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A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
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Cast verified as complete

John Adams (MA)
Dr. Benjamin Franklin (PA)
Thomas Jefferson (VA)
John Dickinson (PA)
Edward Rutledge (SC)
Stephen Hopkins (RI)
Congressional President John Hancock (MA)
Ron Holgate ...
Richard Henry Lee (VA)
Col. Thomas McKean (DE)
William Hansen ...
Caesar Rodney (DE)
Martha Jefferson
Abigail Adams
Emory Bass ...
Judge James Wilson (PA)
Ralston Hill ...
Congressional Secretary Charles Thomson
Lewis Morris (NY)
Patrick Hines ...
Samuel Chase (MD)
William Duell ...
Andrew McNair, Congressional Custodian
Daniel Keyes ...
Dr. Josiah Bartlett (NH)
George Read (DE)
Jonathan Moore ...
Dr. Lyman Hall (GA)
Rev. John Witherspoon (NJ)
John Myhers ...
Robert Livingston (NY)
Rex Robbins ...
Roger Sherman (CT)
Charles Rule ...
Joseph Hewes (NC)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andy Albin ...
William Paca (MD) (uncredited)
Thomas Heyward, Jr. (SC) (uncredited)
South Carolina Delegate (uncredited)
John Penn (NC) (uncredited)
Gordon De Vol ...
Thomas Lynch, Jr. (SC) (uncredited)
Samuel Huntington (CT) (uncredited)
Oliver Wolcott (CT) (uncredited)
William Whipple (NH) (uncredited)
Heber Jentzsch ...
Charles Carroll (MD) (uncredited)
Richard McMurray ...
Francis Lewis (NY) (uncredited)
Mark Montgomery ...
Leather Apron (uncredited)
Barry O'Hara ...
George Walton (GA) (uncredited)
Dick O'Shea ...
Francis Hopkinson (NJ) (uncredited)
William Hooper (NC) (uncredited)
Fred Slyter ...
Richard Stockton (NJ) (uncredited)

Directed by

Peter H. Hunt

Written by

Peter Stone ... (book: play)
Sherman Edwards ... (based on a conception of)
Peter Stone ... (screenplay)

Produced by

Jack L. Warner ... producer

Music by

Sherman Edwards

Cinematography by

Harry Stradling Jr.

Film Editing by

Florence Williamson
William H. Ziegler

Casting By

Michael Shurtleff

Production Design by

George Jenkins

Art Direction by

George Jenkins
John Jay Moore

Set Decoration by

George James Hopkins

Costume Design by

Patricia Zipprodt

Makeup Department

Ernest Adler ... hair designer
Carmen Dirigo ... hair stylist
Allan Snyder ... makeup artist

Production Management

Emmett Emerson ... unit production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Sheldon Schrager ... assistant director

Art Department

Mentor Huebner ... production illustrator and portrait artist
John Roche ... construction

Sound Department

Al Overton Jr. ... sound
Arthur Piantadosi ... sound

Camera and Electrical Department

Richard Craig Meinardus ... first assistant camera

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Mickey Sherrard ... costumer: men

Music Department

Sherman Edwards ... lyricist / music and lyrics by: play
Ray Heindorf ... music supervisor / musical director
Peter Howard ... music arranger: dance music
Eddie Sauter ... orchestrator
Ted Sebern ... music editor

Script and Continuity Department

Marshall Schlom ... script supervisor

Other crew

Mentor Huebner ... titles
Stuart Ostrow ... play produced on the New York Stage by
Onna White ... choreographer

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines The Great Holiday Show That Sets The Screen Aglow See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • 1776: Rebellion und Liebe (Germany)
  • 1776 - Rebellion und Liebe (West Germany)
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  • 141 min
Official Sites
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $4,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia Many of the actors were also in the Broadway production. Jack L. Warner regretted turning down Julie Andrews for the film adaptation of My Fair Lady (1964). See more »
Goofs The circumstances of Caesar Rodney's ride are historically inaccurate. Rodney suffered from asthma and skin cancer, but he had not returned to Delaware because he was dying. As a brigadier general in the Delaware militia, he was in Sussex County monitoring Tory activity when he received word that the vote on independence was about to take place. Changing horses several times, he rode all night, eighty miles through a thunderstorm, to reach Philadelphia in time to cast his vote. He remained almost continuously in public service until his death in 1784. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Playing Columbine (2008). See more »
Soundtracks Sit Down, John 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 »
Quotes John Adams: I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress! And by God, I have had this Congress! For ten years, King George and his Parliament have gulled, cullied, and diddled these colonies with their illegal taxes! Stamp Acts, Townshend Acts, Sugar Acts, Tea Acts! And when we dared stand up like men, they have stopped our trade, seized our ships, blockaded our ports, burned our towns, and spilled our BLOOD! And still, this Congress refuses to grant ANY of my proposals on independence, even so much as the courtesty of open debate! Good God, what in hell are you waiting for?
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