January 2, 2011

1776 - 1972

Director: Peter H. Hunt
Writer: Peter Stone
Starring: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard

"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress! And by God, I have had this Congress! For ten years, King George and his Parliament have gulled, cullied, and diddled these colonies with their illegal taxes! Stamp Acts, Townshend Acts, Sugar Acts, Tea Acts! And when we dared stand up like men, they have stopped our trade, seized our ships, blockaded our ports, burned our towns, and spilled our BLOOD! And still, this Congress refuses to grant ANY of my proposals on independence, even so much as the courtesy of open debate! Good God, what in hell are you waiting for?" John Adams (Daniels), Benjamin Franklin (Da Silva), and Thomas Jefferson (Howard) struggle with their fellow delegates of the Second Continental Congress to bring the colonies into full-out rebellion against the British king for his wrongdoings. Also, singing.

The film is a musical that clocks in at 2 hours and 45 minutes minimum, depending on what version you watch. Still with me? It's a must-see for any history buff, despite the occasional factual error, and entertaining to boot. The songs are well-written (despite being placed in odd increments), and the script as a whole really gets across the actual vim and vigor behind the founders, not just stories of cherry trees and electrified kites, in addition to the heat and flies that ran rampant during those hot summer days in Philadelphia. In regards to the runtime, the movie really moves, so it doesn't seem like an almost three hour jaunt to the colonial era. I watched an Australian film that clocked in at 100 minutes last night, and that seemed twice as long to me as this 165-minute flick. What got me to watch the movie originally? John Adams is Mr. Feeney. If you're not sold yet, there's no hope for you. My only question when it was all over--why not wait four more years to release it? A

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