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>
According to the writer/director's commentary, John Adams' actual quote following Franklin's urging to remove the slavery clause from the declaration was "If we give in on this issue, there WILL be trouble 100 years hence." The commentary stated that the quote was NOT used because it sounded too much like hindsight. Adams' forward looking prediction missed the first battle of the Civil War by only 15 years. See more »
The circumstances of Caesar Rodney's ride are historically inaccurate. Rodney suffered from asthma and skin cancer, but he had not returned to Delaware because he was dying. As a brigadier general in the Delaware militia, he was in Sussex County monitoring Tory activity when he received word that the vote on independence was about to take place. Changing horses several times, he rode all night, eighty miles through a thunderstorm, to reach Philadelphia in time to cast his vote. He remained almost continuously in public service until his death in 1784. See more »
[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]
What do you keep coming up here for, Mr. Adams? Afraid someone's gonna steal our bell?
Well, no worry. Been here more than fourteen years and it ain't been ...
[...] 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 »
I promised my mother that I would once again put this wonderful movie on the video player this week end. There is a wonderful comment in the book "Lets put on a musical" about the fact that half way through the story you wonder if you really do know how it is going to end!
William Daniels,is of course spectacular as John Adams,the linchpin of the show. Howard DaSilva and Franklin is just jaded enough(read dirty old man), and Ken Howard is delightful as Jeffrson. One person who was not in the stage production but is a definite asset to the movie is John Cullum as Rutledge.especially in his big solo number,Molasses to Rum.
A real treat for eyes and ears ,and a history lesson to boot.
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