42. 1776 (1772)

Roger's Rating :

Should be :

Roger said in his 2 star review of this movie "This is an insult to the real men who were Adams Jefferson, Franklin and the rest -- but then we've emasculated our founding fathers in story and song for so long that they're practically a set of caricatures."
1776 wasn't a great musical, but it was a very good historical film. As Vincent Canby said in his review "1776 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."
How many good American history films are there on this time period? Not too many. The recent John Adams mini-series was excellent but it is lonesome.
I found 1776 to be very entertaining and educational at the same time. Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Hancock, Washington and all the others are brought to life and are not just names in a history book.
Questions of slavery, property, England, colonial politics, and taxes are discussed and debated. John Adams fights, cajoles, and compromises to convince the colonial representatives that we should declare our independence.
How much do most Americans know about the Second Continental Congress? I think all Americans should be encouraged to watch this entertaining and educational movie.
It has a 7.0 rating on IMDB.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that - to paraphrase Bob Dylan - you're right from your side and Roger's right from his.

1776 is a delightful entertainment - I watched it recently, for the first time since the '70s, and was surprised by how well it held up as such.

But as history, it's nearly a washout. The authors took so many crucial liberties with the historical record that one wonders why they even bothered writing it. Wikipedia has a pretty good summation of these inaccuracies - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1776_(musical)#Historical_accuracy - perhaps the greatest of which is that the vote for independence actually took place before Jefferson's Declaration was drafted, rather than being contingent upon it as in the musical. Also, John Adams was not "obnoxious and disliked" as per the musical, but generally well-respected and admired. On the other hand, he did not get along very well with Benjamin Franklin, who is portrayed in the musical as his buddy and confidant!

So, three and a half stars for entertainment value, one and a half stars for history.

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