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1776 - starring William Daniels, Howard Da Silva - a musical about the formation of the United States, and the crafting of the Declaration of Independence
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1776 is an excellent musical, telling the story of the writing and adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence. With all of the conflicting characters, positions, and emotions. Warts and all. Absolutely riveting!

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! And by God, I have had this Congress! For ten years, King George and his Parliament have gulled, cullied, and diddled these colonies with their illegal taxes! Stamp Acts, Townshend Acts, Sugar Acts, Tea Acts! And when we dared stand up like men, they have stopped our trade, seized our ships, blockaded our ports, burned our towns, and spilled our BLOOD! And still, this Congress refuses to grant ANY of my proposals on independence, even so much as the courtesty of open debate! Good God, what in hell are you waiting for?

John Adams (William Daniels)

From the manufacturer

Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams in the musical 1776

Buy from Amazon The lively and energetic film version of the Broadway musical comedy of the same name. In the days leading up to July 4, 1776, Continental Congressmen John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerce Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence as a delaying tactic as they try to persuade the American colonies to support a resolution on independence. As George Washington sends depressing messages describing one military disaster after another, the businessmen, landowners and slave holders in Congress all stand in the way of the Declaration, and a single “nay” vote will forever end the question of independence. Large portions of spoken and sung dialog are taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants

Product Description 

1776 is a musical celebration of the founding of the United States of America based on the award-winning Broadway production. The story centers around familiar historical characters as they organize a movement for independence from Mother England: the tough and unyielding John Adams (William Daniels); the charming and pragmatic Benjamin Franklin (Howard Da Silva); the brilliant Thomas Jefferson (Ken Howard) who is chosen to write the Declaration of Independence even as he longs for the company of his new bride Martha (Blythe Danner); and the rest of the Continental Congress. All events lead up to that most significant date of July 4, 1776 when the Declaration was signed. Now fully restored for its high definition debut on Blu-ray, 1776 looks and sounds better than ever.

Exclusive Blu-ray Bonus Features Include:

  • §  All-new commentary with director Peter H. Hunt, William Daniels, Ken Howard, and Peter Stone
  • §  Extended cut of the film via seamless branching
  • §  Deleted and alternate scenes with filmmaker commentary
  • §  Four never-before-seen screen tests including archival footage
  • §  Original theatrical teaser and trailer

Cast of Characters

  • William Daniels (St. Elsewhere; Boy Meets World) … John Adams (MA). Brilliant, but with a very abrasive personality.
  • Howard Da Silva (Sergeant York; The Lost Weekend) … Dr. Benjamin Franklin (PA). Also brilliant, loved and respected by the entire Congress. Even those who strenuously disagree with him.
  • Ken Howard (Rambo; The White Shadow) … Thomas Jefferson (VA). Brilliant writer, given the task of writing the Declaration of Independence. When the others exempt themselves for one reason or another. And he really misses his wife.
  • Donald Madden … John Dickinson (PA)
  • John Cullum (Northern Exposure) … Edward Rutledge (SC). The voice of the south, who will not budge on the subject of slavery. He nearly ends the country before it begins.
  • Roy Poole (Network) … Stephen Hopkins (RI)
  • David Ford (Dark Shadows) … Congressional President John Hancock (MA). That poor man. Trying to maintain order and get things done is like trying to herd cats.
  • Ron Holgate … Richard Henry Lee (VA)
  • Ray Middleton … Col. Thomas McKean (DE)
  • William Hansen (Fail Safe) … Caesar Rodney (DE)
  • Blythe Danner (Futureworld) … Martha Jefferson. Thomas’ loving, affectionate wife. Who comes to visit him when she’s truly needed.
  • Virginia Vestoff (Dark Shadows) … Abigail Adams. She also deeply loves her husband, and needs him. But, she can’t abandon the children to come to him. Their musical numbers – together, even when hundreds of miles apart – are truly touching.

Additional Cast

  • Emory Bass (Dark Shadows) … Judge James Wilson (PA)
  • Ralston Hill … Congressional Secretary Charles Thomson
  • Howard Caine (Hogan’s Heroes) … Lewis Morris (NY)
  • Patrick Hines (Amadeus) … Samuel Chase (MD)
  • William Duell (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) … Andrew McNair, Congressional Custodian
  • Daniel Keyes (Dark Shadows) … Dr. Josiah Bartlett (NH)
  • Leo Leyden (Reversal of Fortune) … George Read (DE)
  • Stephen Nathan … Courier
  • Jonathan Moore (Amadeus) … Dr. Lyman Hall (GA)
  • James Noble (Benson) … Rev. John Witherspoon (NJ)
  • John Myhers (The Prize Fighter) … Robert Livingston (NY)
  • Rex Robbins (The Royal Tenenbaums) … Roger Sherman (CT)
  • Charles Rule … Joseph Hewes (NC)


  • Sit Down, John
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by William Daniels and the Cast
  • Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by William Daniels
  • Till Then
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by William Daniels and Virginia Vestoff
  • The Lees of Old Virginia
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by Ron Holgate, Howard Da Silva, and William Daniels
  • But, Mr. Adams
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Rex Robbins, John Myhers, and Ken Howard
  • Yours, Yours, Yours
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by William Daniels and Virginia Vestoff
  • He Plays the Violin
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by Blythe Danner, Howard Da Silva, and William Daniels
  • Cool, Cool, Considerate Men
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by Donald Madden, John Cullum, David Ford, and the Cast
  • Momma Look Sharp
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by Stephen Nathan, William Duell, and Mark Montgomery
  • The Egg
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by Howard Da Silva, William Daniels, and Ken Howard
  • Molasses to Rum
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by John Cullum
  • Is Anybody There?
    • Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
    • Performed by William Daniels Ralston Hill

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