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 Benjamin 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 first battle of the Civil War occurred 85 years later, in 1861. The commentary stated that the quote was left out because it sounded too much like hindsight. See more »
Stephen Hopkins' statement "The Colonies are rotting for want of independence," should actually be attributed to Rev. John Witherspoon. 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 »
The studio cut the film heavily prior to its release. Released theatrically at 141 minutes; laserdisc reissue is 180 minutes and features deleted footage, alternate takes for certain scenes, and an additional musical number titled "Cool Considerate Men." This version also includes an overture and intermission. According to the laserdisc jacket, the original film elements of the extended version were destroyed; thus the deleted scenes were taken from whatever Columbia could find, mostly old, misused prints (which leads to a decrease in picture and sound quality whenever the film transitions from the theatrical version to the deleted footage). One deleted scene was taken from a black-and-white print and was presented as such. See more »
Musicals are often looked at as foreign movies. Since most younger generations are not familiar with the musical genres of the 1930's and the 1970's, they don't understand the art form and style of communication / entertainment that the musical is. To screen this movie to a group of 7th graders, it will be a challenge to get them to enjoy let alone get "it". The entire cast is perfect. Each actor is their character. Although actors William Daniels and Howard Da Silva are known for other roles, here they are Adams and Franklin. 30 years since its premiere in cinemas, many of the actors are long gone. Many have been dead for a good ten years. Still, their performances live on for modern audiences to enjoy. More then that, it remains one of the better musicals made in a movie. Especially for a post 2001 audience, there are moments interesting to watch. The issues of protection, fear and terrorism are made clear, even for 1776. This remains a great film even though its audience is small.
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