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April Morning (1988)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | TV Movie 24 April 1988
The "April Morning" here is the famous April 19, 1775 upon which the "Shot heard 'round the world" was fired, signaling the start of the American Revolution. Faithful to author Howard ... See full summary »

Director:

Delbert Mann

Writers:

Howard Fast (novel), James Lee Barrett (teleplay)
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Moses Cooper
Susan Blakely ... Sarah Cooper
Chad Lowe ... Adam Cooper
Robert Urich ... Joseph Simmons
Meredith Salenger ... Ruth Simmons
Rip Torn ... Solomon Chandler
Joan Heney Joan Heney ... Granny Cooper
Nicholas Kilbertus Nicholas Kilbertus ... John Parker
Griffith Brewer Griffith Brewer ... Samuel Hadley
Thor Bishopric ... Jonathan Harrington
Joel Miller Joel Miller ... The Reverend
Brian Furlong ... Joash Smith
Anthony Ulc ... Simon Casper (as Tony Ulc)
Philip Spensley Philip Spensley ... John Buckman
Peter Colvey Peter Colvey ... Major John Pitcairn
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Storyline

The "April Morning" here is the famous April 19, 1775 upon which the "Shot heard 'round the world" was fired, signaling the start of the American Revolution. Faithful to author Howard Fast's somewhat revisionist view that the skirmishes between the Colonial militia and the British troops in Lexington and Concord (Massachusetts) were precipitated as much by fervent American patriots led by Solomon Chandler as by any "Redcoat" belligerence. Opined by a European. Written by Robert James O'Brien <Robert.O'Brien@fct-cf.x400.gc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: April Morning (#37.4) See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was also the title and subject of the last film project of John Ford, but it is not clear whether the script was the one which Ford tried to make. There were other connections between James Lee Barrett and Ford, most notably that Barrett wrote the script of the TV remake of Ford's Stagecoach (1939) (Stagecoach (1986)). See more »

Goofs

When the British were fighting against a group of militia, no one gave a command to fire, but they fired anyway. The British then initiated a charge, again without an order given. The British Army of the 18th Century was well disciplined and would never break discipline by acting without orders. See more »

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fictionalized but worthwhile. A great pro-Second Amendment statement.
5 October 2005 | by guancheSee all my reviews

After disposing of the fact that this film was significantly under budgeted, and, in spots, more than a bit overacted, what remains is a realistically cold and existential account of the first day of the American Revolution. While the principal characters have decided to take a stand against British domination, most are a bit vague in their feelings and haven't judged exactly how far they are willing to go. Yet, the events of the Day assume a life of their own and sweep everyone along.

I was most impressed by the way the film depicts the confusion of war and the mostly improvised pattern of resistance against the redcoats. Firing is heard all around, though no one is exactly sure from where or by whom. Men move through the woods with their guns, forming ad hoc groups to ambush the roadbound British columns---whose primary mission was the confiscation of privately owned firearms. The tactics are historically accurate. They fire, and retreat to concealed positions to reload. Most of these men are reluctant warriors, resigned to an unpleasant task, yet resolved to carry it through. A fine illustration of the ultimate Check and Balance of an armed citizenry; a concept enshrined in our Constitution yet too readily dismissed by many who claim to believe in democratic principles.

Another interesting and rather rare touch is the fact that the scriptwriters made a real effort to have the characters speak as people of the time would have. I have found that in many "historical" films the actors use words, sentence structure and alliterative devices from modern times. In some instances, well intentioned editors concerned with realism overcompensate to the point where the dialogue is overly formalized, archaic, and stilted. Not so here. The actors really sound like what one would read in contemporary, primary sources describing the event. This by itself gives the film considerable educational value.

A good "war is hell" movie still suitable for younger viewers due to its lack of gratuitous gore, and a memorable portrayal of ordinary people facing up to the bold task of confronting tyranny.


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