Thursday, March 26, 2009

John Adams--The Movie

I read David McCullough's John Adams book several years ago and was eagerly awaiting the release of the movie put out by HBO. Normally we wouldn't watch anything on or from HBO, but McCullough actually worked on the production of this movie, so we thought we would check it out. And boy is it good!

I have to warn you that in the first installment there is a scene of a "tar and feathering" where the victim is stripped. The nude scene is from afar and passes quickly, but it is there. Note that when you get to the waterfront and the mob gets out of control that you might want to pass over this scene. In the next to last installment there is a scene that is pretty graphic when the Adams' daughter is having an operation for breast cancer. The breast is shown, briefly, but be aware so that you can send your hubby and children out for that scene. Jeff and I prewatched it as we had been forewarned and he just stayed away from the tv, but within hearing distance during that scene. There is also a scene of Ben Franklin in the tub with his lady friend in France. She is dressed...he is not. A few words are thrown in that are in keeping with the times and Adams uses the word "bast..." as an expletive once. With the exceptions of the nude scenes, we have allowed our older children to watch all of the movie. The younger ones have seen all but the last two installments.

The movie stays very true to the book. I think the movie and the book should be required viewing and reading for all American citizens! Ok, not doable, but definitely our homeschooled students.

It is beautiful to see the love and adoration that John and Abigail had for each other. The sacrifices that their family made due to the absence of John during the Revolution and later the absence of both John and Abigail during their years overseas acting as an ambassador for our fledgling nation are immense.

There is also an interview with the author on the last dvd. It is remarkable and well worth watching. One thing that stuck with me is the love shared between McCullough and his wife seemed very much like that between the Adams. I will watch the last dvd with Jordan tonight and copy down one of my favorite quotes from McCullough to get it right, but it is either "The work is the reward" or "The reward is the work". Jeff says either way it is true.

Adams was the first president to live in the White House. In his first letter to Abigail from there in late 1800, Adams wrote: "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof." These lines are carved in the mantlepiece of the State Dining Room at the White House.

The movie closes with many other quotes from John and Abigail, but this last one makes you wonder if Adams could see what is going on in America today if he would think the sacrifice was worth it. How far we have come!!

"No, Posterity--you will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom. I hope that you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I will repent in heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it." John Adams


Anonymous said...

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Hannah said...

I have seen a pretty good bit of that movie with my brother, I thought it was very good and interesting. I wasn't in the room at those two scenes. My brother was thankful I wasn't in the room then, and I am too!

Hannah Baggett
(from church)

Anonymous said...

I saw that movie a few months ago, over all very very good movie!

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