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

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Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ron Holgate ...
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William Hansen ...
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Emory Bass ...
Ralston Hill ...
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Lewis Morris (NY)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Great Holiday Show That Sets The Screen Aglow


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1776 - Rebellion und Liebe  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[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 ...
[...]
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in John Adams: Peacefield (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Till Then
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by William Daniels and Virginia Vestoff
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Big laughs, poignant moments, sweetest love songs.
28 February 1999 | by (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – See all my reviews

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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