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>
When John Adams is shocked by the thought of Thomas and Martha Jefferson having intimate relations during the daylight hours, Franklin responds, "Not everybody's from Boston, John." Not everyone was, of course, but Benjamin Franklin actually had a better claim of being "from Boston" than Adams, as Franklin was born in the actual city, while John Adams' birthplace was the nearby town of Braintree, Massachusetts. (Franklin had moved to Philadelphia when a youth to seek his fortune.) See more »
During the song "The Egg" they sing "on this humid Monday morning", yet the date is shown as June 28, 1776, which was a Friday. See more »
Dr. Josiah Bartlett:
Mr. Jefferson, I beg you to remember that we still have friends in England. I see no purpose in antagonizing them with such phrases as "unfeeling brethren" and "enemies at war." Our quarrel is with the British king, not the British people.
Oh, be sensible Bartlett, remove those phrases and the entire paragraph becomes meaningless! And it so happens that it's one of the most stirring and poetic of any passage in the entire document.
Dr. Josiah Bartlett:
We're a congress, Mr. Adams, not a literary society. I ask that...
[...] 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 »
Big laughs, poignant moments, sweetest love songs.
Although at first, it's surprising to see a musical about the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the viewer is soon caught up in the politics and emotions of this important American event. It should be watched more than once, because it can be appreciated on several different levels. There are some of the biggest laughs, some of the most poignant moments, and the sweetest love songs you'll see in movies. Much of the dialog is taken straight from the documented letters and conversations of the principal characters, and we get to see them as real people with real worries and real feelings, rather than as the marble statues seen in the history books. This is definitely a must-see movie (and stage play, if you get the chance), and one you won't forget.
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