1776 (1972) Poster


Blythe Danner: Martha Jefferson



  • Martha Jefferson : I beg your pardon, gentlemen. My husband is not yet up. It is indeed an honor to meet the two greatest men in America.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : Certainly the greatest within earshot, anyway.

    Martha Jefferson : I'm not an idle flatterer, Dr. Franklin. My husband admires you both greatly.

    John Adams : Uh, did you sleep well, madam?

    Martha Jefferson : Hmm?

    John Adams : Oh, uh... well, I mean, uh, did you lie comfortably? Damn it, you know what I mean.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : Yes, John, we know what you mean.

  • Dr. Benjamin Franklin : Tell us about yourself. We've heard precious little. What's your first name?

    Martha Jefferson : Martha.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : Martha. He might at least have told us that. Your husband doesn't say very much.

    John Adams : Most silent man in Congress. I've never heard him utter three sentences together.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : Not every man's a talker, John.

  • Martha Jefferson : [singing]  Oh, he never speaks his passions, he never speaks his views. Whereas other men speak volumes, the man I love is mute. In truth, I can't recall being wooed with words at all. Even now...

    John Adams : Oh, don't stop, madam.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : No, tell us. How did he win you? And how does he hold on to a bounty such as you?

    Martha Jefferson : [speaking]  Well, surely you've noticed that Tom is a man of many accomplishments. Author, lawyer, statesman, architect, farmer. And still one more that a hesitate to mention.

    John Adams : Don't hesitate, madam. Don't hesitate.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : No, tell us. What else can that red-headed tombstone do?

    Martha Jefferson : [coyly beckoning them closer; singing]  He plays the violin. He tucks it right under his chin. And he bows, oh, he bows, for he knows, yes, he knows, that's heigh, heigh, heigh diddle-diddle. 'Twixt my heart, Tom and his fiddle. My strings are unstrung. Heigh, heigh, heigh, heigh. I am undone.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : The violin, madam?

    Martha Jefferson : I hear his violin, and I get that feeling within. And I sigh, oh, I sigh. He draws near, very near. And it's heigh, heigh, heigh diddle-diddle, and goodbye to the fiddle, my strings are unstrung. Heigh, heigh, heigh, heigh. I'm always undone.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : That settles it, John. We're taking up the violin.

  • John Adams : Very well, madam, you have us playing the violin. What happens next?

    Martha Jefferson : Next, Mr. Adams?

    John Adams : Yes. What does Tom do now?

    Martha Jefferson : Why, just what you'd expect. We dance.

    John Adams : Dance?

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin : Dance? Incredible!

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