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>
Many of the outdoor shots were filmed at what is now the Warner Ranch just north of the main studio. The water fountain seen during the number with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Richard Henry Lee is probably best known to television viewers as the fountain seen at the beginning of the TV show Friends (1994). The fountain still exists directly across the street from the house facades used in Bewitched (1964), and I Dream of Jeannie (1965). Most of the other colonial sets were destroyed by a devastating fire in the mid-70s. See more »
Position of Col. McKean's hands when he fires the musket. See more »
[Adams has barged into Jefferson's room, accompanied by Franklin, to read the results of Jefferson's work on the Declaration of Independence]
You've had a whole week, man. Is it done? Can I SEE IT?
[Jefferson indicates dozens of rejected drafts strewn crumpled about his floor]
Do you mean to say that it is NOT YET FINISHED?
No sir. I mean to say that it is not yet begun.
Good GOD! A whole week! The entire earth was created in a week!
[Jefferson turns to face him]
Someday, you must tell me how you ...
[...] 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 »
Musicals are often looked at as foreign movies. Since most younger generations are not familiar with the musical genres of the 1930's and the 1970's, they don't understand the art form and style of communication / entertainment that the musical is. To screen this movie to a group of 7th graders, it will be a challenge to get them to enjoy let alone get "it". The entire cast is perfect. Each actor is their character. Although actors William Daniels and Howard Da Silva are known for other roles, here they are Adams and Franklin. 30 years since its premiere in cinemas, many of the actors are long gone. Many have been dead for a good ten years. Still, their performances live on for modern audiences to enjoy. More then that, it remains one of the better musicals made in a movie. Especially for a post 2001 audience, there are moments interesting to watch. The issues of protection, fear and terrorism are made clear, even for 1776. This remains a great film even though its audience is small.
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