1776 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

1776 Reviews

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½ April 2, 2015
Mr. Feeny singing! I feel like such a nerd for enjoying this so much, combing music with with my love of history. William Daniels (Feeny) is very good, though it's oft-putting listening to him sing. I;m not huge on the actual music, I enjoyed it more for its non music elements, though it definitely goes on way too long.
½ July 4, 2013
1776 offers a glimpse of how the Continental Congress declared American independence, granted several liberties were naturally taken. William Daniels is truly outstanding in this and portrays John Adams very passionately. The one thing I think this film could have been better without is the sexual combustibility. The innuendo was disgracefully overdone at times and felt out of place. Other than that there were a few songs I didn't care for, but it remains a fine patriotic musical on the whole. (First and only full viewing - Early July 2013)
½ July 26, 2013
For a musical, this musical certainly doesn't have much music. I've never heard much about "1776" and I now understand why. It may be historical, but there has to be a better way to portray history in musical than by having extensive scenes continue on for twenty minutes without a song. The story (though not entirely historically accurate) is interesting and the acting brings it to life, but the musical just isn't that good. I think that there was a lot of wasted potential, both in the love story of John Adam and his wife, as well as the incorporation of historically recorded dialogue and letters into the script. If the movie wasn't 3 hours long, the content would have been fine. But the excessive dragging on of the film left me wanting something more than "all guys, all the time." I spent an hour listening to John Adams speak and couldn't stop thinking "I know that voice, it is so familiar... who could it possibly be?" And then it hit me like a bolt of lightning (Ben Franklin pun intended), IT'S MR. FEENY!!!! I guess that there was life before "Boy Meets World" for him. His acting was wonderful and, though his character was a bit annoying, that's the part that he needed to play. I love the interaction between Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, particularly in the song "But, Mr. Adams." Without question, that was the highlight of the film... and it was all downhill from there. "1776" has its magical moments as one of the most important moments in United States history comes to pass, but I'd rather see a dramatic interpretation than this comedy masquerading as a musical by throwing in a song ever once in a while.
July 8, 2012
As a musical, the songs are not memorable and it's weird when the characters break into song. As a look into how the United States got its independence, it is a great historical film.

Grade: B-
½ July 4, 2008
"It's hot as HELL in Phila-DEL-phia." A great 1972 film adaptation of the Broadway musical (by Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards) about the events leading up to July 4, 1776. Yes, it's a musical, but it's a ton of fun and features a stirring lead performance by William Daniels as John Adams.
June 2, 2012
To be fair, this review is only based on the first 20 minutes, but it was corny, profane, and set to an uninspired score. It's films like this that make so many people think they hate musicals.
½ December 12, 2011
Maybe it's the hard vocabulary- or maybe it's just the fact that I don't really like musicals very much. I don't want to seem like a weirdo or anything, but I didn't like this one much. I don't really have a plot for this one, because it's just old colonial heroes singing ballads of all the Declaration stuff and eh, you know what I mean. I don't think that George Washington ever sang a tune about himself, same thing with John Adams or Ben Franklin. If you're that kind of person who doesn't like musicals like I do, then you won't like 1776. After all, John Adams never sung his anger. Is 1776 really like 1776? You answer that, fair reader.
½ December 24, 2010
This musical blends a lot of the things I love. The editing leaves a bit to be desired, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyability!
½ October 6, 2010
terrible. the music is shit and this movie is completly ridiculous and there is not one scene where you can't make fun of the situation. i hate this movie
March 26, 2010
Really amazing musical about the Declaration of Independence - excellent treatment of one of my favorite subjects! Seen on DVD.
July 22, 2009
You'll either love this movie or hate. I am of the love it variety. It's such a nerdy fun good time. Yeah, it's your middle school textbook version of what happeend and it doesn't delve into too much complexity of the historical times but it's pretty good at getting the facts down and I think William Daniels is GREAT at pulling off the passionate but unlikeable John Adams and the songs are flat out amazing. Mama, Look Sharp is one of the most haunting songs about the horror of war that I've ever heard and the duets between John and Abigail are really sweet and highlight what an absolutely interesting and fascinating relationship of intellectual equals the two really had.
June 19, 2008
Not strictly historically accurate, but fun, with good music, good acting, and plenty of humor. One of my very favorite musicals.
½ August 15, 2008
Watch it... if seeing a set of walking, talking, singing caricatures lead our nation to independence sounds just like your cup of tea.

Avoid it... If you would be appalled to see some of the greatest men in American history be pigeonholed into the domain of eccentric curiosities.
October 22, 2008
This film really changed my life by getting me interested in learning. Also, one of the funniest films ever, if you have a nerdy sense of humor...
May 9, 2008
ery few names are well known from this seventies musical, but I have found it to be one of my favorites. William Daniels portrayal of zealous John Adams is quite fun to see especially when everyone else is exclaiming for him to sit down when he gets too uppity. Each song furthers the story so well and each performer does it so well it is a joy to watch. The song with Blythe Danner who is portraying Martha Jefferson is quite touching and fun, ?She Plays the Violin.? This playful film about our founding fathers is one those underrated films that I like to give some credit to.
½ October 21, 2007
I loved this movie. We watch it history class, and despite that it is a little stupid and pointless at some parts, it was quite funny and enjoyable. I actucually can't wait to watch it again
½ July 5, 2007
Really good history-based musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I watch this every July 4th.

Great performances coupled with a great dialogue and lyrics. The performers really sell this film.
June 11, 2007
I remember when I was a Founding Father, I had imaginary conversations with my wife. And I played the violin.
June 10, 2007
I learned more about the Declaration of Independence from this movie than all my years in school - the best history class you will ever take!
June 4, 2007
ok, ok, i know, weird film to like. But, did you know that this is the musical version from broadway? It's good.
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