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

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Cast

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

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Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1776 - Rebellion und Liebe  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

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

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 »

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 Tru Calling: Brother's Keeper (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lees of Old Virginia
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by Ron Holgate, Howard Da Silva, and William Daniels
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, and remarkably accurate to history!
21 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a person who has gained a college degree in History, I first fell in love with this movie when I saw it as the stage play with the Broadway cast in my junior year in high school, in 1976. The movie is surprisingly accurate with direct quotations from key congressional members, such as Adams, Franklin and Jefferson as borne out in David McCullough's "John Adams." Yes, there were a few licenses taken with history such as the dramatic scene with Wilson,Dickinson, and Franklin when Wilson is forced to decide the entire question of independence on his vote. But it is these few licenses that bring out the true seriousness of the founding of our nation. One particular scene that I am glad was restored from Jack L. Warner's shameful caving in to Richard Nixon is the piece "Cool, Cool, Considerate Men." That piece clearly fleshed out the Conservative's viewpoint in Congress. William Daniels is perfect for the part of John Adams. His Boston twang (even though he was born in New York) is excellent. One cast change that I am glad they made is putting Blythe Danner in the role of Martha Jefferson in the movie version, in place of Betty Buckley. No offense to Ms. Buckley, I love her as an actress in her roles, but her voice comes across too nasal and strident in her singing of Tom's qualities. (I own the stage play LP to make this comparison) The rest of the cast is perfect. Donald Madden was excellent as John Dickinson, even if you can forgive his singing voice in "Cool, Considerate Men." I will always think of Howard Da Silva and Ken Howard as Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, respectively. All in all, it is a movie that should be seen by everyone in their High School History or Civics class.


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