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It’s the dawn of the American Revolution in this musical classic. The Continental Congress is in session in Philadelphia and there are lines drawn about the idea of the American colonies’ being independent from England. Led by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, they come up with a plan to create the Declaration of Independence to be written by Thomas Jefferson, in order to stall the Congress long enough to persuade those who are against fighting for independence to side with them. Meanwhile, feeling the burden on his shoulders, John Adams longs to be at home with his wife, Abigail, and their children in Massachusetts. But everyone is far from agreeable in the Continental Congress, most of all John Dickinson who controls the Pennsylvania vote. Here are a few movie mistakes to look for while watching “1776”.
∙ Near the beginning of the movie, John Adams walks out of the building and begins to sing his next son. When he says “was that fair”, he turns to his right and begins to walk back towards the steps of the building. The scene cuts to a farther view and John Adams and he starts walking towards the steps again.
∙ When Richard Henry Lee is mounting his horse to ride to Virginia after singing with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, he’s still talking. But in the close-up view of his face as he grabs the saddle to climb up on his horse, Lee says the “one colony” line and his mouth isn’t moving.
∙ CAUTION: May Contain Spoilers! John Adams is alone after all of the other delegates have left. He reads George Washington’s latest dispatch and lays in horizontally on top of the book that’s in front of the chair at the desk. Adams is interrupted by Dr. Lyman Hall from Georgia. When Hall switches his vote on the board from No to Yes, the desk is in front of him and the paper that Adams had put down moments before is now to the side of the book.
∙ The end of the movie shows each of the delegates signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Over the years there has been some question as to when each man signed, some historians thinking it wasn’t until August. See When Was the Declaration Of Independence Signed for more info!
“1776” (1972) stars William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard, Donald Madden, John Cullum, David Ford, Ron Holgate, Blythe Danner, Virginia Vestoff, Ralston Hill and Jonathan Moore. It runs 142 minutes and is rated PG for language.
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