- 2 hr 22 min
1776 is a musical film based on the Broadway musical of the same name. It is a piece of historical fiction. It deals with the days and events leading up to the contentious vote on American Independence in Philadelphia in 1776. The characters in the film are named for and based on the actual historical figures from that time, and the writers used historical documents and personal letters from the time period in writing the dialogue to make it as authentic as possible. However, historians have been quick to point out it is not 100% accurate. The movie follows the debates and actions of the Second Continental Congress located in Philadelphia. Some delegates are frustrated with the rule of England and view the Congress as little more than puppets for King George the Third. They try to propose debate on the topic of declaring independence, but the issue is consistently voted down. They cannot even initiate discussion on the topic until Virginia decides to change its vote and entertain the discussion. What follows is a desperate race against time as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson attempt to formulate a committee, draft what will become the Declaration of Independence, and bring the issue to a vote. Standing in their way are a conservative group of states, loyal to the current system lead by the delegation from Franklin's home colony of Pennsylvania. The head of the Pennsylvania delegation, John Dickinson, convinces the Congress that any decision on the matter must be unanimous to avoid a civil war making it even more difficult for the matter to be brought to a vote successfully. With time against them, the trio must now find a way to convince all the members that independence is the right course of action. The movie stays true to its musical predecessor and nearly all of the main characters perform at points. It addresses several side issues including economic disparity between colonies and the issue of slavery, which comes to a dramatic head in the song "Molasses to Rum."