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>
While it is a running gag of the film that John Adams is considered "obnoxious" and is "disliked" by the other members of the Continental Congress, in David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize winning biography "John Adams" McCullough said he had examined the written recollections of all the members of the Congress and none of them had anything but praise for Adams--except for Adams himself. See more »
Other characters address James Wilson as "Judge Wilson." At the time, Wilson was an influential lawyer but had not yet served as a judge. He later became an associate justice of the US Supreme Court (and was addressed as "Mr. Justice Wilson"). Wilson was not the wishy-washy individual portrayed in 1776 but he had "read law" under John Dickinson before being admitted to the practice of law and may have continued to defer to him as a mentor. 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 »
Big laughs, poignant moments, sweetest love songs.
Although at first, it's surprising to see a musical about the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the viewer is soon caught up in the politics and emotions of this important American event. It should be watched more than once, because it can be appreciated on several different levels. There are some of the biggest laughs, some of the most poignant moments, and the sweetest love songs you'll see in movies. Much of the dialog is taken straight from the documented letters and conversations of the principal characters, and we get to see them as real people with real worries and real feelings, rather than as the marble statues seen in the history books. This is definitely a must-see movie (and stage play, if you get the chance), and one you won't forget.
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