1972 PG 166 minutes
Peter Stone's Pultizer Prize-winning musical (starring much of the original Broadway cast) about the internecine congressional squabbling that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence makes a glorious transition to the big screen. William Daniels is John Adams, Ken Howard is a statuesque Thomas Jefferson, and Howard Da Silva is hilarious as wit-cracker Ben Franklin. A very funny -- and poignant -- history lesson with a great score.
One of my favorite movies and musicals. Really good family movie.
2000 R 165 minutes
Widower Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) wants nothing more than to live in peace and farm his land, but when a cruel British officer (Jason Isaacs) brings the American Revolution to Martin's door and threatens what he cherishes most, the former war hero is forced to take action. With the help of his son (Heath Ledger), Martin becomes a feared militia leader. But before he can defeat the British, he must win a battle within himself.
Although I'm no longer a fan of Mel Gibson's - this is still a good movie. And Heath Ledger was wonderful. :)
2000 NR 100 minutes
Jeff Daniels stars in this stirring dramatization of George Washington's surprise attack on the British Army's German mercenaries at Trenton during the American Revolution, based on the book by Howard Fast.
I have to admit...it was a little difficult for me at first to believe Jeff Daniels as George Washington after seeing him so many times in "Dumb and Dumber" - LOL! But once you get involved in the story he makes you a believer. Interesting story of the life of Washington and the famous crossing of the Delaware.
1996 PG-13 101 minutes
My Fellow Americans
Jack Lemmon and James Garner star as ex-presidents and former political foes who unite in the face of adversity. They're forced to overcome their partisan bickering when the current president (Dan Aykroyd) tries to frame and kill them to conceal his crimes. To clear their names, they go on a different type of whistle-stop tour, taking it on the lam among the "common people."
Being a child of the 1970s, I grew up adoring Jack Lemmon and James Garner - in fact, I think James Garner was one of my first Hollywood crushes. But, don't expect the sweet lovable actors from those days - these 2 drop the F-bomb like crazy! (Which is fine by me, but shocked the hell out of my mom! LOL) Add Dan Ackroyd into the mix and you've got a really hilarious movie about the Presidency. :D
For the kids - or kids at heart:
1970 G 52 minutes
Uncle Sam Magoo
The beloved Mr. Magoo (voiced by Jim Backus) takes viewers on an entertaining and educational time-traveling tour of many key events in American history. Magoo is there for the Pilgrims' landing on Plymouth Rock, as well as Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon. Christopher Columbus, Paul Revere, George Washington, Francis Scott Key, Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy also make appearances in this colorful animated feature.
Speaking of the 1970s, I'll never forget Mr. Magoo. Jim Backus (aka Mister Howell from "Gilligan's Island") at his best!!
2002 TV-Y7 40 episodes
Liberty's Kids: The Complete Series
"Liberty's Kids" takes the typical history lesson and turns it on its head. The result? A fascinating, riveting way to teach kids about events that took place way before they were born. Created by PBS, this entertaining program (which features the voices of celebrities such as Billy Crystal and Walter Cronkite) takes historical figures and places them in the middle of an animated adventure.
My daughter used to watch this show, and I thought it was so well done that I would sit down and enjoy it with her. Excellent choice for kids or kids at heart this 4th of July weekend!
In my opinion, there is nothing like the "American Experience" Series for interesting documentaries. Here are some American Revolution Era ones I've found...
2010 NR 84 minutes
American Experience: Dolley Madison
This installment of the critically acclaimed American Experience series sheds light on the remarkable Dolley Madison, the trailblazing wife of President James Madison who came to be known as the country's "first" First Lady. "Queen Dolley," as she came to be known, was a charming hostess and a fashion icon. But she was also a strong-willed heroine who pulled double duty as an adviser and diplomat.
American Experience: A Midwife's Tale
While researching the scant record of American Revolution-era women, historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich came upon the overlooked diary of Martha Ballard, a midwife who never lost a mother's life in more than 1,000 deliveries. Using the dense diary as source material, Ulrich wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning portrait of Ballard. This documentary tells Ballad's story through reenacted scenes, readings from her diary and interviews with Ulrich.
American Experience: George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King
Tracing the adult life of founding father George Washington, this "American Experience" biography chronicles the events that most shaped the future president's decisions, with help from an unlikely tool for the 18th century: newsreel-style "footage."
2005 NR 120 minutes
John & Abigail Adams: American Experience
Narrated by David Ogden Stiers, this installment of the PBS series "American Experience" focuses on the relationship of John and Abigail Adams, the nation's first power couple, recreating dialogue based on the couple's correspondence. Founding father John was a visionary statesman and an often exasperating man, while Abigail, an astute observer of the political landscape, voiced opinions at a time when women were excluded from affairs of state.
2005 NR 50 minutes
John and Abigail Adams: Love and Liberty
Founding father John Adams and his wife, Abigail, made valuable contributions to budding U.S. independence; the second president played a key role in the American Revolution, the Constitutional Congress and the Constitution itself, while Abigail housed local militia during the revolution, and her many letters are now priceless historical documents. This biography tells their story through interviews with descendants, politicians and historians.
2006 NR 120 minutes
American Experience: Alexander Hamilton
Brian F. O'Byrne portrays Alexander Hamilton, America's first treasury secretary and the second most influential person in young America after George Washington, in this insightful documentary. Here, his life and death are explored in detail. The oftentimes controversial Hamilton founded the Coast Guard, saved the new republic from bankruptcy, founded what would become Wall Street and helped develop the Constitution.
2008 NR 4 discs
Abraham Lincoln: His Life and Legacy
In this comprehensive review of Abraham Lincoln's iconic presidency, seven documentaries combine to tell the story of a tested leader who fought to preserve the unity of a United States that seemed hopelessly divided. Segments focus on Lincoln's humble upbringing in a one-room Kentucky cabin and his rise to political power; his use of cutting-edge technology to spy on the Confederacy; and his tragic assassination.
1997 NR 2 episodes
The complex life of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that "all men are created equal" yet owned slaves, is recounted by master filmmaker Ken Burns in this probing documentary. Covering Jefferson's diplomatic work in France, his two presidential terms, his retirement at Monticello and more, the absorbing biography features narration by Ossie Davis, Sam Waterston, Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow and other noted actors.