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  • John Adams [Blu-ray] [2009] [US Import]
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John Adams [Blu-ray] [2009] [US Import]

104 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001684L0A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,161 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 133 people found the following review helpful By J. Duducu on 20 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
This is not the story of the US war of independence, nor is this the story of the founding fathers. This really is the story of John Adams the second president of the United States.

The mini series goes to great lengths to show the events leading up to 1776 as not just one way. Indeed it's refreshing to show such an even handed account of the causes of the war of revolution. This is underlined by Adams at first despising and then defending a troop of British Red Coats for firing into a crowd of civilians.

The war of independence is of course the backdrop for most of the series and yet very little of it is shown, there is a standout scene where Adams is in a brief sea battle but this is largely a costume drama more in the vein of Barry Lyndon than Pride and Prejudice. Everyone has bad teeth, the sets appear to be naturally lit and the clothing all looks very authentic. Indeed if I have one grumble is that there are too many scenes where people are whispering to one another meaning you are constantly turning up and down the volume on your remote.

The location shots are lavish; we have Versailles, Hampton Court, sea battles, court rooms and huge (computer enhanced) crowd scenes. The production values are that of a film, the acting is always faultless with the best of both sides of the Atlantic taking this project very seriously and often it's the unspoken details that count. The decadence of the French Court is implied but never really discussed and the meeting between John Adams and George the third is a master class in what not to say to make a scene work.

This is a very classy retelling of a fascinating man in a fascinating time, this is well worth a few evenings to watch and enjoy.

If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bentley on 29 May 2008
Format: DVD
"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it."
- John Adams 1777

HBO did a fine job with the John Adams miniseries and took great pains to get "most" of the historical details correct. It aptly showed how both John and Abigail sacrificed so much in terms of their marriage and their family to help create and foster the birth of the United States. There was also somewhat of a more balanced storyline perspective as to fault: Colonists versus the British monarchy. It also portrayed the great love that most of the colonists had for Britain and their former roots and the great reluctance that faced many of them.

There are seven segments in the saga which spans from 1770 until John Adams' death in 1826. Much of the storyline is based upon David McCullough's exceptional book on John Adams by the same name..

The seven segments are as follows:
Part I: Join or Die (1770 - 1774)
Part II: Independence (1774 - 1776)
Part III: Don't Tread on Me (1776 - 1781)
Part IV: Reunion (1781 - 1789)
Part V: Unite or Die (1789 - 1797)
Part VI: Unnecessary War (1797 - 1801)
Part VII: Peacefield (1801 - 1826)

What is nice about the miniseries is that it can be divided up into manageable blocks which can be watched and discussed or debated with family and friends. There are so many issues discussed which will sound very familiar even to us today. To think that it took thirty six ballots to elect Thomas Jefferson because there was a tie in the number of votes for each of two candidates is absolutely amazing.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 May 2009
Format: DVD
Occasionally a TV drama comes along that makes you regret using 5 stars on something else, just so you can say this one is that much better. This is one of those!
From start to end, we are presented with a compelling drama, which is not only reeks of authenticity (though of course, what do I know - I'm not an historian..) but is an absorbing portrayal of a couple in love, a family in motion, and the birth of a nation.
Paul Giamatti is simply superb casting to play John Adams - a man who is not portrayed as charismatic or `pretty' but clever, sincere, moral and committed. Events start with the Boston Massacre, leading up to the Boston Tea Party, the War of Independence (unseen for the most part since Adams spent most of the time in Europe), the drafting of the Constitution and of course his term as the second president of the United States, before his retirement years. It's not told as a simplistic TV movie of the week triumph in hard times, but is told as a well rounded look at the man through fascinating historical times. Some victories, some defeats, some frustrations, but most of all the relationships with people he knew. Most fascinating of these was his wife Abigail, portrayed in definitive form by the ever adaptable Laura Linney. It seems the story of one is equally the story of the other, so intertwined are their stories. And then there are other supporting cast members, David Morse as Washington, Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson and Tom Wilkinson having a blast as Benjamin Franklin.
Events are never told with rose coloured glasses.. this is warts and all, and even handed, showing Adam's frustrations and bitternesses as well as his successes, and indeed also the country's sometimes ugly birth pangs as it discovers its identity.
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