Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-30-2019, 11:23 AM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,188

My 1776 and Hamilton observation


All in MHO of course: I think it's funny that the best historical entertainment pieces of this time period (outside of HBOs Adams maybe? I didn't see it) are contained in two musicals of all things.

So far as I know there's never been a widely received, comprehensive movie of the revolutionary war and the founding of the country. I'm sure they've been done, but I don't THINK there's one that can be considered a classic.
  #2  
Old 08-30-2019, 12:10 PM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 44,682
There are lots of dramatic films made about the period and TV specials about Washington and other figures, but you're right that few have achieved "classic" status.

You'd think that this one ought to be. Based on a play by George Bernard Shaw, starred Burt Lancaster, kirk Douglas, and Laurence Olivier. Directed by Guy Hamilton, whose done quite a range of films (including several James Bond flicks)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_De...ple_(1959_film)
__________________
Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #3  
Old 08-30-2019, 01:02 PM
Limmin's Avatar
Limmin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 152
HBO's John Adams covers a lot more than you might think. He was a little like Forrest Gump in that he appeared in so many famous "scenes" of the founding of this country, and they are all in the series.

He's the lawyer defending the Boston Massacre soldiers (redcoats) in court. He witnesses some of the fighting. He's there when Washington is sworn in...and then as VP, he's excluded from most cabinet meetings of importance (perhaps this was a tradition that started way back then). He spends time in Europe as ambassador, and has the (awkward, difficult) job of meeting with George III after the US was formed, to try and establish diplomatic relations. He's close colleagues with Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. He's a participant in some of the debates between Jefferson and Hamilton on such fundamentals as whether or not we needed a federal organization that deals with money. He becomes the second president. Then, later in life, his son became president. Even later, he and Jefferson die at almost the same time.

So yeah, I suppose at the moment, for me, John Adams is the definitive media drama about the founding of the USA.

Last edited by Limmin; 08-30-2019 at 01:06 PM.
  #4  
Old 08-30-2019, 01:22 PM
Hermione is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 714
Lin-Manuel Miranda* has said that he was influenced by 1776 in several ways--to the point of having Hamilton shout, "Sit down, John, you fat motherf...!" in one scene. (He was also going to give Hamilton a line where he taunted Adams about his wife, but wisely left it out because "you just don't diss Abigail Adams.")

As for 1776...you ought to get your hands on the published script. There's a lengthy appendix where the creators (one of them a history major) explain what was true to life (quite a lot, actually) and what they left out or changed for dramatic purposes and what they made educated guesses on.

*Ah, Lin-Manuel Miranda...cute, smart, funny, charming, talented, and taken. Story of MY love life.
__________________
We are of the spirit,
Truly of the spirit,
Only can the spirit
Turn the world around.
--Harry Belafonte (with the Muppets)
  #5  
Old 08-30-2019, 01:46 PM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 44,682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermione View Post
Lin-Manuel Miranda* has said that he was influenced by 1776 in several ways--to the point of having Hamilton shout, "Sit down, John, you fat motherf...!" in one scene. (He was also going to give Hamilton a line where he taunted Adams about his wife, but wisely left it out because "you just don't diss Abigail Adams.")

As for 1776...you ought to get your hands on the published script. There's a lengthy appendix where the creators (one of them a history major) explain what was true to life (quite a lot, actually) and what they left out or changed for dramatic purposes and what they made educated guesses on.

*Ah, Lin-Manuel Miranda...cute, smart, funny, charming, talented, and taken. Story of MY love life.
I have the script. Heck, I've acted in the play. I've been a big fan of it ever since I first saw it on Broadway in about 1970. I was impressed with the wayPeter Stone researched it (and have even used the same room at Rutgers Library that he did).

But bringing this together with the HBO series John Adams is odd, in a way. That series was based on David McCullouch's book, and I suspect that McCullouch hates the play 1776. He didn't mention it at the end of the book, when talking about Adams' legacy, even though the play and movie probably did more to bring Adams to the attention of Americans than any other work (even including the John Jakes-books and the TV movies based on them). He seems to go out of his way to quote lines that were in the play (but which Stone placed in the mouths of other people) just to show how the play misrepresented it. And he went and did the same thing in his book 1776 (which even shares the title with the play).
__________________
Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #6  
Old 08-30-2019, 01:54 PM
Hermione is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 714
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
I have the script. Heck, I've acted in the play. I've been a big fan of it ever since I first saw it on Broadway in about 1970. I was impressed with the wayPeter Stone researched it (and have even used the same room at Rutgers Library that he did).

But bringing this together with the HBO series John Adams is odd, in a way. That series was based on David McCullouch's book, and I suspect that McCullouch hates the play 1776. He didn't mention it at the end of the book, when talking about Adams' legacy, even though the play and movie probably did more to bring Adams to the attention of Americans than any other work (even including the John Jakes-books and the TV movies based on them). He seems to go out of his way to quote lines that were in the play (but which Stone placed in the mouths of other people) just to show how the play misrepresented it. And he went and did the same thing in his book 1776 (which even shares the title with the play).
Ah, but the John Adams miniseries based on McCulloch's book did have Abigail snapping "For God's sake, John, sit down!" at a tense moment. (Okay, I know McCulloch probably didn't have a whole lot to do with the screenplay, but still...)
__________________
We are of the spirit,
Truly of the spirit,
Only can the spirit
Turn the world around.
--Harry Belafonte (with the Muppets)
  #7  
Old 08-30-2019, 01:58 PM
Loach's Avatar
Loach is online now
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 25,586
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
I was impressed with the wayPeter Stone researched it (and have even used the same room at Rutgers Library that he did).
I didnít know that. Is that why he put in the line about New Brunswick?
  #8  
Old 08-30-2019, 02:02 PM
enalzi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,186
I'm surprised that with the success of Hamilton and the Lincoln movie, no one's tried to do a big Washington movie recently.
  #9  
Old 08-30-2019, 02:27 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,853
I think the problem with something about Washington is that over the years he's become a one-dimensional character -- wise and good and wonderful (even Hamilton succumbed to this, but wisely kept him on the periphery). His flaws have been whitewashed, so it's hard to make him into a good dramatic character.

Also, the Revolution is hard to deal with given both the myth and the current fetish for "realism." Most people's impression of it are not close to the reality.

I think there's a good movie to be made about the Battle of Saratoga, but I wonder if audiences will accept Benedict Arnold as hero.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #10  
Old 08-30-2019, 02:57 PM
carrps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermione View Post
Lin-Manuel Miranda* has said that he was influenced by 1776 in several ways--to the point of having Hamilton shout, "Sit down, John, you fat motherf...!" in one scene. (He was also going to give Hamilton a line where he taunted Adams about his wife, but wisely left it out because "you just don't diss Abigail Adams.")

As for 1776...you ought to get your hands on the published script. There's a lengthy appendix where the creators (one of them a history major) explain what was true to life (quite a lot, actually) and what they left out or changed for dramatic purposes and what they made educated guesses on.

*Ah, Lin-Manuel Miranda...cute, smart, funny, charming, talented, and taken. Story of MY love life.
Someone else with a L-MM crush??? Sigh....
  #11  
Old 08-30-2019, 09:12 PM
Kent Clark's Avatar
Kent Clark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 26,796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermione View Post
Lin-Manuel Miranda* has said that he was influenced by 1776 in several ways
I finally saw Hamilton last week (loved it, even though I could only get about 50%-60% of what was actually being said/sung.) Does anyone who's seen the show besides me feel there was some parallel between Hamilton/Burr/King George and Jesus/Judas/Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar? The main characters start out as close as brothers, and the King is portrayed as a music hall clown. I can't be the only one who saw this.

Or Can I?
  #12  
Old 08-31-2019, 09:36 AM
Hermione is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Clark View Post
I finally saw Hamilton last week (loved it, even though I could only get about 50%-60% of what was actually being said/sung.) Does anyone who's seen the show besides me feel there was some parallel between Hamilton/Burr/King George and Jesus/Judas/Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar? The main characters start out as close as brothers, and the King is portrayed as a music hall clown. I can't be the only one who saw this.

Or Can I?
No, you're not the only one who saw the Judas/Aaron Burr parallels--only with me, it was the idea that it's a largely-vilified historical character that a popular musical encouraged us to look at in a more sympathetic light.

This occurred to me when Brandon Victor Dixon, a former Burr, played Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar Live.
__________________
We are of the spirit,
Truly of the spirit,
Only can the spirit
Turn the world around.
--Harry Belafonte (with the Muppets)

Last edited by Hermione; 08-31-2019 at 09:36 AM.
  #13  
Old 08-31-2019, 07:07 PM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 44,682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
I didnít know that. Is that why he put in the line about New Brunswick?
No -- he put that in because Adams and Franklin really DID visit the troops in New Brunswick. They shared a bed, and one of them wrote an account of it. Stone apparently wrote a scene based on the account, but it was cut before the play hit Broadway. I've been curious to read it ever since I first heard about it.

I suspect the place they stayed may have been the Indian Queen tavern. When I was growing up it was still an open, active tavern (!) It neon signs outside and everything. Since then, it's been restored to its Revolutionary War appearance and moved out of downtown New Brunswick to East Jersey Olde Town.

http://www.hiddennj.com/2011/09/fran...re-indian.html

https://mentalfloss.com/article/5416...ams-shared-bed
__________________
Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #14  
Old 08-31-2019, 07:35 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 85,746
HBO's John Adams miniseries is excellent, and worth seeing for any fan of the era.

Our previous Hamilton thread: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=773664

I've long wished someone would write a 1776-style musical about the Constitutional Convention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
I'm surprised that with the success of Hamilton and the Lincoln movie, no one's tried to do a big Washington movie recently.
I agree. He led a pretty exciting life, from his early surveying days out in the wilderness to his youthful combat command during the French and Indian War, then his leadership of the Continental Army during the Revolution and coming out of retirement to chair the Constitutional Convention and then serve as the first POTUS. A good screenwriter and director could craft a cool movie (or two or even three) out of all that. And they could do a lot worse than David Morse, who played Washington very well in John Adams, in the lead role.
  #15  
Old 09-02-2019, 10:57 AM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,188
Here's a fairly spicy take: The tour Hamiltons are better singers than Lin Miranda.

HEY....its a masterpeice. May be the best musical I've ever seen. And Miranda is a superior rapper....but it doesn't automatically make him an absolutely top-notch singer.
  #16  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:59 AM
JRDelirious is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Displaced
Posts: 15,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
So far as I know there's never been a widely received, comprehensive movie of the revolutionary war and the founding of the country. I'm sure they've been done, but I don't THINK there's one that can be considered a classic.
Too many things going on at the same time for there to be a "comprehensive movie of the revolutionary war and the founding of the country". The best you can do is as mentioned, movies/shows/series focused on a particular event or character

Also as has been mentioned, when it comes to touching on central figures such as Washington or the Constitution or the real social dynamic at street level, you'd run into problems as to the presentation. A "straight" telling, besides turning into a history lecture, would end up upsetting everybody: those on one end of the spectrum would be royally pissed if instead of hagiographic propaganda the story is told "warts and all" including a close focus on Things the Founders Did Wrong, and those at the other end of the spectrum royally pissed that there was not enough denunciation/inclusion and it still is too celebratory.

Hamilton's success lay in going beyond merely a retelling to be more relatable, to transforming the source material into an outright allegory for our times of how that audience looks at what the founding of America means. And Miranda has taken criticism from both sides for both being too irreverent AND too reverent.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
Here's a fairly spicy take: The tour Hamiltons are better singers than Lin Miranda.

HEY....its a masterpeice. May be the best musical I've ever seen. And Miranda is a superior rapper....but it doesn't automatically make him an absolutely top-notch singer.
Heck, that was apparently even remarked upon in the original run whenever he'd get understudied.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 09-02-2019 at 11:59 AM.
  #17  
Old 09-02-2019, 12:06 PM
Baker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tottering-on-the-Brink
Posts: 20,434
Anyone else remember an episode of St. Elsewhere, in which Dr. Mark Craig(played by William Daniels) has badly injured his hand by punching a wall? He and his wife go to Philadelphia to consult with a surgeon who specializes in working with the small bones of the hand.

They are walking outside and Mrs. Craig complains to her husband, "Mark, why did we have to come to Philadelphia in the summer? It's too damned hot!" And Dr. Craig starts singing "It's hot as hell in Philadelphia."

St. Elsewhere did that a lot, referencing other shows and movies.
__________________
At least my dog loves me.
  #18  
Old 09-02-2019, 01:59 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 85,746
David Morse, who played Washington so well in HBO's John Adams, played a doctor on St. Elsewhere, too.

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/75/c9/bc/7...avid-morse.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Na-a3cvtdp...John+Adams.jpg
  #19  
Old 09-02-2019, 03:26 PM
Rick Kitchen's Avatar
Rick Kitchen is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Citrus Heights, CA, USA
Posts: 17,376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermione View Post
Lin-Manuel Miranda* has said that he was influenced by 1776 in several ways--to the point of having Hamilton shout, "Sit down, John, you fat motherf...!" in one scene. (He was also going to give Hamilton a line where he taunted Adams about his wife, but wisely left it out because "you just don't diss Abigail Adams.")

As for 1776...you ought to get your hands on the published script. There's a lengthy appendix where the creators (one of them a history major) explain what was true to life (quite a lot, actually) and what they left out or changed for dramatic purposes and what they made educated guesses on.

*Ah, Lin-Manuel Miranda...cute, smart, funny, charming, talented, and taken. Story of MY love life.
Nixon put pressure on Jack Warner to cut the anti-conservative song, "Cool, Cool Considerate Men" out of the final version of the film, which he did. But the cut is still out there, and it can be seen online.
  #20  
Old 09-02-2019, 08:59 PM
Morgyn is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: In the time stream
Posts: 5,834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen View Post
Nixon put pressure on Jack Warner to cut the anti-conservative song, "Cool, Cool Considerate Men" out of the final version of the film, which he did. But the cut is still out there, and it can be seen online.
It can be seen on the restored director's cut DVD, too.
  #21  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:16 PM
Hermione is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgyn View Post
It can be seen on the restored director's cut DVD, too.
And it's the restored cut that usually gets run on TCM these days, too.

(The one song wasn't all that was restored--they restored whole swaths of dialogue that had been cut from the movie up until then. The director's cut is probably one of the most stage-faithful movie musical adaptations there is.)
__________________
We are of the spirit,
Truly of the spirit,
Only can the spirit
Turn the world around.
--Harry Belafonte (with the Muppets)

Last edited by Hermione; 09-03-2019 at 12:16 PM.
  #22  
Old 09-03-2019, 02:31 PM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,188
Despite the immense pressure someday (and inevitable boatloads of money)....I just don't think Hamilton would work as a movie. It needs intimacy and artiface to pull you in. Ironically.

A preening, priggish prancing Jefferson (as an example) rapping on a beautiful, completely accurate set would just be a bridge too far IMO.
  #23  
Old 09-04-2019, 12:09 PM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 44,682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
HBO's John Adams miniseries is excellent, and worth seeing for any fan of the era.

Our previous Hamilton thread: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=773664

I've long wished someone would write a 1776-style musical about the Constitutional Convention.


.


I've long said that I wanted to see a musical about the Bill of Rights.

I'd call it The Ten Amendments.
__________________
Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #24  
Old 09-11-2019, 08:33 AM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 85,746
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
Despite the immense pressure someday (and inevitable boatloads of money)....I just don't think Hamilton would work as a movie. It needs intimacy and artiface to pull you in. Ironically.

A preening, priggish prancing Jefferson (as an example) rapping on a beautiful, completely accurate set would just be a bridge too far IMO.
And yet it's probably coming: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilt..._stage_filming
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:47 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017