Probably Charlton Heston played more real life characters on the screen than any other player in history. Preservation of this Studio One program yields us another portrayal that of the brilliant, but mad James Otis who was an early on opponent of the British mercantile system and the measures said system took to strangle the economy of those colonies on the North American Atlantic shore.
The same intensity that Heston brings to such roles as Moses, John The Baptist and El Cid and so many others is found here in Otis. He gave up a lot financially and personally for his beliefs. There was many a political discussion that got nasty in the Otis household.
As history teaches us Otis dropped out of the colonial struggle early on as he developed symptoms of what we would now call schizophrenia. In the Disney film Johnny Tremain, Jeff York makes a brief appearance as an aged man in a lucid moment to give counsel. York probably was more like the mad Otis of circa 1774 than Heston was.
It's a choppy script only touching on some highlights in the last 20+ years of Otis's life from the end of the Seven Years war until his death in 1783. If you don't know how he died I won't tell, but it was something he eerily predicted.
Choppy script and all Heston and his supporting cast of some familiar names, best among them Anne Seymour as Mercy Otis Warren as equal a patriot as her brother and husband Dr. John Warren.
Still a good film to show to class about one of the founders of what we call the United States Of America.
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