John Adams

7 Sep

John Adams, the HBO miniseries based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning book by David McCullough, is absolutely superb. The seven-part series has a stellar cast: Paul Giametti as John Adams, Laura Linney as Abigail Adams, Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson, and David Morse as George Washington.

This film gives you the inside scoop on this country’s second president. John Adams played a monumental role in the founding of our nation but he doesn’t often get credit or due recognition for his (and his family’s) many contributions and sacrifices, just as he predicted would happen. This film takes you from his start as a young lawyer defending the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre in 1770 until his death at the age of 90 on July 4, 1826—exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed—and includes all the major moments in between.

While they do take some artistic liberties with historical accuracy, I knew that going in and enjoyed it for everything else it had to offer.

I particularly loved the attention to detail in the film. Unlike other historical movies, John Adams gives you a vivid sense of what the people and living conditions were actually like—ink stains on their fingers, black teeth, dirty streets, sun spots, the isolation and physical demands of the time, what it’s like when someone is actually tarred and feathered. The costumes, set, cinematography—basically everything—about it is spot on.

George Washington's inauguration—HBO/Kent Eanes

I whole-heartedly recommend it.


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