Stephen Speicher

1776 (1972)

Rate this movie   5 votes

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7 posts in this topic

I thought this movie was great at showing history through a musical. Some of the people in this movie made me mad but of course in the end it turns out great. It shows you how hard it was for the Declaration of Independence to be made and signed because not all of the people in congress wanted it. Thats why I gave it a 9. :)

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The Founding Fathers were men of enormous intellectual and moral stature. But many people thought this movie belittles them.

You should read some authentic accounts of the Founding Fathers.

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The Founding Fathers were men of enormous intellectual and moral stature.  But many people thought this movie belittles them.

You should read some authentic accounts of the Founding Fathers.

I would agree with you Bill if this movie was a documentary. If looked at within its context as a light-hearted musical, that I used to ignite a spark in my children to pursue history further, it accomplishes exactly what I wanted.

The spark that lead them to go on and read "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin", biographies on John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and many more. My oldest son even went on to read "John Adams & The Spirit of Liberty" and "The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson".

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I would agree with you Bill if this movie was a documentary.  If looked at within its context as a light-hearted musical ...

But the Founding Fathers were dignified men. They were not buffoons.

There is nothing unserious about such momentous events.

As Ayn Rand said, in another context: "One does not treat subjects like that, like that."

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Bill,

I did not see them portrayed as fools, clowns or jesters. Why did I not see it this way? Because I know the kind of intellect that it takes to create The Declaration of Independence. Although the situation was treated with light-heartedness, I know the average intellect could not have done what these men did.

I saw a passionate man that did not want to compromise on freedom, John Adams. I saw a wise elderly man that brought reason to difficult situations, Benjamin Franklin. I saw a very intelligent man write The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.

The nature of a musical is to sing some of the dialogue. Who is going to sing it in this musical if not the main characters?

I do not think the movie is worthy of a lot praise, but I do not have a disdain for it either.

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The movie is enjoyable if you don't focus too strongly on Thomas Jefferson's character shown as being uninterested in writing the Declaration(!) and the numerous other falsehoods in it. A review of the original theatrical production is in "The Objectivist" (around 1969) detailing the ways in which "1776" departs from history, and how it makes an extremely dramatic and inspiring true story into a less dramatic and less inspiring fictionalized story.

Again, I think it takes its subject seriously enough to be enjoyable, and is a unique musical because of its subject and setting, and the period influence in the songs. I absolutely loved it when I was 12 and I saw it at Radio City Music Hall. However, one can only imagine how inspiring a true-to-history version would have been like.

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