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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
You gotta love a musical with a song about the Triangle Trade

UPN, or my local affiliate, just showed 1776, which is one of those shows you either love or hate.

I love it. I love the who's who of seventies/eighties television and the distinguished stage actors who never did another movie. I love the presentation of men of honor and courage, even if I disagreed with what they believed in. I love the passion of their beliefs.

It was an amazing thing they did then - they created a country, and it's been, not perfect, but better than most. They made it possible for other people to believe they, too, could create a country because until the thing is done, no one will believe it can be done, but once it's done, it cannot be stopped.

I don't cry at big things. I cry at little things - where everyone else had to sign the Declaration at the podium (and, yes, I know. It really wasn't all signed that day. That doesn't matter.), John Hancock quietly and without a fuss brought it to the ailing Ceasar Rodney to sign. John Dickinson fighting tooth and nail to prevent what he saw as treason. We're not supposed to like the man as he browbeats the third member of the Pennsylvania delegation (no one could browbeat the second, being Benjamin Franklin and all), and argues against our freedom. But then they make it clear that he wasn't just arguing out of a love of status quo, but because he truly believed it was treason. And John Adams gives him honor as he leaves, unable to sign the Declaration but still willing to fight with the colonies. These things made me tear up.

And then. John Cullum, Holling from Northern Exposure, singing in that wonderful voice that probably could fill a theater, as Edward Rutledge, singing what amounts to an aria about the Triangle Trade, about coins and hypocrisy - molasses to rum to slaves, and cargoes of Bibles to boot, changing accents, evoking the slave auctions...

Magnificent.

ETA: apparently one scene, when the opposition to John Adams sang about being "Cool, Cool Considerate Men", and how they moved to the right, never the left, had been cut until now. Then-President Nixon asked for that.

Current Mood: awed
Comments
"cool, considerate men"

!!!

i didn't think they even filmed that number for the movie. did you tape it? can i borrow it? (great number, and i'd pay money to see it from these guys.)

Re: "cool, considerate men"

It's on the DVD release.

Re: "cool, considerate men"

Didn't tape it. I wish I had, and I will get the DVD for next year - it was very annoying having commercial breaks. To make them more annoying, there were no bumpers, no transitions. One moment - funny or interesting or deeply affecting sign - next, a local or station commercial, or a psa. Oddly enough, very few national ones, which leads me to suspect it was was WWOR showing it, not UPN and that they had difficulty selling ad time.

I know it's not fashionable to be patriotic, but *this* movie is not about mindless "my country, right or wrong patriotism" but about thoughtful, "how to we *make* this country we love *better*" patriotism. The kind that sees the warts and wants to cure them, not the kind that denies them entirely.

Count me in with loving that movie, too. A couple of summers ago the house was filled with incessant singing of "John, you're a bore; we've heard this before; for gosh sake, John, sit down!" from the kids.

Speaking of 1776, does anyone know where I can get screencaps? I want a 'Sexual Combustibility' icon...

My all-time favorite musical, too. We have the tape, and I want the DVD badly. In our house, the repeated song line is "Someone OPEN up a window!"

We have the DVD and the book of the stage play so this year we amused ourselves by following along with the book. The fact that so much of it is actually *accurate* and not made up is really the amazing part. If you've never read the book, you should get it simply for the additional comments in it.

oooooh! I need to get the DVD version because I haven't ever seen that number before.

1776 is one of my all time favorite musicals. I dream of playing John Adams or Edward Rutledge. 'Molasses to Rum to Slaves' is a brilliant number.

"I say 'Ye, John Dickenson'" *sigh* There is no other JA in my eyes than William Daniels.

almost forgot...

one of the reasons I love the show so much is that most of the conversations between John and Abilgail Adams were actually taken from letters they wrote to each other. They habitually signed their letters 'to my dearest friend'. They were quite a couple.