LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - 1776
I've been looking for this film for quite a while. Set in the Continental Congress during the summer of 1776, this film attempts to chronicle the debates that body voiced in creating a new nation. What tends to fall short are the songs, which tend to bring the picture to a grinding halt at the drop of a note.
What shines? Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin. It makes you wish someone would just make a biography about this unusual man.
1776 does expose the audience to the politics it took to unite the 13 colonies, details that perhaps you didn't get in your history class. The debates over slavery expose the internal struggle of the revolution rather than dwelling on the outward struggle against the British. In fact 1776 is all about the inner struggle. The British are only the catalyst that brought the struggle to the surface, and forced the founding fathers to reconcile their want of freedom, with half of the colonies' economic dependency on slavery.
As with most musicals, the songs tend to get in the way of the plot. In a great musical we don't seem to mind, because the songs are a light rest from the book. Unfortunately, 1776's songs are nothing to write home about. The result is a great story being interrupted by a bunch of ridiculous singing and prancing about. Even with this flaw, 1776 is a great picture.
Directed by Peter H. Hunt
Released in 1972
MPAA Rating: G
Reviewed by Mongo