A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Poole ...
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


The Great Holiday Show That Sets The Screen Aglow

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?


Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence and the last signer to die, dying in 1832 at the age of 95. His cousin John Carroll was a Jesuit priest who, appointed Bishop of Baltimore, became the first Catholic bishop in the United States in 1790, and founded Georgetown University. See more »


Stephen Hopkins' statement "The Colonies are rotting for want of independence," should actually be attributed to Rev. John Witherspoon. 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 »


Momma Look Sharp
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by Stephen Nathan, William Duell, and Mark Montgomery
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I see fireworks,pomp and parades
30 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I promised my mother that I would once again put this wonderful movie on the video player this week end. There is a wonderful comment in the book "Lets put on a musical" about the fact that half way through the story you wonder if you really do know how it is going to end!

William Daniels,is of course spectacular as John Adams,the linchpin of the show. Howard DaSilva and Franklin is just jaded enough(read dirty old man), and Ken Howard is delightful as Jeffrson. One person who was not in the stage production but is a definite asset to the movie is John Cullum as Rutledge.especially in his big solo number,Molasses to Rum.

A real treat for eyes and ears ,and a history lesson to boot.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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