Here’s why you should watch ‘1776’ today

Guys, it’s the 4th of July! Hooray! This means barbecues, food, swimming, fireworks, did I mention food? While all those activities can be super fun, I much prefer curling up on the couch with friends to watch a great movie. And there is no better movie to watch on Independence day than the 1972 movie musical classic, 1776.

If you’re not familiar, the movie was adapted from the broadway musical of the same name. I first saw this movie when I was a kid and as a musical theater junkie, and I absolutely fell in love. Part of that response had to be because of my father’s enthusiasm. As a guy who studied political science, went to college in D.C (in the ’70s), and is a musical theater fanatic, he feels like the movie not only entertains, but also explains a very important historical event in an accessible way. And I couldn’t agree more.

On June 2nd, the filmmakers rereleased the Director’s cut in High Definition —but you don’t need to run to your nearest Target to pick up a copy. You can watch the whole thing for free on Amazon Prime. In honor of its rerelease (and its awesomeness), here are a few reasons you should give it a watch this Independence day.

Check it: Mr. Feeny is John Adams!

Okay, so my dad is probably screaming at the computer screen right now because William Daniels, the actor who played both those roles has done a lot more than Boy Meets World. Still, I grew up seeing William Daniels as Mr. Feeny and I can’t separate the two. 1776 shows us that Daniels is an amazing singer and that he was lecturing underlings much earlier than Boy Meets World. Random thought: Mr. Feeny should have shown 1776 to his students. That would have totally held their attention. Also, much love to his 18th century insult.

The music is soooo good. 

Warning: musical theater junkie side is about to come out. I was somehow unaware before I saw the movie this last spring just how amazing the music is in this film. After seeing at the TCM Film Festival, it was playing on a loop in my car. I may or may not have also been singing it in my room with the lyrics in front of me, but that’s neither here nor there. My favorite songs: “Sit Down, John,” “But Mr Adams,” “He plays the Violin,” and “Is anybody there?” Need proof of its awesomeness? Swoon below at the gorgeousness of this song. And yes, that is a young Blythe Danner singing.

This Guy

Anything that can create a gif this good deserves an accolade. “This guy” as I affectionately referred to him is actually Ron Holgate playing Virginia senator Richard Henry Lee. He has a song dedicated to him traveling home to get authorization from Virginia to propose independence. And thus this gif was created. You’re welcome.

You will most certainly learn something

Now, I’m not saying this in a condescending way, but unless you are a history nut who has read many books and seen numerous documentaries on the subject, then I feel pretty confident that you will learn something from this movie. It explains the historical event in such a simplistic and entertaining way!

It truly is patriotic. 

This may go without saying, but this film is really a love note to America. Moreover, it’s an honest reflection of the fact that our Founding Fathers were not perfect men. They were ordinary dudes trying to do something that had never been done before. In the same vein as Capra’s films and contemporary writer, Aaron Sorkin’s work, 1776 is a reminder of why July 4th is something to celebrate. So, take a swim, enjoy a burger, light some fireworks (safely) and then watch 1776.

(Photos property of Columbia Pictures)

Movie musicals to convert even the biggest musical holdouts

More ’90s movies that should probably become musicals