1776 Movie Poster Image


Every American should watch this once a year.
Parents recommend
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1972
  • Running Time: 166 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Founding fathers and colonists show courage and determination.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this musical history lesson, while rated G, still brings up slavery and shows the founding fathers as inspirational but still flawed individuals.

What's the story?

1776 is a musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The courage, the strategy, the dream of freedom, and even the tragic compromise on slavery are all there.

Is it any good?


At least once a year, every American should watch this musical. The characters and the issues are vividly and frankly portrayed, and we see the founding fathers' faults as well as their virtues. If we didn't know how it all turned out, the suspense would be unbearable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they learned about our nation's history and the extraordinary people who shaped it. What characteristics do they find admirable? Older kids and parents can discuss slavery and how it shaped American history, eventually bitterly dividing the country.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 17, 1972
DVD/Streaming release date:July 2, 2002
Cast:Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard, William Daniels
Director:Peter H. Hunt
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:166 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:language.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byThe Hannah Claire March 7, 2012


I love this movie. You can follow when you are a kid but there are some parts in there that kids might not understand but aren't quite appropriate. There is one man who is constantly drinking rum and there is mild language. There is one song that is so sad because it talks about teenage boys going out to fight and are worried that they will never see their mother again. We skip that part. Overall, this is a fantastic movie and I watch it at least once a year.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byosu_dad October 4, 2014

Can get a bit baudy...

The story is a bit wordy and slow moving, so younger kids may not follow the story well. There's not a lot of action per se, but it is very interesting to watch the history play out. The musical numbers can be a bit over-the-top funny (not necessarily meaning to be). But all in all it was enjoyable. One thing to watch out for is that there is a bit of implied adult behavior and language. Several references are made to congressmen who need to leave town to see their wives with a nudge nudge, which builds into Jefferson's wife coming to town and Adams and Franklin being shooed out of a room. Neither is overtly offensive. There is a discussion in a report from George Washington about "whoring" and soldiers contracting "the French disease." We rented and showed to our younger child after reading reviews on this site; nobody had mentioned this. Parents may want to be prepared for possible conversations about adult topics that might arise.
Parent Written bynoteteacher September 25, 2011

1776 Entertains and Educates

This musical is a great way to teach about the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence as well as culture of the time period.
What other families should know
Educational value