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The Adams Chronicles
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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 familys personal diaries and correspondence, The Adams Chronicles not only educates as a true historical epic, but also captivates as a fully human family saga.
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
- 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
Top Customer Reviews
George Grizzard portrays John Adams from youth to old age. He is splendid, as is William Daniels who portrays John Quincy from ages 50 to 81. Daniels is no stranger to portraying Adams's having played John Adams in the film of the musical 1776. David Birney portrays John Quincy Adams from ages 36 to 48. John Beal plays Charles Francis Adams and Peter Brandon plays Henry Adams. John Houseman reprises his Paper Chase crotchety attorney role as the irrascible Justice Gridley, John Adam's early legal mentor. The series depicts all of the founding fathers, doing so with humanity and very few marble bust performances.Read more ›
The series mirrored the book almost chapter by chapter. Intended to re-familiarize our nation with the leaders from Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, etc. for the celebration of the Bicentennial of America in 1976.,this is past history to be proud of in every respect. The most surprising element is how well the actors played their roles and the interesting insights we get to see, including the popularity of Dr. Franklin in France and his "adventures" in becoming a living pop icon of the era.
The transfer is very plain, but this was not a big production anyway and was rather skimpy with sets, relying on actors to fill out the picture for us. This they do very well. Any History major, specializing in the Revolutionary era in America will not be able to resist the charm of seeing pages of the past made into the land of the living.
A great legacy of cultural film. Reviewing it now you may find that you need to refresh your usage of certain words.Read more ›
In a production painstakingly assembled by Virgina Kassel and coordinating producer Robert Costello ("The Patty Duke Show," "Dark Shadows," "All My Children"), some of the great writers and directors of television's Golden Age came together with many of the finest of the Broadway stage to deliver 150 years of history. The series was taken from, not merely based on, the superlative volume of the same name, and much of the dialog comes from letters, journal writings and diaries from Adams family.
It's a decent transfer from the original tapes to the DVDs, but it was diappointing that the original "collage" openings (showing images from each of the 13 episodes as narrator Michael Tolan said, "Four generations...one family...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Magnificent performances provide insight into the contribution of the Adams family to our nation.Published 4 days ago by Warren Dane
bought this video and it dealt with american history, not as good as john jakes the bastard, the rebel and the seekerPublished 2 months ago by Rusti C. Brown
A very good series for kids and adults to watch together to understand how our country came to be. The character's of leading men made the difference then, just as it does now!Published 6 months ago by Priscilla
Phenomenal in every way! Costuming, dialog, plot, characters.. it's riveting and full of fascinating history! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Call Me Esquire
Awesome.series..simple...but you can tell it inspired the newer Adams from.HboPublished 8 months ago by christopher lipsey
Went on way too long - the early years were excellent, but the later generations were real losers that we don't want to know about.Published 11 months ago by mizlee