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Give Me Liberty (1936)

Patrick Henry's rousing speech before the Virginia legislature argues for colonial independence.

Director:

B. Reeves Eason

Writer:

Forrest Barnes (story and screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Litel ... Patrick Henry
Nedda Harrigan ... Doxie Henry
Carlyle Moore Jr. ... Captain Milton
Robert Warwick ... George Washington
George Irving ... Thomas Jefferson
Boyd Irwin Boyd Irwin ... British Commissioner
Gordon Hart Gordon Hart ... Anti-Rebel Delegate Speaker
Myrtle Stedman ... Martha Washington
Shirley Lloyd Shirley Lloyd ... Party Guest Giving Patrick a Violin
Ted Osborne Ted Osborne ... Randolph Peyton (as Theodore Osborne)
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Storyline

George Washington tries to encourage gifted orator Patrick Henry to use his considerable powers to argue the case for colonial independence before the Virginia House of Burgesses, but the lawmaker's promise to his wife initially deters him. When the political climate changes, she eventually gives her consent, and Henry delivers his rousing "Give Me Liberty" speech to an enthusiastic legislature. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Technicolor Specials (1936-1937 season) #2: Give Me Liberty See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reels #7766-7767. See more »

Goofs

An intertitle states that the delegates moved to St John's Church in Richmond, but in the following scene, when the delegates are shown leaving the church, the sign on the door reads "St. Paul's Church." See more »

Quotes

Patrick Henry: Better a glorious death, Peyton, than an inglorious life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Okay for Sound (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

America
(uncredited)
aka "My Country 'tis of Thee"
Music from "God Save the King"
Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith
Sung by a chorus at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
these guys never envisioned Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton"
28 June 2018 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

It's going to be harder to take the Academy Award-winning "Give Me Liberty" seriously in the 21st century, since the characters declare that they don't want to live under slavery, even though many of them owned slaves. Patrick Henry's GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH sounds good until you learn that he tried to stop slaves from joining the British army (since the British promised the slaves freedom). Sure enough, the only black person in the movie is George Washington's servant who always obeys his master.

If the short has any upside, it's the focus on democracy.* I guess that nowadays we're used to learning about the Founding Fathers from Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" (I haven't seen it but I've heard a lot about it). Obviously, there was a lot more to the US's early history than what the Founding Fathers did. I guess that the movie's worth seeing, even though we're going to interpret it differently than how it got intended.

*Occasional, people will try to talk about what's legal as a form of appeal to authority, but don't forget that the anti-monarchy, pro-democracy pronouncements from Washington, Jefferson, etc, were illegal.


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