6.2/10
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Give Me Liberty (1936)

Patrick Henry's rousing speech before the Virginia legislature argues for colonial independence.

Director:

B. Reeves Eason

Writer:

Forrest Barnes (story and screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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George Washington, commander of revolutionary American forces, ends a squabble among the colonies as to under which flag the Americans will fight the British by recommending a new flag for ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Maude
Stars: Francis X. Bushman, Enid Bennett, Johnnie Walker
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Litel ... Patrick Henry
Nedda Harrigan ... Doxie Henry
Carlyle Moore Jr. ... Captain Milton
Robert Warwick ... George Washington
George Irving ... Thomas Jefferson
Boyd Irwin Boyd Irwin ... British Commissioner
Gordon Hart Gordon Hart ... Anti-Rebel Delegate Speaker
Myrtle Stedman ... Martha Washington
Shirley Lloyd Shirley Lloyd ... Party Guest Giving Patrick a Violin
Ted Osborne Ted Osborne ... Randolph Peyton (as Theodore Osborne)
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Storyline

George Washington tries to encourage gifted orator Patrick Henry to use his considerable powers to argue the case for colonial independence before the Virginia House of Burgesses, but the lawmaker's promise to his wife initially deters him. When the political climate changes, she eventually gives her consent, and Henry delivers his rousing "Give Me Liberty" speech to an enthusiastic legislature. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Technicolor Specials (1936-1937 season) #2: Give Me Liberty See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reels #7766-7767. See more »

Goofs

The guests at General Washington's house are shown dancing to Beethoven's "Minuet in G," which was not composed until 1796. In fact, Beethoven was only born in 1770, i.e. five years after the events shown at the beginning of the film. See more »

Quotes

Patrick Henry: What is it that gentlemen wish, what would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what cause others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Bill of Rights (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

America
(uncredited)
aka "My Country 'tis of Thee"
Music from "God Save the King"
Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith
Sung by a chorus at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
John Litel plays Patrick Henry in Warner short subject...
13 February 2008 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

It's surprising to see how perfected three-strip Technicolor was, as early as 1936, when GIVE ME LIBERTY was filmed, an historical short subject starring JOHN LITEL as Patrick Henry giving his famous "Give Me Liberty!" speech in Virginia during the American Revolution.

This short appears on the Errol Flynn Signature Collection for CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, and is evidence that the handsomely mounted Technicolor short was the Warner way of testing its color equipment in preparation for the full-length features to come.

It's the sort of film we used to see in the school auditorium when I was a kid, educational and usually not very well acted or produced. This is fairly well done, although I have to admit that--much as I like John Litel as a character actor in the Warner stock company--his flamboyant method of delivering the speech is more than a little over the top for dramatic effect.

Again, the most impressive thing about the feature is the Technicolor photography which makes the costumes and sets glow with vivid shades of color that are pleasing to the eye.


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