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1776 (the movie)

Is it the best movie adaptation of a Broadway musical of the Seventies?

Why didn't they cast Barbra Streisand as Martha Jefferson? Or as Ben Franklin?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 9108/05/2014

Beautiful songs, well sung.

Pauline Kael hated it, and has a hilariously mean review that probably pisses off to no end the many Broadway queens here who absolutely adore the original show. She called it "a Broadway operetta featuring those lovable old codgers, the Founding Fathers."

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 109/10/2013

So great that Virgina Vestoff got to recreate her broadway role. She was great

But poor Betty Lynn!!!

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 209/10/2013

When I saw it on stage, it was so well-done that I totally got caught up in it. I was nearly on the edge of my seat with worry that they would vote it down. (I know: Mary!)

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 309/10/2013

It's a great movie. Virginia Vestoff is truly something. RIP.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 409/10/2013

It's the only movie featuring Gwyneth Paltrow in which she's not completely intolerable.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 509/10/2013

You forgot "The Great Santini," r5. But I agree--those are the only two.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 609/10/2013

R5 Was she an embryo? Because her mother is in the movie, not Goopy.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 709/10/2013

[quote] Is it the best movie adaptation of a Broadway musical of the Seventies?

1776 made its Broadway debut in 1969.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 809/10/2013

But the movie was released in 1972.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 909/10/2013

William Daniels was better as the voice of KITT - we didn't have to look at his sour puss and feel his overpowering ego pouring over us....

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1009/10/2013

[quote] But the movie was released in 1972.

So is it the best movie adaptation of a 1970s Broadway musical, or the best 1970s movie adaptation of a Broadway musical?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1109/10/2013

Goop, not GOP.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1209/10/2013

Trying to imitate William Daniels in the movie, r11?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1309/10/2013

LOVE this movie and the show.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1409/10/2013

Is it the best 70s movie adaptation of a Broadway musical?

It's a decent movie. But Fiddler is better.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1509/10/2013

Did anyone know Virginia Vestoff? She had some kind of drama in her life regarding her parents, can't remember what. I knew someone who saw her in "I'm Getting My Act Together" shortly before she died. He said she was brilliant, and that her performance was definitely informed by the fact that she knew she was going to die.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1609/10/2013

They made Richard Henry Lee into a comic, stupid buffoon, which he was not! Mindless Yankee Propaganda!

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1709/11/2013

Howard DaSilva was a much bigger prima donna than William Daniels. DaSilva had to basically beg the producers to let him play the role because they were afraid his antics would hold up production.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1809/11/2013

"She called it "a Broadway operetta featuring those lovable old codgers, the Founding Fathers.""

As if often the case, Kael, whom I greatly admired, says something absolutely true which, no matter how derisively she might have intended it, utterly fails to detract from my love and appreciation for a film.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 1909/11/2013

"Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. ..... " John Dickinson, 1776

True today as it was then.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2009/11/2013

I didn't know Virginia Vestoff (tiny bit before my time; well was alive but young!), but my NYC roommate's much older boyfriend knew her, and said she was an absolutely wonderful woman (I think they worked on another show.) I remember reading her obit; said she wasn't survived by anyone? if I remember...but as someone mentioned, guess there might have been some drama with her parents, maybe...

To the poster who quoted Kael: I disagree with her not liking the film, or calling it an "operetta" BUT: she is spot-on about Daniels seeming like a prim schoolboy. In, hello, just about ALL his parts! Closet-case CUBED, if ever there was one; I don't care that he's married over 50 years (to an actress) with 2 sons (adopted.) Queen.Of.The.Nile.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2109/11/2013

R15 is wrong, 1776 has it all over Fiddler.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2209/11/2013

DaSilva was wonderful as Franklin. They were all excellent. Blythe was quite fetching. Who knew the horror she would unleash on an unsuspecting world?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2309/11/2013

I'm obnoxious and disliked, it cannot be denied.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2409/11/2013

One useless man is a disgraced. Two useless men are called a law firm, and three or more form a Congress.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2509/11/2013

Will someone shut that man up?



by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2609/12/2013

Best movie adaptation of a Broadway musical in the '70s?

You queens have never heard of "Cabaret"?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2709/12/2013

Isn't the ENTIRE Broadway cast in the film with the exception of Betty Buckley? That must have hurt.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2809/12/2013

She was in London doing Promises, Promises (R28).

I LOVE this show and this film.

Saw it in a theatre with my 5th graders school last year and those kids were on the edge of their seats. it really is a great piece of writing.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 2909/12/2013

[quote]You queens have never heard of "Cabaret"?

GREASE and HAIR are also better adaptations of stage musicals made in the 70s. I am glad the film version of 1776 exists but I think it could have been a lot better. For one thing, the orchestra sounds like it was recorded through a tin-can telephone on the soundtrack.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3009/12/2013

"Isn't the ENTIRE Broadway cast in the film with the exception of Betty Buckley? That must have hurt."

No. John Cullum was not Rutledge in the original cast and there was a different actor as Dickinson.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3109/12/2013

"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace. That two are called a law firm. And that three or more become a Congress."

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3209/12/2013

Great film of a great stage play. No ifs, ands, or buts!

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3309/12/2013

r32 some things never change, do they?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3409/12/2013

Loved both the movie and the play. Who would have thought a musical about the Declaration of Independence could be so entertaining.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3509/12/2013

R35, agree! Have seen 2 pretty good perfs in semi-professional theater in Concord, CA and Napa, CA a few years ago. Next up: opening - pretty soon - at ACT in SF.

I've always felt bad that the composer/lyricist - Sherman-something? died relatively young, c. 53, and this was the only thing (I believe) he had written, at least for Bway. And he was a teacher. Something of a prickly pear, too - not sure where I read this (Peter Stone's book, maybe.)

GREAT show.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3609/12/2013

BB really hasn't had luck on her side much, has she?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3709/12/2013

How does Blythe sound on He Plays The Violin? Passable?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3809/12/2013

R38 - More than passable.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 3909/12/2013

1776 is a masterpiece if you think about how dry and dull the subject sounds.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4009/12/2013

Completely untrue in both cases R20.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4109/12/2013

"GREASE and HAIR are also better adaptations of stage musicals made in the 70s. I am glad the film version of 1776 exists but I think it could have been a lot better. For one thing, the orchestra sounds like it was recorded through a tin-can telephone on the soundtrack."

I love the movie of HAIR, R30, but my brain can't process that you actually think the piece-of-shit GREASE movie is a better adaptation than 1776.

As for the way the orchestra sounds on the soundtrack: What home video version do you have? The original stereo recordings were restored for the DVD, and I think they sound pretty great overall.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4209/12/2013

Even the great Patricia Zipprodt who designed the show on Broadway designed the film of 1776.

It was one of her rare forays into cinema. Well, that one and The Graduate.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4309/12/2013

John Cullum did take over from Clifford David as Rutledge on Broadway. Howard da Silva was Franklin on Broadway but only for the first four performances. Da Silva had suffered a heart attack before the show opened but stayed in just long enough for the critics to see him.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4409/12/2013

It's interesting to get all this extra background info on a wonderful film.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4509/21/2013

Being a musical buff and a history buff, 1776 is a total joy for me. It's also remarkably accurate for a musical, though there are errors in the show that are really just to aid the storytelling in a clear and concise way. But 1776 is a great starting point for people who want to know more about the characters of our Founding Fathers, which I think is the whole point of the show - to paint them as men, not Gods, as Franklin points out.

For instance, it does bother me that Jefferson has a line about resolving to release his slaves. That's sadly not true.

Our Founding Fathers were surprisingly fascinating characters. They were each so varied in their temperaments and vices, it's kind of a miracle they accomplished anything at all.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4609/21/2013

I worked with Virginia Vestoff in a short-lived Broadway musical called BOCCACCIO. Virginia was a wonderful actress and a very sweet person. She was loved by everyone. Her early death was a real shock to the community.

Looking back at the show BOCCACCIO, I had forgotten that it had quite a cast, including Armand Assante, D'Jamin Bartlett, Michael Zaslow, and Caroline McWilliams (Mrs. Michael Keaton 1982–1990).

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4709/21/2013

r47, a musical with an unpronounceable name like BOCCACCIO is bound to be short lived. And this is coming from someone with a complicated Italian last name myself.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4809/21/2013

Was Lee really a pretentious bore?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 4909/21/2013

I remember seeing that show Boccaccio! Wasn't it in a theater in an old hotel or something like that?

Armand Assante and Michael Zaslow were both very hot back then.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5009/21/2013

[R50] Yes, the Edison Theatre in the Hotel Edison. The hotel's ballroom was briefly converted into a theatre in 1950/51 as the Arena, then again in 1970 as the Edison. Longest run was "Oh! Calcutta!" - 13 years. "Boccaccio" ran for 7 performances. In 1991 it was again restored to the hotel's ballroom

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5109/22/2013

I love it. I play it every July 4.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5209/23/2013

"Mama, Look Sharp" is one of those songs that makes me cry like a fool every time I hear it. At 3:20-

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5309/23/2013

"but my brain can't process that you actually think the piece-of-shit GREASE movie is a better adaptation than 1776."

Well, thirty five years later, and GREASE is still popular among people of all ages, and played regularly on television. Not to mention its soundtrack is one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

Meanwhile, I can't remember the last time 1776 was shown on television.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5409/23/2013

Horrible songs. Horrible play. Skipped the movie.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5509/23/2013

Had the pleasure of working with both Billy Duell (Andrew McNair, Congressional Custodian) and Scott Jarvis (Courier) - with Scott for almost two years. Billy got to do the movie version of 1776, but Scott did not reprise his role as the courier. Billy's career flourished and he went on to perform string of great character roles. Scott continued to work as an actor, but never achieved a real modicum of success after 1776. He died of AIDS in 1990.


[quote]WILLIAM (BILLY) DUELL was the character actor I most admired during my time at Falmouth. I had not known his name before he arrived, but from the second I saw him, I knew who he was. I had seen him in countless TV shows from westerns to sci-fi to situation comedies. He apparently had quite a Broadway and off-Broadway track record as well. In the Lotte Lenya production of Threepenny Opera, he played Filch, the beggar. In the original Broadway production of 1776, he played Andrew McNair, the congressional custodian. He is best known for his role as Jim Sefelt in the movie of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. He was tiny, maybe 5’ 3”, with delicate features. Billy was real gentleman, with the emphasis on gentle. The week he played Falmouth I had a visitor – Tricia, the girl I took to my senior prom. Tricia & Billy hit it off right away, and he made it his job to escort her around and keep her busy while I worked. Tricia was enchanted with this small, older man, and she still talks about him to this day.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5609/23/2013

I was out drinking with Donald Madden (Dickinson) the night he found out that "Cool, Considerate Men" had been cut from the film (after a White House screening, Richard Nixon asked Jack Warner to cut it because it made rich Republicans look bad). The number had taken a week to shoot. Donald cried most of the night. Thank goodness it is back on the DVD.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5709/23/2013

Just watched it again on July 4. The "Cool Considerate Men" number, which was cut from the original release because Nixon didn't like it, is chilling in its truth. Nothing has changed, and the current Repugs in Congress could sing this today, and it would be just as relevant. Not much has changed, it seems.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5807/06/2014

[quote]"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace. That two are called a law firm. And that three or more become a Congress."

Reading this, all kinds of names come to mind: Boehner, Cantor, Graham, Schock, McCain, Conyers, and on and on. They're all useless when it comes to looking out for the citizens of this nation.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 5907/06/2014

Cabaret is the best 1970s movie which was made from a Broadway musical, followed by Fiddler on the Roof, excellent and then 1776, a good movie.

Then again, with the exceptions of the execrable Man of La Mancha, the bathetic Mame, and the thoroughly inept A Little Night Music, these were the only 1970s movies made from Broadway musicals.

I don't count Godspell (not bad) and Jacques Brel (haven't seen the movie) because they were off-Broadway musicals before they were filmed, though the former has since been performed and revived on Broadway.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6007/10/2014

But the movie version of "Cabaret" is not a musical. The Broadway show, characters break out in song moving the plot along. Fosse made a movie with music. Cutting out major characters and their songs, all the remaining songs are sung onstage at the Cabaret. Just like "Lady Sings The Blues, released the same year, is not considered a musical because all of the songs are sung on stage in performance. And "HAIR" is a completely different animal than the Broadway show.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6107/10/2014

"Grease" is best 70s musical turned into a 70s movie.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6207/10/2014

I remember that was my school's idea of teaching the revolutionary war (that and School House Rock!)

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6307/10/2014

Was my first Broadway show as a kid and fell in love with theater. A few years later my parents got us all up in December darkness of morning and trekked to Radio City Music Hall and saw the first show of the day at 9:00am, RCMH's big Christmas show. Even with a half hour stretch of no songs, it's a perfect stage show and a perfect movie.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6407/10/2014

R61, Tomorrow Belongs to Me is not sung at the cabaret.

It's still a movie musical.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6507/10/2014

Cabaret is a different animal than the Broadway show also.

There's also Jesus Christ Superstar and


by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6607/10/2014

[quote]Pauline Kael hated it, and has a hilariously mean review that probably pisses off to no end the many Broadway queens here who absolutely adore the original show. She called it "a Broadway operetta featuring those lovable old codgers, the Founding Fathers."

She only saw the short version.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6707/10/2014

R65, "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" in the movie is sung at a beer garden by a Nazi youth as a rallying anthem, not unlike "God Bless America" is sung at Tea Party rallies. It's a situation where singing is realistic, not just bursting into song.

The movie CABARET borrows from Christopher Isherwood's GOODBYE TO BERLIN, John Van Druten's I AM A CAMERA, and some of the songs from the stage musical CABARET. Therefore, it's not a successful adaptation of the stage musical. The film and musical are barely alike.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6807/10/2014

Who would you cast today?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 6907/10/2014

First stage musical I ever saw. Road company in Akron, Ohio in 1970 when I was 15. Still tear up recalling the end with the roll call, the bells, the scrim of the Declaration falling into place to reproduce the painting of the signing of the Declaration. MARY! LIke the movie, LOVE it on stage.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7007/10/2014

Baby Ken Howard was so handsome.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7107/11/2014

Burn Brae Dinner Theater, outside Washington DC, had a sold out run for two and a half years during the Bicentennial period. They said that nearly every member of Congress came to see it during that time.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7207/11/2014

No it was one of the worst adaptations to film of the 70s or any other time.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7307/11/2014

Trivia... The fountain that William Daniels, Howard Da Silva & Ron Holgate dance around in "The Lees of Old Virginia", is the same the cast of "Friends" dances in the credits.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7407/11/2014

r61, Cabaret, the movie, is very different than the Broadway show (and the changes were very intelligent ones for the kind of movie Fosse intended it to be and brought about brilliantly), and it is not a musical in the sense of characters who are not on stage breaking out into song (as the show was). But to say it is not a musical to engage in a semantic debate.

In any event it is unquestionably a 1970s movie of a musical.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7507/16/2014

I love Pauline Kael, but she was usually wrong-headed about musicals.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7607/16/2014

Pauline Kael did more damage to movie musicals than all the money-losing Roadshow attractions put together.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7707/16/2014

Won't somebody open up a window?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7807/16/2014

Table seven calling number nine, how are you mister? Danke fine! Sitting alone like that, you happened to catch my eye!

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 7907/17/2014

Kael hated The Sound Of Music and wouldn't admit that it was beautifully shot and Ernest Lehman and Robert Wise did make an effort to tone down the schmaltz.

Back to 1776: I watched it again this July 4th. I wanted Thomas Jefferson inside me quite deeply and I wanted to lick Richard Henry Lee's shitter.

Betty Lynn Buckey remarks about Virginia Vestoff in the book Nothing Like A Dame is actually funny (Buckley's never been known for getting laughs, onstage or off)-"I shared a dressing room with Virginia Vestoff and I watched her to see how she did her make up. I loved everything about her! I thought 'Ooh, she's an ACTRESS! I need to study her.' She was like, 'Why are you staring at me? Get away from me, kid!' I was so silly."

Vestoff really is wonderful in that movie.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8007/17/2014

[quote]Back to 1776: I watched it again this July 4th. I wanted Thomas Jefferson inside me quite deeply and I wanted to lick Richard Henry Lee's shitter.

Sexual fantasies about America's founding fathers. One of many things that makes DL what it is. Don't ever change.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8107/17/2014

The relationship in the movie between John Dickinson and James Wilson was positively homo-erotic. Didn't anyone else notice that?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8207/17/2014

It's a great film to re-watch every year around July 4th. Even though you know how it ends, they still build up to it every time you watch.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8307/20/2014

When they show it in the UK, does it have an alternate ending?

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8407/20/2014

This is a wonderful, wonderful movie; I watch it on TCM every July 4th; have the CD of the original on Bway and the 1996 revival (with Brent Spiner.) Original is MUCH better, of course. LOVE the film!!

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8508/04/2014

If the movie was so successful, why was there no "1777"? (Still waiting for "Apollo 1" through "Apollo 12.")

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8608/04/2014

Are they still working on the musical about the War of 1812? It's supposed to include the attack on Baltimore and burning of the White House.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8708/05/2014

R87 The name "Hello, Dolly" is already taken.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8808/05/2014

Interesting that both William Daniels and Ken Howard went on to become elected leaders, both served terms as president of the Screen Actor's Guild.

by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 8908/05/2014


by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 9008/05/2014


by "Rhode Island passes!" (uproarious laughter)reply 9108/05/2014
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