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1776: The Movie

Interesting Tidbits Connected to 1776

The Pennsylvania State House
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Franklin
John Dickinson
James Wilson
Abigail Adams
Silent Men of Congress
Historical Accuracy in 1776
1776 Tidbits
VHS vs. DVD
1776 Laserdisc

Other stuff you might want to know about 1776…

March 15, 2005: I found this site and knew people looking at my site would like this: http://www.petitiononline.com/17766771/petition.html It's a petition to re-release 1776 in theatres. What a concept! Please, everyone put your John Hancock on the petition! I did!

February 22, 2005: I did some looking around at other 1776 sites and I found this jewel. I received permission from the author of the site to post it on mine, so here it is: http://www.treehold.com/topics/musicthea/1776/1776-references.html. I found it tremendously relevant to what I hoped to create on this site, so I am very happy to have permission to have a link to it. Enjoy.

March 24, 2005: I could not believe what I found! The site: http://www.answers.com/topic/1776-musical showed up in a search I preformed on google.com and I just had to laugh! Oh my goodness! Look what I found (and I quote): “The play has often been criticized for straining too hard for historical accuracy instead of exercising literary license when that would help the plot or presentation along, but its writers chose to stick to the facts of what actually happened back then, as far as they are known today.” While I will say this is not entirely true, still... Finally, someone is arguing in the opposite direction. Just thought I would share my find.

March 25, 2005: I was (once again) perusing google.com and what sort of results I got with different word searches, when I came across this wonderfully worded, eloquent composition:

"I have my own way to celebrate our country's Independence: every year, on the 4th, I watch 1776.

"Do not say anything bad about this movie to me! I know there are historical inaccuracies, dramatic license, whatever. I don't care. This movie reminds me, every year, of why we celebrate the 4th of July. It personalizes the Founding Fathers and makes history animate.

"In 1776, John Adams is “obnoxious and disliked.” Ben Franklin is a randy old rascal. Thomas Jefferson is a homesick swain. John Hancock is a long-suffering optimist. George Washington is “the gloomiest man” in North America. Edward Rutledge, Judge Wilson, Reverend Witherspoon, Samuel Chase... they are all representative of the people, real people, who sacrificed so much to create a new Nation.

"These men made good decisions and bad ones, wrangled over pronouns and adverbs, joked and argued with each other, and despite all their differences, somehow managed to come to the life-threatening decision to commit treason against the Crown and declare the colonies Independent of Great Britain.

"This movie commemorates what was just one more step in a long series of events that led from Bunker Hill to the Constitution. But this was the pivotal step. This event, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was the point of no return.

"I cry every time I watch this movie because it makes me proud to be an American. We may fight amongst ourselves, like siblings squabbling over a toy, but ultimately, we are united, thanks to these great men. Happy Independence Day, America!"

I was so moved! So I (naturally) asked for and happily received permission from the author, Susie of Practical Penumbra, to post her words here. At her request, here is a link to the original site: http://practicalpenumbra.mu.nu/archives/000307.php. Thank you, Susie, for the permission and especially for your wonderful words. I know there are a number of people out there who feel the same way about this movie, 1776. I know I do. Don't you feel all warm and fuzzy inside now? Huzzah!

April 13, 2005: I was perusing the message boards at imdb.com and I came across an issue with John Hancock’s flyswatter. Pattie B. had seen Hancock, ah, that is, Mr. David Ford, actually bend the flyswatter handle. Thank you Pattie B. for granting permission to reference you on this site.

This now becomes a question of - you guessed it - historical accuracy. I am seeking a possible material that it could be made of to make it historically accurate. Now, vulcanized rubber - rubber that would not turn to goo in the hot Philadelphia weather - was invented in 1839. So it’s can't be rubber. The possibility of it being made of green wood was brought up. I don’t know that much about green wood, so I can't discount that. It is possible it is made out of leather - a la riding crop perhaps?

Ah, the fun we can have with Hancock, flies, hitting stuff (You know he loves whapping that thing down to punctuate his points in congress!) and, of course, 1776.

001-01-hancock_bends_flyswatter.jpg

Oh and here is the picture I got of this - my proof it actually happens, along with an enlargement of the flyswatter as it is being bent. The enlargement is fuzzy because it is an enlargement. Sorry. I have done all I can think of and what is at my disposal (which sometimes isn’t much) to make it as high quality as I can. Huzzah!
 
(By the way, just to avoid all those annoying e-mails I can just feel coming, I am fully aware that, as a 1970's prop, the flyswatter is most likely made of rubber or some such modern material. I am just seeing if historically it could be made of such a material that would be possible for Hancock to bend. It may not be easy, but there is the challenge my friend.)

001-00-hancock_bends_flyswatter.jpg