1776 (film)

1776 (film)

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1776 is a 1972 American musical film directed by Peter H. Hunt
Peter H. Hunt
Peter Huls Hunt is an American theatre, film, and television director and a theatrical lighting designer.Hunt was born in Pasadena, California, the son of Gertrude and George Smith Hunt II, a Minnesota-born industrial designer. Hunt began his career as a lighting designer at the Williamstown...

. The screenplay by Peter Stone
Peter Stone
Peter Hess Stone was an American writer for theater, television and movies.-Life and career:Stone was born in Los Angeles. His mother, Hilda , was a film writer, and his father, John Stone was the writer and producer of many silent films, including Shirley Temple and Charlie Chan movies...

 was based on the 1969 stage musical of the same name
1776 (musical)
1776 is a musical with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone. The story is based on the events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence...

. Portions of the dialogue and some of the song lyrics were taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants of the Second Continental Congress
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting on May 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met briefly during 1774,...

. The song score was composed by Sherman Edwards
Sherman Edwards
Sherman Edwards was an American songwriter.-Biography:Edwards was born in New York City and was raised in Weequahic, New Jersey, where he attended Weequahic High School. He attended Columbia University, where he majored in history. Throughout college, Edwards moonlighted, playing jazz piano for...

.

Plot


While General George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 is conducting the struggle against the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 on the battlefield, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia piddles away its time over trivial matters and cannot even begin debating the question of American independence
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

.

The leader of the independence faction is the abrasive John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 (William Daniels
William Daniels
William David Daniels is an American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild . He is known for his performance as Dustin Hoffman's father in The Graduate , as John Adams in 1776, as Carter Nash in Captain Nice, as Mr. George Feeny in ABC's Boy Meets World, as the voice of KITT in...

) of Massachusetts whose continuous pushing of the issue has brought their cause to a complete standstill. John Dickinson (Donald Madden
Donald Madden
Donald Madden was an American theatre, television, and film actor best known for his role as John Dickinson in the film 1776 and his portrayal of Hamlet onstage in New York.-Life and career:...

) of Pennsylvania leads the opposition that hopes for reconciliation with England.

During his quieter moments, Adams calls up the image of his wife Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth...

 (Virginia Vestoff
Virginia Vestoff
Virginia Vestoff was an American actress of film, television and Broadway.Vestoff was born into a family of vaudeville performers in New York City. Both her Russian immigrant father and mother, who was the great niece of American composer Stephen Foster, died and left Virginia an orphan at the age...

) who resides in Massachusetts and gives him insight and encouragement. Doctor Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 (Howard Da Silva
Howard Da Silva
Howard Da Silva was an American actor.-Early life:He was born Howard Silverblatt in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Benjamin and Bertha Silverblatt. His parents were both Yiddish speaking Jews born in Russia. He had a job as a steelworker before beginning his acting career on the stage...

) of Pennsylvania suggests another colony that supports independence should submit a proposal.

Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and his famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States...

 (Ron Holgate
Ron Holgate
Ronald "Ron" Holgate is a American actor and opera singer. He is known for winning the Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor as Richard Henry Lee in the original Broadway production of 1776.-Early life:...

) of Virginia is sent off to Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is the private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The district includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital. The capital straddled the boundary of the original shires of Virginia —...

 to get authorization to propose independence. Weeks later, Lee returns with the resolution
Lee Resolution
right|thumb|[[Richard Henry Lee]] proposed the resolution on June 7, 1776.The Lee Resolution, also known as the resolution of independence, was an act of the Second Continental Congress declaring the United Colonies to be independent of the British Empire...

, and finally debate on the question begins. After heated discussions, the question is called without a majority of positive votes present. The vote is successfully postponed until a document or declaration describing their grievances can be written.

John Hancock
John Hancock
John Hancock was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...

 (David Ford
David Ford (actor)
David Ford was an American character actor known for playing John Hancock in the musical-turned-motion-picture 1776. He replaced Mark Allen in the role of Sam Evans, a widower and an artist and father of Maggie Evans on the ABC-TV serial Dark Shadows from 1966-1968...

), President of the Continental Congress
President of the Continental Congress
The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first national government of the United States during the American Revolution...

, appoints a committee up that includes Adams, Franklin and a protesting Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 (Ken Howard
Ken Howard
Kenneth Joseph "Ken" Howard, Jr. is an American actor, best known for his roles as Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and as basketball coach and former Chicago Bulls player Ken Reeves in the television show The White Shadow...

) of Virginia who was heading home that night. Adams sends for Jefferson's wife so the declaration can be prepared by the otherwise distracted Jefferson. Both Adams and Franklin are quite taken with the young Martha Jefferson (Blythe Danner
Blythe Danner
Blythe Katherine Danner is an American actress. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow.-Early life:...

).

While maneuvering to get the required unanimous majority for the vote on independence, Adams, Franklin and Samuel Chase
Samuel Chase
Samuel Chase was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and earlier was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland. Early in life, Chase was a "firebrand" states-righter and revolutionary...

 (Patrick Hines
Patrick Hines
Patrick Hines, born Mainer Patrick Hines, was an American actor best known for his role as Kappelmeister Bonno in the 1984 film Amadeus. Other roles included 1776, The Brinks Job and Bloodrage.Patrick died in 1985 aged just 55 years old....

) of Maryland visit the colonial army encamped in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at the request of General Washington to help convince Maryland.

Upon returning, the declaration is being read and then subsequently debated and amended. The Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 delegates walk out of Congress when the slavery clause is not removed. After removing that clause, 11 colonies are in favor, with New York abstaining.

The question is down to the colony of Pennsylvania and the vote of Judge James Wilson
James Wilson
James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution...

 (Emory Bass), who always follows Dickinson's lead. Wilson votes with the rest of Congress as part of the majority. Finally, with the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

 ready to be signed, each colony (including New York) affixes their signature to the Declaration, establishing the United States on July 4, 1776.

Cast

  • William Daniels
    William Daniels
    William David Daniels is an American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild . He is known for his performance as Dustin Hoffman's father in The Graduate , as John Adams in 1776, as Carter Nash in Captain Nice, as Mr. George Feeny in ABC's Boy Meets World, as the voice of KITT in...

     as John Adams
    John Adams
    John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

     (MA)
  • Howard Da Silva
    Howard Da Silva
    Howard Da Silva was an American actor.-Early life:He was born Howard Silverblatt in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Benjamin and Bertha Silverblatt. His parents were both Yiddish speaking Jews born in Russia. He had a job as a steelworker before beginning his acting career on the stage...

     as Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

     (PA)
  • Ken Howard
    Ken Howard
    Kenneth Joseph "Ken" Howard, Jr. is an American actor, best known for his roles as Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and as basketball coach and former Chicago Bulls player Ken Reeves in the television show The White Shadow...

     as Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

     (VA)
  • Donald Madden
    Donald Madden
    Donald Madden was an American theatre, television, and film actor best known for his role as John Dickinson in the film 1776 and his portrayal of Hamlet onstage in New York.-Life and career:...

     as John Dickinson
    John Dickinson (delegate)
    John Dickinson was an American lawyer and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. He was a militia officer during the American Revolution, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania and Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of...

     (PA)
  • John Cullum
    John Cullum
    John Cullum is an American actor and singer. He has appeared in many stage musicals and dramas, including On the Twentieth Century and Shenandoah , winning the Tony Awards for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for each...

     as Edward Rutledge
    Edward Rutledge
    Edward Rutledge was an American politician and youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He later served as the 39th Governor of South Carolina.-Early years and career:...

     (SC)
  • David Ford
    David Ford (actor)
    David Ford was an American character actor known for playing John Hancock in the musical-turned-motion-picture 1776. He replaced Mark Allen in the role of Sam Evans, a widower and an artist and father of Maggie Evans on the ABC-TV serial Dark Shadows from 1966-1968...

     as John Hancock
    John Hancock
    John Hancock was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...

     (MA)
  • Roy Poole as Stephen Hopkins
    Stephen Hopkins (politician)
    Stephen Hopkins was an American political leader from Rhode Island who signed the Declaration of Independence. He served as the Chief Justice and Governor of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and was a Delegate to the Colonial Congress in Albany in 1754 and to the...

     (RI)
  • Ron Holgate
    Ron Holgate
    Ronald "Ron" Holgate is a American actor and opera singer. He is known for winning the Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor as Richard Henry Lee in the original Broadway production of 1776.-Early life:...

     as Richard Henry Lee
    Richard Henry Lee
    Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and his famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States...

     (VA)
  • Ray Middleton
    Ray Middleton
    Raymond Earl Middleton, Jr. , known and billed as Ray Middleton, was an American character actor.Born in Chicago, Illinois, Middleton was the first actor to play Superman in public, which he did on July 3, 1940, during the 1939 New York World's Fair's "Superman Day"...

     as Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution he was a delegate to the Continental Congress where he signed the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of...

     (DE)
  • William Hansen
    William Hansen (actor)
    William Hansen was an American actor.He originated the role of Mr. Lundie in the original Broadway production of Brigadoon in 1947.- Filmography :- External links :...

     as Caesar Rodney
    Caesar Rodney
    Caesar Rodney was an American lawyer and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, east of Dover...

     (DE)
  • Blythe Danner
    Blythe Danner
    Blythe Katherine Danner is an American actress. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow.-Early life:...

     as Martha Jefferson
    Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
    Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, born Martha Wayles was the wife of Thomas Jefferson, who was the third President of the United States. It was her second marriage, as her first husband had died young...

  • Virginia Vestoff
    Virginia Vestoff
    Virginia Vestoff was an American actress of film, television and Broadway.Vestoff was born into a family of vaudeville performers in New York City. Both her Russian immigrant father and mother, who was the great niece of American composer Stephen Foster, died and left Virginia an orphan at the age...

     as Abigail Adams
    Abigail Adams
    Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth...

  • Emory Bass as James Wilson
    James Wilson
    James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution...

     (PA)
  • Ralston Hill
    Ralston Hill
    Ralston Hill was a stage actor, April 24, 1927 – October 19, 1996, and had many roles on Broadway, most notably Congressional Secretary Charles Thomson in the musical 1776...

     as Charles Thomson
    Charles Thomson
    Charles Thomson was a Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the Continental Congress throughout its existence.-Biography:...

  • Howard Caine
    Howard Caine
    Howard Caine , was a popular character actor, probably best known as Gestapo agent Major Wolfgang Hochstetter in the television series Hogan's Heroes....

     as Lewis Morris
    Lewis Morris
    Lewis Morris was an American landowner and developer from Morrisania, New York. He signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence as a delegate to the Continental Congress for New York....

     (NY)
  • Patrick Hines
    Patrick Hines
    Patrick Hines, born Mainer Patrick Hines, was an American actor best known for his role as Kappelmeister Bonno in the 1984 film Amadeus. Other roles included 1776, The Brinks Job and Bloodrage.Patrick died in 1985 aged just 55 years old....

     as Samuel Chase
    Samuel Chase
    Samuel Chase was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and earlier was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland. Early in life, Chase was a "firebrand" states-righter and revolutionary...

     (MD)
  • William Duell
    William Duell
    Darwin William Duell is an American actor and singer. He is known for his roles as Andrew McNair in the musical 1776, Jim Sefelt in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Johnny the Snitch on the 1982 crime comedy series Police Squad!.He also had a small part in the film Cradle Will Rock as a...

     as Andrew McNair
    Andrew McNair
    Andrew McNair is best known for being the custodian who served the Continental Congress. A member of the Masonic Order, he served as official ringer of the Liberty Bell from 1759 to 1776, and he rang it to announce independence, on July 8, 1776...

  • Daniel Keyes as Josiah Bartlett
    Josiah Bartlett
    Josiah Bartlett was an American physician and statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire and signatory of the Declaration of Independence...

     (NH)
  • Leo Leyden as George Read
    George Read (signer)
    George Read was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of Delaware, and a member of the...

     (DE)
  • Stephen Nathan as Courier
  • Jonathan Moore as Lyman Hall
    Lyman Hall
    Lyman Hall , physician, clergyman, and statesman, was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia. Hall County is named after him.-Early life and family:...

     (GA)
  • James Noble
    James Noble (actor)
    James Noble is an American actor best known for his portrayal of the slightly daffy Governor Eugene Gatling on the 1980s sitcom Benson. He began his career in soap operas, most notably, The Brighter Day; As the World Turns, The Doctors and A World Apart...

     as Reverend John Witherspoon
    John Witherspoon
    John Witherspoon was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. As president of the College of New Jersey , he trained many leaders of the early nation and was the only active clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration...

     (NJ)
  • John Myhers as Robert Livingston
    Robert Livingston (1746-1813)
    Robert R Livingston was an American lawyer, politician, diplomat from New York, and a Founding Father of the United States. He was known as "The Chancellor," after the office he held for 25 years....

     (NY)
  • Rex Robbins as Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman was an early American lawyer and politician, as well as a founding father. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic...

     (CT)
  • Charles Rule as Joseph Hewes
    Joseph Hewes
    Joseph Hewes was a native of Princeton, New Jersey, where he was born in 1730. Hewes’s parents were part of the Quaker Society of Friends. Immediately after their marriage they moved to New Jersey, which became Joseph Hewes’s home state. Hewes was formally educated at Princeton and after...

     (NC)

Production


Many members of the original Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 cast, including William Daniels
William Daniels
William David Daniels is an American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild . He is known for his performance as Dustin Hoffman's father in The Graduate , as John Adams in 1776, as Carter Nash in Captain Nice, as Mr. George Feeny in ABC's Boy Meets World, as the voice of KITT in...

, Ken Howard
Ken Howard
Kenneth Joseph "Ken" Howard, Jr. is an American actor, best known for his roles as Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and as basketball coach and former Chicago Bulls player Ken Reeves in the television show The White Shadow...

, John Cullum
John Cullum
John Cullum is an American actor and singer. He has appeared in many stage musicals and dramas, including On the Twentieth Century and Shenandoah , winning the Tony Awards for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for each...

 and Howard Da Silva
Howard Da Silva
Howard Da Silva was an American actor.-Early life:He was born Howard Silverblatt in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Benjamin and Bertha Silverblatt. His parents were both Yiddish speaking Jews born in Russia. He had a job as a steelworker before beginning his acting career on the stage...

, reprised their roles for the film. Ralston Hill
Ralston Hill
Ralston Hill was a stage actor, April 24, 1927 – October 19, 1996, and had many roles on Broadway, most notably Congressional Secretary Charles Thomson in the musical 1776...

, and Charles Rule also repeated their roles from the Broadway production, marking their only appearances in feature film.

Exteriors were filmed at the Warner Ranch in Burbank, California, the former Columbia Pictures backlot, where they built an entire street of colonial Philadelphia. Most of the colonial sets were destroyed by a fire in the mid 1970s.

The water fountain seen during the musical number "The Lees of Old Virginia," with Ben Franklin, John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

, and Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and his famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States...

, is best known to current television viewers as the fountain seen at the beginning of the TV show Friends
Friends
Friends is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television...

. This fountain still exists directly across the street from the Bewitched
Bewitched
Bewitched is an American situation comedy originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972, starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York and Dick Sargent , Agnes Moorehead, and David White. The show is about a witch who marries a mortal and tries to lead the life of a typical suburban...

and I Dream of Jeannie
I Dream of Jeannie
I Dream of Jeannie is a 1960s American sitcom with a fantasy premise. The show starred Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie, and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries...

houses.

Interiors were shot at the old Columbia studio on Gower Street in Hollywood, which is now called the Capital Studios at Sunset Gower. 1776 was among the final films shot at Gower Studios before the Warner/Colombia merger in 1971.

In its theatrical and original home video releases, the film was rated G; following the restoration of various parts cut by producer Jack Warner
Jack Warner
Jack Leonard "J. L." Warner , born Jacob Warner in London, Ontario, was a Canadian American film executive who was the president and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California...

, the DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 was rated PG. The Laserdisc
Laserdisc
LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...

 version, out of print, contains additional footage and background music not contained on the DVD release. The 168-minute version is considered director Peter Hunt's preferred version, hence its "director's cut
Director's cut
A director's cut is a specially edited version of a film, and less often TV series, music video, commercials, comic book or video games, that is supposed to represent the director's own approved edit...

" moniker. The film was the Christmas attraction at Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city...

 in New York City.

"Cool, Cool, Considerate Men" was cut from the film prior to its release and not included on the soundtrack recording. The first VHS tapes and laserdiscs suffered from this deficiency. The footage, some of physically poor quality, was restored for the later laserdisc and DVD releases.

The cable television
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 channel Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies is a movie-oriented cable television channel, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, featuring commercial-free classic movies, mostly from the Turner Entertainment and MGM, United Artists, RKO and Warner Bros. film libraries...

 (TCM) broadcast this movie in its entirety on July 4, 2011, the 235th anniversary of the date of independence.

Political changes


The song "Cool, Cool, Considerate Men" depicts Revolutionary War–era conservatives as power-hungry wheedlers focused on maintaining wealth. According to Jack L. Warner, the film's producer and a friend of U.S. President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, Nixon pressured him to cut the song from the 1972 film version of the show, which Warner did. Nixon apparently saw the song as an insult to the conservatives of his time. Warner also wanted the original negative of the song shredded, but the film's editor secretly kept it intact. It was only decades later that the song was restored to the film.

Critical reception of the 1776 Film


Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby was an American film critic who became the chief film critic for The New York Times in 1969 and reviewed more than 1000 films during his tenure there.-Life and career:...

 of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

observed, "The music is resolutely unmemorable. The lyrics sound as if they'd been written by someone high on root beer
Root beer
Root beer is a carbonated, sweetened beverage, originally made using the root of a sassafras plant as the primary flavor. Root beer, popularized in North America, comes in two forms: alcoholic and soft drink. The historical root beer was analogous to small beer in that the process provided a drink...

, and the book is familiar history — compressed here, stretched there — that has been gagged up and paced to Broadway's not inspiring standards. Yet Peter H. Hunt's screen version of 1776 ... insists on being so entertaining and, at times, even moving, that you might as well stop resisting it. This reaction, I suspect, represents a clear triumph of emotional associations over material ... [It] is far from being a landmark of musical cinema, but it is the first film in my memory that comes close to treating seriously a magnificent chapter in the American history."

Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 of the Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.-History:The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city...

gave it two stars and declared, "This is an insult to the real men who were Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and the rest ... The performances trapped inside these roles, as you might expect, are fairly dreadful. There are good actors in the movie (especially William Daniels as Adams and Donald Madden as John Dickinson), but they're forced to strut and posture so much that you wonder if they ever scratched or spit or anything ... I can hardly bear to remember the songs, much less discuss them. Perhaps I shouldn't. It is just too damn bad this movie didn't take advantage of its right to the pursuit of happiness."

Awards and nominations


The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy but lost to Cabaret
Cabaret (film)
Cabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous presence of the growing National Socialist Party....

. Harry Stradling Jr. was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...

 but lost to Geoffrey Unsworth
Geoffrey Unsworth
Geoffrey Unsworth OBE, BSC was a British cinematographer who worked on nearly 90 feature films spanning over more than 40 years....

for Cabaret.

Songs

  • Overture
  • "Sit Down, John"
  • "Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve"/"Till Then"
  • "The Lees of Old Virginia"
  • "But, Mr. Adams"
  • "Yours, Yours, Yours"
  • "He Plays the Violin"
  • "Cool, Cool, Considerate Men"
  • "Momma Look Sharp"
  • "The Egg"
  • "Molasses to Rum"
  • "Compliments"
  • "Is Anybody There?"
  • Finale

External links