Bingeworthy America — Movies

Yesterday, The Savvy Screener recommended TV series that capture the spirit of the July 4 holiday (not to mention Cozi-TV’s Howdy Doody July 4 marathon.)

In this second article of a two-part series, we recommend films to put you in an Independence Day holiday frame of mind:

1776 (1972)

More than 40 years before the Broadway musical Hamilton, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson sang about the perils of revolution and launching a new nation.

Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, 1776 starred a number of actors who later became famous for TV roles: William Daniels (John Adams) as Dr. Craig in St. Elsewhere and Mr. Feeny in Boy Meets World, not to mention the voice of K.I.T.T. in Knight Rider; Ken Howard (Thomas Jefferson) as Coach Ken Reeves in The White Shadow; and John Cullum (Edward Rutledge) as Holling Vincoeur in Northern Exposure1776 dramatizes the congressional debates in Philadelphia that culminated in the drafting and signing of The Declaration of Independence. A dark meeting hall, thunder and lightning, and a tolling church bell make for an ominous finale.

Where can you watch 1776?

Amazon Video – You can rent the director’s cut for $3.99 in HD.  Watch here.

The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

The Devil and Daniel Webster

Granted, Daniel Webster was a 19th century US congressman, not an 18th century American revolutionary, but he was known in his day as one of the union’s most passionate defenders. In this film, Webster, played by Edward Arnold, wages an oratorical duel with Satan to extract a New Hampshire farmer from a soul-binding contract.  A great chance to see a legendary actor, Walter Huston, turn in a devilish performance as Mr. Scratch.

Where can you watch The Devil and Daniel Webster?

Amazon Prime — You can rent it for $3.99 in HD.  More here.

Hulu — You can watch it with a subscription (there’s a plan with limited commercials for $7.99 per month or a $11.99 per month commercial-free option).  More here.


The Time of Their Lives (1946)

The Time of Their Lives

The comedy duo of Abbott and Costello, better known for throwing it down with Dracula and Frankenstein, star in this film about two ghosts who, mistakenly branded as traitors during the Revolutionary War, return to 20th century New England to retrieve a letter signed by George Washington that will clear their names. Lou Costello and Marjorie Reynolds play the wronged ghosts, and Bud Abbott plays Cuthbert Greenway/Dr. Ralph Greenway.


Where can you watch The Time of Their Lives?

You can watch it here.  Click below.

It’s also on the DVD The Best of Abbott & Costello, Volume 2, which is available for purchase on Amazon.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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