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 »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 Award Winning Musical Comes to the Screen! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film, Blythe Danner plays Martha Jefferson, the wife of Thomas Jefferson. In Jefferson in Paris (1995), her real-life daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, plays Patsy Jefferson, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Danner reprised her role as Martha in the documentary Thomas Jefferson (1997). Paltrow played her role opposite Nick Nolte as Jefferson. Nolte and Danner played husband and wife in The Prince of Tides (1991). See more »

Goofs

In the close-up of Franklin's portrait, the painter's brush is clearly not making any changes; no paint is added and none is removed. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Outlander: The Battle Joined (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sit Down, John
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by William Daniels and the Cast
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User Reviews

 
I see fireworks,pomp and parades
30 June 2005 | by lahollySee all my reviews

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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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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