1776

1776 (1972)

6 mistakes

Continuity mistake: Near the end of "The Lees of Old Virginia," Richard Henry Lee is seated on a water fountain, and then stands up. In the following shot from behind, he is back on the fountain and stands up again.

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Factual error: The Liberty Bell is depicted ringing as the Declaration of Independence is being signed on July 4 (a mistake itself) in the film. The bell actually did not ring on that date, but on July 8, when the Declaration had been returned from the printer and unveiled to the public.

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Continuity mistake: Look very closely when Mr. Thomson is taking the vote by a show of hands on whether or not to make the vote on independence unanimous. Of the delegates who say nay, Thomson points to the direction of Adams first, however, Hopkins is the first delegate shown. Thomson points to the direction of Hopkins last, but Adams is the last delegate shown. Maybe this part was reversed, or the filmmakers screwed up.

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Deliberate mistake: In the film, Martha Jefferson visits Thomas in Philadelphia. While this is factually inaccurate (she was actually at home recovering from a miscarriage), it was changed for the sake of drama.

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Visible crew/equipment: At the end of 'Sit Down John' as Adams is walking out of the Assembly Room, you can see a crew light reflected in the tally/vote board behind him. It's also rather bright in a room, at night, that is only supposed to be lit by candles.

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Factual error: During "The Lees of Old Virginia", Richard Henry Lee refers to Harry Lee as "Lighthorse Harry Lee". Harry didn't earn that nickname until 1778.

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Quotes

Edward Rutledge: Mr. Adams is now calling our black slaves "Americans." Are they, now?
John Adams: Yes, they are. They're people, and they're here. If there's any other requirement, I've never heard of it.
Edward Rutledge: They are here, yes. But they are not people, sir, they are property.
Thomas Jefferson: No, sir, they are people who are being treated as property!

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Trivia

Act Three (the arrival of Dr. Hall - "But, Mr. Adams") holds the record for the longest period of time in a musical with no music; almost forty-five minutes pass between "The Lees of Old Virginia" and "But, Mr. Adams."

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