1776

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MPAA Rating: PG
Profanity: Colonial oaths
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking, smoking
Violence/ Scariness: References to battles
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Date Released to Theaters: 1972

Happy Independence Day!

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This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned out. William Daniels is the “obnoxious and disliked” John Adams, Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, who would rather be with his wife than work on the Declaration, and Howard da Silva is a wry and witty Benjamin Franklin. As they debate independence, we see the courage that went into the birth of the United States, and as they compromise with the South to permit slavery in the brand-new country we see the tragedy. Outstanding family entertainment.

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Based on a true story Classic Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Epic/Historical For Your Netflix Queue Movie Mom’s Top Picks for Families Musical Rediscovered Classic

12 Replies to “1776”

  1. Nell,
    I just peeked in on Idol Chatter and saw the question regarding films about the “American Dream”. So what are your choices? I posted a couple of my thoughts.

  2. Best musical ever! I have the dvd of “1776” and it is part of my July Fourth Celebrations every year. In fact, I’m such a geek for this movie that whenever I answer a question with “Never”, I have to shout it as John Adams does when Congress sings “Will someone shut that man up?” Truly a great film with excellent portrayals all around and many, many quotable lines and many singable songs.

  3. The DVD release restored the song “Cool, Considerate Men”. This song was cut from the theatrical release due to Richard Nixon objecting to the theme. The line “ever to the right..never to the left” he found offensive.

  4. Eric, I am so happy to hear from someone else who loves the movie the way I do. And that’s fascinating, Jim! Thanks so much for letting me know.

  5. This is also a favorite musical of mine. ‘Molasses To Rum’ and ‘Momma Look Sharp’ still cut right through me. I’m no longer as naive and impressionable as I was when I first found this movie, but those too numbers still chill me, and make me reflect on the most important things to commemorate on our Independance day, even though everything else about it tries to distract us from reflecting on them.

  6. On “Molasses to Rum” – I am amazed that the prevailing thought remains that it was cases of tea that were dumped into the Harbor. It was, by many reliable reports “New England Tea”, a.k.a. West Indian Rum. That makes much more sense, given the reported outfits and shenigans of the rebels. Tea was not really all that widely used – and coffee was more widely known. But Rum was about to be taxed heavily because it came from British colonies and was going to British colonies, and it was a key component of the fabled Triangle of Trade. tea was simply an add on. The cheerful lies we tell the children so they dont think our predecessors were any different than people today.
    I like the movie – but it is time for something new on the subject to be made. Maybe a comedy about choosing and building Washington DC, or a musical about Paul Revere (“Silver!”), or in order to appease today’s masses something with vampires, werewolves or Zombies fighting for/against the Colonists (“Swampfox and the SwampZombies” or “I was Benedict Arnold’s Lycanthropic Mistress”?)

  7. I watch this film every year on the fourth of July to remind myself of how close we came to not being a country. What’s interesting to me is that if the film is historically accurate, then the conservatives have been the bad guys since day one. I wonder why no one realizes that.

  8. The language is somewhat salty and there are some sexual innuendos. However this movie still rocks, it is just that there is a difference between G and PG.

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