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1776 (the movie)


filmlover
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When watching the movie, it's amazing how much today's Congress resembles the Second Continental Congress. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and those for Independence were the Democrats of their day, while the conservatives ("always to the right, never to the left") match up with today's Republicans.

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The men who served in the Second Continental Congress and many more who followed after the formation of our government never intended to stay in Washington as long as they do today. Most of those men were gentlemen politicians. The majority of those politicians had real jobs back home, so they never intended to serve more than a few terms.

 

Flash forward to today and what you have is a bunch of politicians on both sides of the aisle interested in serving as long as they can, to gain as much power and influence as they can, to be able to bring home as much pork to influence voters as they can so they can continue to stay in power.

 

Much different that the politicians of the 1770's.

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I am not going to get into a political disagreement with you Peter, nor is this the place to have such a disagreement. Although I am sure that both of us could come up with compelling arguments.

 

Deleted the remaining part of the post...... No reason to get any deeper here.

 

Edited by: fxreyman on Jul 5, 2013 10:59 AM

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I'll have to admit, it's kinda fun to imagine congressmen breaking out in song when introducing a bill these days. It would surely change the face of political campaigns.

 

 

"Vote for JOHN SMITH for congress. He's an honest, church going family man with old fashioned values. AND he's a well regarded TENOR!"

 

 

The major difference these days compared to back then; Back then, congressmen worked in congress while still trying to run their farms or businesses. Today, men serve in congress and are RUN by business.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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It's very simple really.....

 

If only the founders had written into the Constitution that the members of Congress could only serve a certain amount of years and then go back home then none of this s_ _t would be going on today.

 

From wiki:

The Twenty-second Amendment of the United States Constitution sets a term limit for election to the office of President of the United States. Congress passed the amendment on March 21, 1947. It was ratified by the requisite number of states on February 27, 1951.

 

Now if only they could set term limits for Congress, which they won't, then things would be a lot better. My theory has been that they should only allow members of the Senate to serve two terms only. That is 12 years. Then allow the House members to serve only six terms, also 12 years. That would be four more years than the president gets.

 

But as I wrote, Congress would never propose this.

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> {quote:title=fxreyman wrote:

> }{quote}Now if only they could set term limits for Congress, which they won't, then things would be a lot better. My theory has been that they should only allow members of the Senate to serve two terms only. That is 12 years. Then allow the House members to serve only six terms, also 12 years. That would be four more years than the president gets.

>

> But as I wrote, Congress would never propose this.

I would agree with your idea if it included a 10 or 12-year limit for the Supreme Court as well. This would even the playing field for the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and the whole idea of this set-up was a system of checks and balances. As it stands now only the executive branch has a limit-10 years-and it's the weakest link in the chain. The one closest to us citizens, the legislative, should speak for us but as you said, is all about keeping power and doesn't. Of course, we can do something about it and vote them out for others but we don't seem willing. The SC, in which we don't have any direct say in who is chosen, is the strongest and has the most influence on law and policy. The lifetime appointments seen just a step away from dictatorship. I doubt our "founding fathers" ever imagined the quagmire we are in today.

 

For the record: I'm an Independent who leans right or left depending on the issue so I have no party axe to grind here.

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Outside Independence Hall when

the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended,

 

Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin:

"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"

 

Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

 

Jake in the Heartland

 

P.S. Thomas Jefferson was decidedly anti big government.

 

 

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Well lets step back for a moment and go back to "1776". What we were seeing with this film, a basic musical wrapped around the founding of our country was really I believe a history lesson that should be shown to every child in history or civics classes across the country.

 

The film is NOT very accurate and for the purposes of the Broadway play and the film, many characters had to be composite. In fact Sam Adams, John's cousin was in Congress at the time, but to save time the two were combined into one, John Adams. Also the fact is that the delegates voted for independence before the debate had started. But for dramatic purposes, those two events were switched.

 

I could sit here all day and mention all of the differences between the actual events and what appeared on screen, but I think 1776 is still a fine history lesson. And lets face it, except for a few letters and personal accounts we really do not have much to go on as to what was really said in those first two Congresses. They were basically closed to the public, and more importantly held in secret because what they were doing was treason. They did not want to get caught by the British.

 

As some have indicated these men were the cream of the crop so to speak. They were brought together to try and figure out what the best solutions would be with dealing with England and what if any a revolution would entail. They had no idea really what the end result would be.

 

I find it a very compelling film with some truly great performances. Leading the film obviously was William Daniels as John Adams, Howard Da Silva as Ben Franklin and a very young Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson. These actors I have watched over the years, especially Da Silva as Ray Milland's bartender in The Lost Weeknd, the half-blind criminal Chicamaw 'One-Eye' Mobley in They Live by Night, and Soviet Premier Khrushchev in the 1974 television docudrama The Missiles of October.

 

Daniels to me has always been associated with the role he played on TV's St. Elsewhere as the acerbic surgeon Dr. Mark Craig. But he has also been in many tv shows and has had to me what has always been a favorite of mine as Dustin Hoffman's father in The Graduate.

 

Howard also has had a lengthy tv career. The White Shadow was a good role for him as well as the co-starring role in the 1973 TV series Adam's Rib opposite his good friend, and Bruce Paltrow's wife, Blythe Danner, who portrays Martha Jefferson in 1776.

 

As far as the rest of the cast of 1776, I would have to single out John Cullum's role as South Carolina's Edward Rutledge, Donald Madden as Pennsylvania's John Dickinson, Roy Poole as Rhode Island's Stephen Hopkins, David Ford as Massachusetts, John Hancock, and finally Virginia Vesthoff as Adam's wife Abigale. Probably the most fantastic imagery in the film. Those two actors performing in what was seen as John Adam's dreaming was really very good and unusual. She had a wonderful voice. Its sad that she did not have more of a movie/tv career. She died of cancer in 1982 at the age of 42.

 

As far as what they could have done or didn't it wasn't really up to them at that time. They first had to agree to break away from their mother country, thereby establishing the Declaration of Independence, and then fight a war to officially break away and then it would have been up to whatever governing body, chiefly, the Constitutional Convention of 1787 could figure out for the future of the new found country.

 

All of the laws that were founded were based mostly with the Constitutional Convention of 1787, four years after the official ending of the War for Independence. To get a new amendment taken care of today would require an almost herculean task, mainly due to the bizarre disarray the two parties that control Washington D.C. have at this moment.

 

Edited by: fxreyman on Jul 6, 2013 1:34 PM

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> {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote}When watching the movie, it's amazing how much today's Congress resembles the Second Continental Congress. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and those for Independence were the Democrats of their day, while the conservatives ("always to the right, never to the left") match up with today's Republicans.

 

I know what I am about to mention is not exactly in line with the discussion, although it does involve 1776 (the movie) or to be more specific, TCM's airing of the film. Shouldn't the film have been scheduled for Thursday the 4th, in the afternoon, instead of in the early am hours of the 5th? I know everything is relative and how much of a difference could a few hours make, especially to fans who aren't as picky as I am, but a *family* oriented film like this that has much more meaning to the Independence Day holiday then the Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra/Mickey Rooney films that were shown through the afternoon of the 4th, should have trumped any proposed schedule that did not include it on the day of the actual holiday. What do you think? Am I being too picky, and why?

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^fxreyman: "^Daniels to me has always been associated with the role he played on TV's St. Elsewhere as the acerbic surgeon Dr. Mark Craig. But he has also been in many tv shows and has had to me what has always been a favorite of mine as Dustin Hoffman's father in The Graduate."

 

How could you forget the thing he is most famous for...the voice of KITT on Knight Rider?

 

I have always liked his work. One of his best early parts was in Two For The Road. But then every actor has some part that is an embarassment. His was on the TV series, Captain Nice.

 

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I am glad to see you mentioned Ken Howard abd Blythe Danner in the TV series of Adam's Rib.

 

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I have fond memories of it and I have always liked Blythe Danner. I would so have liked to have seen her in the original Broadway version of "Butterflies Are Free." She and that voice of hers was the best part of "Futureworld."

 

Thanks for mentioning the rest of the cast. The only one I found annoying was William Duell, who played McNair, the custodian. I was dismayed when I went to the Broadway revival to see him playing Caesar Rodney.

 

 

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Cute opening of Adam's Rib on ABC

 

 

 

Its funny, both Peter Hunt who directed the tv show and the writer, Peter Stone were also involved with the film version of 1776 which also co-starred Ken Howard and Blythe Danner.

 

Producer Peter Stone wrote the original play and then wrote the screenplay for the film, 1776

 

Producer Peter H. Hunt directed the film 1776.

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