Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Pleasure

and I'm not even going to characterize it as a guilty one.

TCM aired 1776 late on July 4th and I got lucky as far as seeing it on the schedule and setting the DVR.

I bet I've watched it three times since then. I saw it in school at least twice, back when they used to herd all of us into the auditorium to be exposed to 'culture'.

I'd forgotten just how rousing the music is in this film. And it's downright bawdy, even by today's standards.

William Daniels and Ken Howard are immediately recognizable, of course, but there are other actors in this film that upon seeing it again made me go, 'Hey, it's that guy'. Like the fellow playing Edward Rutledge of South Carolina--John Collum, likely more well known these days for Northern Exposure, and for playing Mark Greene's dad on ER. He's of course quite young, and rather pretty, here.

The movie itself holds up historically as well. While it takes a few dramatic licenses, they are understood within the context of creating tension. The relationship between John and Abigail Adams in particular remains particularly well-drawn, even in light of the exhaustive McCollough book and HBO mini-series. In fact, there are lines in the songs that are directly from their letters.

I'd like to see a revival of this in the movie theater. The subject matter is timeless, and certainly on point in this day of the 'Patriot Act', and politics over policy and substance.

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