through the eyes of an American teenaged lad, a young English lady, and a French boy, all 3 of whom work as reporters for Benjamin Franklin.

Stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Walter Cronkite, Kathleen Barr
Scrooge (1970)
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, Edith Evans
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After the animal communicating veterinarian goes too far for his clientèle, he and his friends escape their hometown to sea in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Kermit and his new found friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog-legs merchant is after Kermit.

Director: James Frawley
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson


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
See  »

Did You Know?


Of all the actors in this movie, only William Daniels and Ken Howard play future presidents of the United States - John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Both actors were, in fact, also future presidents of the Screen Actors Guild. William Daniels was elected in 1999 for one term, and Ken Howard was elected in 2009 for two terms, mirroring their characters in this movie. John Adams was elected for one term (1797-1801), and Thomas Jefferson for two terms (1801-1809). See more »


Several times, Benjamin Franklin mocks John Adams for coming from Boston. Franklin himself was born and raised in Boston, leaving only in his late teens, but this part of his life was very unhappy, so it makes sense that he would distance himself from it. 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 »


Featured in Music Movies: 1776 (2013) See more »


The Lees of Old Virginia
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by Ron Holgate, Howard Da Silva, and William Daniels
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Must See For Every American
4 July 2007 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Sherman Edwards was a modest teacher of history when he got the idea of creating a musical telling of the tale of the birth of the United States. As it turned out, even though the story of the Declaration of Independence was one most every American schoolchild knew, there was a lot more to it than the signing of a paper and the ringing of a bell.

The Broadway version of "1776" became a sensation with audiences and went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical of 1969.

During this era of film-making, the musical was still considered to be a draw for audiences, so it was natural to take this show and bring it to the big screen. And best of all, John Warner brought the bulk of the cast from the show to the film. William Daniels IS John Adams to a lot of people, and his portrayal of the feisty proponent for independence is one of the great performances of any "real life" character. Daniels is equaled by his fellow Congressional cohorts, Ken Howard as the author of the document, Thomas Jefferson, and the amazing Howard Da Silva as the good doctor, Benjamin Franklin.

To me, the most remarkable element is the facts of the story are pretty much accurate, the timing of the events, measured with a wall calendar, keeps the tension going as we count down to that particular date... July 1st, 2nd, 3rd...

But it's more than just the story of the founding of the country, it's a love story, or really two, with the Jeffersons Martha, played by Blythe Danner and the Adams pair, with the incredible Virginia Vestoff as John's Abigail who interacts with her husband only in his mind.

For a musical, it is something of a "warts and all" examination of the process, as the south refuses to sign a declaration that freed their slaves, as Jefferson had intended in the original draft. John Cullum brilliantly voices this discussion as the genteel South Carolinian, Edward Rutledge, in the hypnotic and haunting "Molasses to Rum." In fact, every song in the score is well thought out, clever, truthful and very entertaining!

Maybe this isn't *exactly* how the USA began, but, at least once a year, let's say it is.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Boring as anything, BUT... lanceus
A Fourth of July tradition? Whistling_Pete
How historically correct is this? AllesKanBeter
Best Line in the Film... evanevan
Watching it right now! VValkyrie
I absolutely love the film. My wife hates it. JKearse
Discuss 1776 (1972) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: