7.6/10
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149 user 38 critic

1776 (1972)

Trailer
1:06 | Trailer
A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.

Director:

Peter H. Hunt

Writers:

Peter Stone (book), Sherman Edwards (based on a conception of) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Daniels ... John Adams (MA)
Howard Da Silva ... Dr. Benjamin Franklin (PA)
Ken Howard ... Thomas Jefferson (VA)
Donald Madden ... John Dickinson (PA)
John Cullum ... Edward Rutledge (SC)
Roy Poole ... Stephen Hopkins (RI)
David Ford ... Congressional President John Hancock (MA)
Ron Holgate Ron Holgate ... Richard Henry Lee (VA)
Ray Middleton ... Col. Thomas McKean (DE)
William Hansen ... Caesar Rodney (DE)
Blythe Danner ... Martha Jefferson
Virginia Vestoff ... Abigail Adams
Emory Bass Emory Bass ... Judge James Wilson (PA)
Ralston Hill Ralston Hill ... Congressional Secretary Charles Thomson
Howard Caine ... 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 See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Rev. John Witherspoon, delegate from New Jersey, is a real-life ancestor of actress Reese Witherspoon. See more »

Goofs

During "Sit Down, John", a Southern delegate knocks over a lit candle when he stands up to sing. 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 »

Alternate Versions

For the 2002 DVD release (and Turner Classic Movies showings), the film has been shortened slightly from the laserdisc version, to 166 minutes. The overture and entr'acte music have been removed and the songs "Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve" and "Lees of Old Virginia" (the latter's reprise has been removed) have inexplicably been cut back to their original release lengths. On the other hand, a short piece of footage following "Cool, Considerate Men" has been found and reinserted. The replaced footage has been repaired, giving the DVD a much better look visually than the laserdisc. See more »


Soundtracks

He Plays the Violin
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by Blythe Danner, Howard Da Silva, and William Daniels
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User Reviews

 
Excellent, and remarkably accurate to history!
21 December 2004 | by cbrubleSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

1776 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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