Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The award winning musical comes to the screen!
The film focuses on the representatives of the Thirteen original colonies who participated in the Second Continental Congress. 1776 depicts the three months of deliberation (and, oftentimes, acrimonious debate) that led up to the signing of one of the most important documents in the History of the United States, the Declaration of Independence.
Before watching this, if you would have told me that it was possible to make a fun, funny, heartwarming, and all-around fantastic musical based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I probably would have punched you in the face.
And yet, here we are.
I thought this would be the perfect movie to watch on the 4th. Come on, a retelling of the colonial times and the historic signing of the Declaration of Independence? This ought to be great, right? There's only one major problem though..... it's not that interesting. The production of this movie is hammy as crap; the acting performances are obnoxious and I couldn't tell if they were truly acting like real people or not, and while I was somewhat getting into the heated debates, again, what ruins it is the terrible acting performances and how uninteresting the characters. And that's not what I want. This should have been a compelling drama where you want to root for the Founding Fathers…
I abstain. Courteously.
What a weird movie! First up in the strange department is the central premise: "Let's take the continental congress' labor pains and writing of the Declaration of Independence and put it to song." Yes, I always thought that whole ordeal could use a few more rousing numbers. And, for the "only 90's kids will get this" crowd, let's have Mr. Feeney be John Adams, really throw us for a loop. Who knew he could sing! Anyways, let's not only make this a musical, let's also make it 2 hours and 45 minutes long. We'll need plenty of songs about Thomas Jefferson's sex life and slavery and conservatism, so we'll really use that full runtime. It feels like there's a really…
A musical about the Declaration of Independence!
On the face of it, it doesn't sound as if this is promising material for a musical film, but Sherman Edwards' show ran for over 1,000 performances on Broadway in 1969 and enjoyed a successful revival in 1997.
It wasn't even the first musical on the topic (it followed the now-forgotten Rodgers and Hart piece, Dearest Enemy, and a Gould/Fields show called Arms and the Girl). On the face of it, watching this film, the constant songs are punctuated by rather pungent overacting and muddled history (at least to this non-American).
Those songs, though, are not all bad (although some titles are odd, e.g. 'Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve'). The dialogue (like some of…
Mr. Feeny singing! I feel like such a nerd for enjoying this so much, combing music with with my love of history. William Daniels (Feeny) is very good, though it's oft-putting listening to him sing. I;m not huge on the actual music, I enjoyed it more for its non music elements, though it definitely goes on way too long.
This cured my depression, watered my crops, fed my family, housed me. Bathed me. I was born again. Sit dOWN JOHN
I'm approaching this with open eyes having never seen the film before, with the Blu-Ray of the newly restored director's cut in the proper aspect ratio, with spectacularly remastered 5.1 audio.
And I thought it was fucking perfect. Brilliant. Light, boisterous, stodgy, eloquent, instructive, fun...fucking AMERican. I guess I'm just getting in touch with my inner white guy?
I would venture to guess that most people - if they've seen it at all - were like my fiancee who only had seen the butchered (by 20+ minutes) theatrical cut in pan & scan 4:3 on TV. It wasn't until 2002 that the director's cut was made available and even then it needed tons of work in its technical presentation.
The ending was the best part. I like the Acuraccy of the events but it's really just a text book with singing
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I've watched this movie (let alone sung along to sound track) enough times that it's hard to find anything "new" about it to enjoy that stands out beyond a comforting layer of comfortable familiarity.
This time through, though, I was struck by the story arc of John Adams, as brilliantly played by William Daniels. He starts the film as a deeply frustrated, embittered man, his voice dripping with dry sarcasm, his contempt for his fellow Congresscritters not only manifest but recognized by them. His driving cause, Independence, has gone nowhere, and the more shrilly he berates his colleagues, the more the tell him to sit down and/or shut up.
His cause has become about him -- to win it is…
A musical re-telling of the political back-and-forth leading to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.
The faults of the original show carry over onto the film. Its overlong, over talky, over earnest and indifferently shot. And yet the proto-Sorkin dialogue hits more than it misses and the moment of the signing is oddly powerful. Plus America's Gaston, Richard Henry Lee rides the biggest horse you've ever seen.
If at any point while watching Boy Meets World did you have the urge to see Mr Feeney sing and dance with a careless abandon and an overabundance of snark, well, have I got a movie for you.
1776 is a musical based around the writing and signing of The Declaration of Independence. It was initially a critically acclaimed Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards that was made into a motion picture in 1972 by Peter Hunt.
While I'm sure there was a lot less singing, dancing, and snarky humor during the actual events they do follow them rather accurately in general.
William Daniels is fantastic as John Adams, and Howard Da Silva is charming as Benjamin…
The large section in the middle without musical numbers is an interesting choice, but one which kind of harms the film overall. It reveals that it's more fun as a bawdy play about how flawed the Founding Fathers were than it is as a musical, something which is underline by how unmemorable some of the songs are. Still, it's a fun and zesty take on history that walks a fine line between myth and irreverence.
William Daniels is always a super treat. We need more of him the world. Also is anyone more ridiculous, hilarious, hammy, and accidental then American politicians? We really need to go back to senators caning each other.
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