J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, July 03, 2020

Revolutionary Cinema beyond Hamilton

Disney Plus is making a very big deal of airing the film of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton musical tonight. Though Boston 1775 reported on that show before it reached Broadway, I haven’t seen the whole thing, so I’m looking forward to watching. (Assuming my router stops having problems.)

My editor at Den of Geek invited me to write an article about other film and television depictions of the American Revolution. I didn’t foresee time to research and write a Top Ten list, and even if I had, it didn’t seem worthwhile to rank very different approaches.

Instead, I thought about ten myriad ways that filmmakers have depicted the American Revolution, including an earlier musical, star-driven Hollywood vehicles, animated cartoons, coastal melodramas, Loyalist stories from Canada, feminist semi-documentaries, and so on. For each recommendation I came up with yet another example in the same category.

Den of Geek being a pop-culture website, I looked for connections to other entertainment. This, I ended up comparing Liberty’s Kids to Avatar: The Last Airbender, and noting that the director of Mary Silliman’s War has more recently directed episodes of The Umbrella Academy.

1 comment:

EJWitek said...

"The Scarlet Coat" a 1955 MGM technicolor spectacular starring Cornell Wilde, Anne Francis, George Sanders and Michael Wilding which purportedly tells the story of Benedict Arnold and his attempt to sell out West Point to the British. It was directed by John Sturges of "The Magnificent Seven", "The Great Escape", and "Bad Day at Black Rock" to name only a few of his great films. In casting Benedict Arnold, only Hollywood would cast Robert Douglas, a very British actor, to play Benedict Arnold. It is more of a character study/spy movie than a film about the Revolution. Not one of Sturges' best but well worth a view. It's available for rental on Amazon Prime.