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John Adams

STANDARD EDITION

DVD | Box Set

4.7 out of 5 stars 11,801 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Adams (DVD)

Amazon.com

Based on David McCullough's bestselling biography, the HBO miniseries John Adams is the furthest thing from a starry-eyed look at America's founding fathers and the brutal path to independence. Adams (Paul Giamatti), second president of the United States, is portrayed as a skilled orator and principled attorney whose preference for justice over anti-English passions earns enemies. But he also gains the esteem of the first national government of the United States, i.e., the Continental Congress, which seeks non-firebrands capable of making a reasoned if powerful case for America's break from England's monarchy. The first thing one notices about John Adams' dramatizations of congress' proceedings, and the fervent pro-independence violence in the streets of Boston and elsewhere, is that America's roots don't look pretty or idealized here. Some horrendous things happen in the name of protest, driving Adams to push the cause of independence in a legitimate effort to get on with a revolutionary war under the command of George Washington. But the process isn't easy: not every one of the 13 colonies-turned-states is ready to incur the wrath of England, and behind-the-scenes negotiations prove as much a part of 18th century congressional sessions as they do today.

Besides this peek into a less-romanticized version of the past, John Adams is also a story of the man himself. Adams' frustration at being forgotten or overlooked at critical junctures of America's early development--sent abroad for years instead of helping to draft the U.S. constitution--is detailed. So is his dismay that the truth of what actually transpired leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence has been slowly forgotten and replaced by a rosier myth. But above all, John Adams is the story of two key ties: Adams' 54-year marriage to Abigail Adams (Laura Linney), every bit her husband's intellectual equal and anchor, and his difficult, almost symbiotic relationship with Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane) over decades. Giamatti, of course, has to carry much of the drama, and if he doesn't always seem quite believable in the series' first half, he becomes increasingly excellent at the point where an aging Adams becomes bitter over his place in history. Linney is marvelous, as is Dillane, Sarah Polley as daughter Nabby, Danny Huston as cousin Samuel Adams, and above all Tom Wilkinson as a complex but indispensable Ben Franklin. --Tom Keogh


Special features

  • The entire seven-part miniseries on three discs
  • David McCullough: Painting with Words: a rare and personal glimpse at the life and works of author David McCullough
  • Facts Are Stubborn Things: An exclusive on-screen historical guide
  • The Making of John Adams featurette

Product details

  • Actors: Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008
  • Run Time: 501 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 11,801 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000WGWQG8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,399 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "John Adams" on IMDb

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