1776 – Film Notes (please read, these are actually very important!)
Because I have a sort of special relationship with this film, there a few important details I want to hit before listing the formal data below. I hope you will take the time to read them.
• I teach American History, and use this film in my course, as do countless other teachers. I expect MANY of you have seen it in that capacity. However, what most people don’t know is that until very recently, the only version available was a horribly mutilated edition that was the result of censorship and crappy editing beyond the control of the director. In fact, it was largely that horrible version that was shown in theaters back in 1972 when this came out (more detail on that below). Due to this fact, many of you have probably dismissed this film as a lousy and cheesy mess that isn’t worth bothering with. The version torrented HERE is the corrected version as envisioned by the director and author when it was created, and it is definitely worth a second look.
• Jack Warner (head of the studio back then) was a very right wing jingoistic patriot who was close friends with Richard Nixon, and Nixon was obsessed with his “enemies list”, particularly those he perceived in Hollywood. He therefore exerted a great deal of pressure to limit or prevent art / books / movies that he somehow saw as (shall we say) not helpful to his political ideas. 1776 contained historical speeches and a song called ‘cool conservative men’ that wasn’t particularly flattering to Nixon’s views. Furthermore, the depression and reluctance among many Americans during this period of the Revolution has many parallels to anti-war unhappiness during the 1970s phase of the war in Vietnam. Nixon thus asked Warner to censor the hell out of this film, which Warner did. The result was a mess. The new corrected version has put it all back together.
• As I mentioned above, this film is (mostly) very historically accurate. It is faithfully based on the Tony-Winning stage musical, which in turn was based on straight play written by a historical scholar and teacher. Almost all of the critical dialog and speeches are taken line-for-line from actual Continental Congressional debate, writings, or letters form the Founders. Abigail really DID gripe about the lack of pins. John really DID foresee fireworks and parades. The personalities depicted are fairly accurate, though distorted somewhat for comedic and musical performance. Most importantly, the failure of the founders to eliminate slavery because to do so would have cost the Southern states is shown in about the way that debate really took place. This film is a good way (especially for beginners) to get an elementary feel for just how the heck we got the USA started in the first place.
• The director’s commentary is actually pretty important to understanding a lot about our history, the play, this film, and this VERSION of the film. Therefore, since ripping to AVI doesn’t allow for that commentary, I will be upping this torrent twice. Once in this smaller and more convenient version, and then again as the full NTSC DVD version, which would be a nice download and burn for someone to give a history buff or history teacher. I expect the AVI version will stay fairly well seeded, but full DVD torrents are notoriously hard to keep going. If you opt for the big one, please seed to at least 1:1, cuz I just don’t have the bandwidth to keep that one going once it’s up.
• One last note, purely as a film fan and someone who did a lot of theater in their younger days – the songs for women in this musical (in my personal opinion) frankly suck. I mean REALLY suck. They are a collection of atonal crap that were badly written and they play like caterwauling, especially the songs HE PLAYS THE VIOLIN (insipid garbage) and TILL THEN, which sounds like a cat howling. Skip these. The rest of the show is great, I promise!
Video Codec..........: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate........: 720kbps
1776 is a 1972 American musical film directed by Peter H. Hunt. The screenplay by Peter Stone was adapted from his libretto for the 1969 stage musical of the same name. 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. The song score was composed by Sherman Edwards.
The film focuses on the representatives of the thirteen original colonies who participated in the Second Continental Congress. After a year of loud and often acrimonious debate about the course of human events, they finally put their signatures to one of the most important documents in modern history, the Declaration of Independence.
• William Daniels ..... John Adams (MA)
• Howard Da Silva ..... Benjamin Franklin (PA)
• Ken Howard ..... Thomas Jefferson (VA)
• Donald Madden ..... John Dickinson (PA)
• John Cullum ..... Edward Rutledge (SC)
• Roy Poole ..... Stephen Hopkins (RI)
• David Ford ..... John Hancock (MA)
• Ron Holgate ..... Richard Henry Lee (VA)
• Ray Middleton ..... Thomas McKean (DE)
• William Hansen ..... Caesar Rodney (DE)
• Blythe Danner ..... Martha Jefferson
• Virginia Vestoff ..... Abigail Adams
• Emory Bass ..... James Wilson (PA)
• Ralston Hill ..... Charles Thomson
• Howard Caine ..... Lewis Morris (NY)
• Patrick Hines ..... Samuel Chase (MD)
• William Duell ..... Andrew McNair
• Daniel Keyes ..... Josiah Bartlett (NH)
• Leo Leyden ..... George Read (DE)
• Stephen Nathan ..... Courier
• Jonathan Moore ..... Lyman Hall (GA)
• James Noble ..... John Witherspoon (NJ)
• John Myhers ..... Robert Livingston (NY)
• Rex Robbins ..... Roger Sherman (CT)
• Charles Rule ..... Joseph Hewes (NC)
• "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"
• "Is Anybody There?"