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Todd Erwin

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1776, the 1972 musical retelling of how this country’s forefathers created and signed the Declaration of Independence, arrives on 4K UHD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that includes four different cuts of the film (two in UHD, one in HD, and the laserdisc cut in standard definition).



1776 (1972)



Released: 17 Nov 1972
Rated: G
Runtime: 141 min




Director: Peter H. Hunt
Genre: Drama, Family, History



Cast: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard
Writer(s): Peter Stone, Sherman Edwards



Plot: A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.



IMDB rating: 7.6
MetaScore: N/A





Disc Information



Studio: Sony
Distributed By: N/A...

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Ken Koc

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I've always felt the sound was weak from the first time I saw it. A small orchestra in a room with poor acoustics is what 1776 sounds like in comparison with other musicals.
 

John Maher_289910

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I've always felt the sound was weak from the first time I saw it. A small orchestra in a room with poor acoustics is what 1776 sounds like in comparison with other musicals.
Not on laserdisc. It sounded great. The DVD sound is horrible. Never bought the Blu.
 

Moe Dickstein

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Thanks for the review, it stood out to me how you described seeing the detail in the costumes and it reminded me of when Peter Hunt and I were in the color bay at Sony with the masterful Sherri Eisenberg and Grover Crisp who did heroic work recovering this film from the negatives.

This is a film that has changed my life and I have seen several hundred times - but that first 4K viewing in that bay it was suddenly as if it was the first time, and I was just constantly noticing new things and the quality of the thing was just jaw dropping. A few years later we finally saw the Blu-Ray released and that was a wonderful step up, and then later the 4K version was available on streaming - also a great way to view but of course limited by streaming bit rates.

This new disc I expect will give me that same feeling as I had in the bay watching this incredible restoration for the first time.

There were even a few fixes we were able to make that day - the white out at the end of Mamma Look Sharp being the main one. It had never gone fully to white as Peter always intended and Sherri made it happen in a couple minutes with a few mouse clicks and keystrokes. Truly wonderful.
 

noel aguirre

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It looks good but not great to me but I think that’s inherent of the film stock used at the time and not any fault of the disc itself. Visually it reminds me of another film made in the same period Reader’s Digest Musical Adaptation of Tom Sawyer. And as the reviewer mentions (sic) dated in its visual style along with unmemorable musical songs.
That said I would still love to see a Broadway revival of it as it structurally looks to me to be more stage oriented and the music live would be more compelling.
Thanks Todd for a very thorough review.
 

cadavra

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Question: Is the "Lees of Old Virginia" reprise only a deleted scene, or has it been reinserted into either the director's cut or extended cut? Hunt told me shortly before he passed away that he "got a lot of shit" about omitting it and now regretted doing so.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Question: Is the "Lees of Old Virginia" reprise only a deleted scene, or has it been reinserted into either the director's cut or extended cut? Hunt told me shortly before he passed away that he "got a lot of shit" about omitting it and now regretted doing so.

It has been reinstated in the “extended cut” that appears on both the 2015 BD and the 2022 UHD.
 

Kevin Fox

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Anyone notice a dialogue change in the scene where they are voting on whether or not to debate the question of independence?

On every version I've ever watched, from Laserdisc through the Blu-ray, I would swear that when they "Second call Rhode Island" Stephen Hopkins returns and says "You'd think the Congress would have its own privy," but on the 4K, the dialogue has been altered to say "its own pisser." It sounded badly dubbed too. I have no idea why this was changed.
 

Moe Dickstein

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Anyone notice a dialogue change in the scene where they are voting on whether or not to debate the question of independence?

On every version I've ever watched, from Laserdisc through the Blu-ray, I would swear that when they "Second call Rhode Island" Stephen Hopkins returns and says "You'd think the Congress would have its own privy," but on the 4K, the dialogue has been altered to say "its own pisser." It sounded badly dubbed too. I have no idea why this was changed.
This was changed in 2015, and has been discussed extensively in the other threads.

It's an entirely different take. The "privy" line was a censorship to get a G rating, and I found in the lined script that one alternate take was done with the original line from Broadway, "pisser". We screened the shot when they found it and not only was the original line there, but it was a better performance take as well.

For the first DVD, pisser was used in the Director's Cut, and privy was kept in the extended version, but thankfully the correct take was used in BOTH versions this time.

So it wasn't dubbed, but the sound was of course newly mixed from the stored takes in 2015 where the majority of the sound work was done in 2002 for the first DVD in 5.1
 

Indy Guy

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I was hoping to gain a new appreciation for 1776 from these multiple versions and 4K bells and whistles, but for me it still ended up an odd production. It seems a strained mix of Broadway comedy and so-so show tunes overlaid with historical inaccuracies presented in authentic detail.
This combination works at odds with the dramatic events of America's founding.
In the more contemporary Hamilton for example, there is no question about the intent of the musical show or the special way in which history is being interpreted.

For me the most dramatic musical telling of the American experience is located in EPCOT..."The American Adventure". In a brief 30 minutes, an animatronic cast led by Franklin and Mark Twain manages to stir emotions with a very beautiful original score and terrific narrative. The story is split between the 2 American icons as they chronicle key moments in America's history.
The decision to cast Franklin and Twain as partners in telling an overarching emotional story frees the production from getting trapped by a slow linear narrative.
Franklin and Twain's differing time-frames and political perspectives offers insight on significant historical events, while the shows closing song "Golden Dream" is so emotionally stirring that it could easily replace the national anthem!
Also to me, Dal Mckennon's animatronic Franklin delivers a more believable take on the senior statesman than Da Silva's Broadway clowning.
 

Mark Mayes

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This had never been one of my favorites until I noticed that the songs and dramatic highlights were remaining in my memory for weeks after viewing the film.

The 4K has been a go-to for me in the short time since its release.
A very powerful film, with an excellent anchoring performance by William Daniels.
 

Jack P

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For me the most dramatic musical telling of the American experience is located in EPCOT..."The American Adventure". In a brief 30 minutes, an animatronic cast led by Franklin and Mark Twain manages to stir emotions with a very beautiful original score and terrific narrative. The story is split between the 2 American icons as they chronicle key moments in America's history.
The decision to cast Franklin and Twain as partners in telling an overarching emotional story frees the production from getting trapped by a slow linear narrative.
Franklin and Twain's differing time-frames and political perspectives offers insight on significant historical events, while the shows closing song "Golden Dream" is so emotionally stirring that it could easily replace the national anthem!
Also to me, Dal Mckennon's animatronic Franklin delivers a more believable take on the senior statesman than Da Silva's Broadway clowning.
I'm a great fan of "The American Adventure" too, but I have to say in all honesty that the scene where Franklin visits Jefferson with drafts of the Declaration lying on the floor and the references to Adams in the scene clearly was inspired by "1776" (which was another reason why I enjoyed it).
 

uncledougie

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I showed the Blu-ray to one of the nephews previously, but will show it to the eldest this week this time in UHD. Certainly looking forward to comparing this upgrade to what I thought was already a fine looking blu…I was thrilled when the laserdisc came out many years ago; that cut being included here is both astonishing and gratifying, albeit in SD only. No complaints. Somebody at Sony/Columbia did a great thing greenlighting this release.
 

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