Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The first independent production of former studio mogul Jack Warner, 1776 was adapted from the hit 1969 Broadway musical by Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, Ken Howard, and Howard Da Silva are among the many actors who recreate their Broadway roles. The story is set during the first Continental Congress, when the Declaration of Independence was drafted by such founding fathers as John Adams (Daniels) and Benjamin Franklin (Da Silva). The script attempts to "humanize" these remote historical figures by contemporizing them -- particularly the character of Ben Franklin. Blythe Danner's character of Martha Jefferson is expanded for the film version to allow for an elaborate outdoor production number. After 1776, Warner made only one more film, the 1972 "grunge Western" Dirty Little Billy. On an added note: the picture was originally rated G with its theatrical running time of 141 minutes. It was later expanded to 166 minutes; the added scenes caused the MPAA to re-rate it PG (for language) in 1992. Both versions are available on video.
founding-father, Congress, Declaration-of-Independence, history, independence, English [nationality], debate, document, slavery