1776 is about John Adams
, Benjamin Franklin
, & Thomas Jefferson all trying to get the rest of Congress to agree to vote for independence, and in a bid to stall for time, end up creating a declaration
of independence in the process. They manage to do so, and that's the film.
At least, that's what it is on the surface.
While the film does offer an interesting — and often amusing — look at the history of the declaration, and the people behind it, it also offers some scathing social commentary on Congress on as it was then, and of how it, in some ways, still is today. It's a miracle for Congress to decide on anything, and if they do, either it's something completely inane or unneeded, or if it is
worthwhile, it takes them forever to actually make their decision. And they won't always make the best choice. One could say it's why we needed a President, but Congress still holds a fair amount of power, so I think the film's complaints about Congress still hold up.
It also gives some good reasons as to why we just didn't outlaw slavery back in good ol' 1776. The South really
didn't want to part with their slaves, and some of you probably already know this. But what some of you may not
know, and what the film is clear to point out, is that, despite the North hailing themselves as great slave-free colonies, they're the ones actually responsible for bringing the slaves over; it hits nearly everyone
so hard, and it seems that the Declaration is nearly screwed, because the Declaration explicitly called for an outlaw on slavery. Of course, they manage to salvage the situation, but said salvaging includes having to save the outlawing of slavery for a (much
,) later time. Sad, but true, and it just goes to show how important forming this new nation was.
In the end, 1776 is a very
well-written fun, filled with a fine bit humor, but not afraid to get serious when need-be, which is fairly often. It brings the people behind the declaration to life, whole also pointing out that the Congress of yesteryear may not be so different from the Congress of today. I'd say more if I could, in that absence, I'll just say that if you want a good movie about the Declaration, or are just looking for a fun, tense well-written money, then look no further then 1776.
Oh, and the songs are good too. :)