7.6/10
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144 user 39 critic

1776 (1972)

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 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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 176 minute extended version is available on the laserdisc and DVD. It contains 35 minutes cut from the original videotape release, including the song Cool, Considerate Men. See more »

Goofs

In "Cool Considerate Men" (included only in the extended version), Southern delegates sing about "moving to the right", but "right/left" political labels originated in the French Revolutionary Assembly of 1789. Also something of an anachronism is that the first few bars of the verses and the first words of the first verse are clearly a reference to "The Star Spangled Banner", the lyrics of which in 1776 would not be written by Francis Scott Key for 38 years in the aftermath of the Battle of Fort McHenry, and the melody (originally "To Anacreon in Heaven") would in 1776 have not been known outside of an obscure Gentlemen's Club in London. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

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

The 2015 Blu-Ray includes an "Extended Version" which reinserts the extended version of "Piddle, Twiddle" and "Lees" reprise into the film; it runs three minutes longer than the Director's Cut. See more »

Connections

Version of John Adams: Independence (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Yours, Yours, Yours
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Performed by William Daniels and Virginia Vestoff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Dialogue and audience
12 May 2003 | by udesaiSee all my reviews

Well, most comments here have already mentioned the great things about this movie (its music, acting, accuracy), so I just want to put in a word for something I *haven't* seen mentioned yet: the dialogue of the film. Nearly all the dialogue is directly taken from letters/speeches by the actual Founding Fathers, and whatever isn't direct quotes (such as the songs) is paraphrased. This is especially true for John Adams' dream sequences with his wife Abigail (one of the greatest love stories in history) The writers wanted to present Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, and the others as truthfully as possible -- and they succeeded!

A side comment: the film isn't just made for Americans. I recommended it to some of my friends in India, and they loved it. You don't even need to know anything about American history or the Declaration of Independence to "get" the movie -- it stands on its own!

Another amazing thing about this movie is its drama. You know from the beginning what's going to happen, but you're still caught up in the drama of the film.


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