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The Adams Chronicles

DVD | Box Set

4.4 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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DVD $59.95 $39.99
(Apr 15, 2008)
$75.90 $21.97

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Four generations of a founding family

Winner of four Emmys® and a Peabody, The Adams Chronicles created a sensation when it debuted in 1976. Lauded by contemporary critics as "the best and highest-rated series in the history of American public television," its vitality and historical integrity now prove timeless. This lavish series dramatizes four generations of Adamses and 150 years of American history from the birth of the Revolution through the Gilded Age. You meet John Adams -- passionate revolutionary and second president; John Quincy Adams -- proud son of a famous father and sixth president; Charles Francis Adams -- skillful minister to Great Britain during the Civil War; and Henry and Charles Francis Adams, Jr. -- historian and railroad magnate, respectively.

Going well beyond politics, this television masterpiece portrays these men as husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, as well as leaders. Based on the family’s personal diaries and correspondence, The Adams Chronicles not only educates as a true historical epic, but also captivates as a fully human family saga.


Anyone interested in the birth of America, and those who formed its precious Constitution--that would be just about anybody--will be riveted to all 13 hours of The Adams Chronicles, an Emmy-nominated miniseries from the mid-'70s that focuses on the life, and political dynasty, of John Adams. While occasionally rather talky, the series is accessible, well-directed and a fascinating history lesson, telling the larger story of politics, conflict, and power, through a family and relationships that are touchingly real to contemporary audiences. Adams launched an American political and financial dynasty that the Kennedys and Bushes can only dream of emulating. The second president of the U.S. was a key player in the battle for Independence and the drafting of the Constitution, and his offspring would become statesmen, historians, diplomats, a railroad magnate--even another U.S. president. Originally broadcast in 1976, the height of the American miniseries rage, The Adams Chronicles was a ratings smash, and proves to be a timeless, satisfying tour through America's inspiring formative years.

Adams (also paid detailed homage in both David McCullough's biography and the HBO miniseries starring Paul Giamatti) was a more low-key Revoluntary figure than, say, George Washington or Benjamin Franklin. But his political stealth, and fervent beliefs in liberty and freedom, helped mold the very country at its birth. The Emmy-nominated George Grizzard is nuanced as Adams, whose conscience must forever be reconciled with political reality. His relationship with his intelligent wife, Abigail, is depicted lovingly. Years after the Revolution, living in France as a diplomat for the still-unrecognized United States, Adams greets his family whom he hasn't seen in several years. When Abigail asks, simply, "How are you feeling, Mr. Adams?", he replies, holding her gaze, "Twenty years younger than yesterday." The 13-hour series traces John and Abigail's children, and their children, and so on, up through the Civil War and then the turn of the 20th century. By then there is no doubt that the Adams family is America's family, intertwined with the great upheavals, and achievements, in the young country. --A.T. Hurley

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Special features

  • 12 page program guide featuring articles by C. James Taylor, editor-in-chief of the Adams Papers, and Neil Horstman, president of the White House Historical Association

Product details

  • Actors: George Grizzard, William Daniels, Nicholas Pryor
  • Directors: Paul Bogart, James Cellan Jones, Fred Coe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 780 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0013NAML0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,136 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "The Adams Chronicles" on IMDb

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