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Signing of Declaration of Independence Movie ??Title??


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I saw the tail end of a movie where the Founding Fathers were discussing the grave decision of their signing the Declaration of Independence. It is not a musical. The entire scene of the movie seemed to be taking place within one room of Independence Hall. At the end of each of the men signing, they took a place in the scene and in the end, they were in still motion as if in a painting.


The host, at the end of the movie, had stated that the character who played Benjamin Franklin (a famous bit player in many old movies) had been black balled in the film industry shortly after this film was released. He would not be in films again until a year later.


Please....does anyone know the title of this film? It was not a musical, by the way.

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"1776". It was a musical, by the way.


Howard da Silva played Ben Franklin. What Osbourne said was that da Silva was blacklisted in the late 1940's and appeared in few movies until the early 1960's (He was the psychiatrist in "David and Lisa" (1962), for instance). He did stage work for years, and played Franklin in "1776" on Broadway in the late 1960's and early 1970's. "1776" was the first Broadway show I ever saw. The movie came out in 1972.


I can't believe he wasn't nominated for best supporting actor. Think about it: no other figure from American history is as closely associated with any single actor. My sister (who's in the business) once said, "You just know that Benjamin Franklin had to sound exactly like Howard da Silva."

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"1776" was one of the best plays our local theater ever put on - and they have done it again, the way they have several others. I thought for years and years it was so much better (our local one), with one or two actors excepted, than the movie. I've changed my mind - the movie is superb! - but only because of the remastered/restored version I saw the other night. For years (on VHS, anyway - never found the laserdiscs) all we had was a plagued-color (murky), pan/scanned, mono VHS. Now, I ask you, is that anyway to treat such a vibrant musical?!


I was fascinated by Robert's discussion of how the movie was severely trimmed after Nixon expressed his disfavor, and not just with "Cool, Cool Men." If I ever find the laserdisc, maybe I'll finally see the really complete version. What they showed the other night seemed to be complete (and MUCH longer than other versions) - quite possibly the stage production was trimmed, also - but apparently there is a version at least 10 minutes longer. Anybody really know about this?


Letterboxed, brilliant color, stereo - WOW!!!!! But it still needs "live," with full dynamics from the tympani/bass drums where they occur - they get you where you live......

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I worked at a summer stock outdoor theatre in college that did a production of 1776. (The stage and house had a large roof over them, but was open on the sides.) It was set in a beautiful wooded setting, and during the end of the play, not only did they ring the bells, they shot off cannons! It was incredible. As the actors signed the Declaration, a giant backdrop unfurled behind them with the Declaration of Independence on it.


Sandy K

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