6.5/10
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11 user 1 critic

April Morning (1988)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | TV Movie 24 April 1988
The "April Morning" here is the famous April 19, 1775 upon which the "Shot heard 'round the world" was fired, signaling the start of the American Revolution. Faithful to author Howard ... See full summary »

Director:

Delbert Mann

Writers:

Howard Fast (novel), James Lee Barrett (teleplay)
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Moses Cooper
Susan Blakely ... Sarah Cooper
Chad Lowe ... Adam Cooper
Robert Urich ... Joseph Simmons
Meredith Salenger ... Ruth Simmons
Rip Torn ... Solomon Chandler
Joan Heney Joan Heney ... Granny Cooper
Nicholas Kilbertus Nicholas Kilbertus ... John Parker
Griffith Brewer Griffith Brewer ... Samuel Hadley
Thor Bishopric ... Jonathan Harrington
Joel Miller Joel Miller ... The Reverend
Brian Furlong ... Joash Smith
Anthony Ulc Anthony Ulc ... Simon Casper (as Tony Ulc)
Philip Spensley Philip Spensley ... John Buckman
Peter Colvey Peter Colvey ... Major John Pitcairn
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Storyline

The "April Morning" here is the famous April 19, 1775 upon which the "Shot heard 'round the world" was fired, signaling the start of the American Revolution. Faithful to author Howard Fast's somewhat revisionist view that the skirmishes between the Colonial militia and the British troops in Lexington and Concord (Massachusetts) were precipitated as much by fervent American patriots led by Solomon Chandler as by any "Redcoat" belligerence. Opined by a European. Written by Robert James O'Brien <Robert.O'Brien@fct-cf.x400.gc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: April Morning (#37.4) See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was also the title and subject of the last film project of John Ford, but it is not clear whether the script was the one which Ford tried to make. There were other connections between James Lee Barrett and Ford, most notably that Barrett wrote the script of the TV remake of Ford's Stagecoach (1939) (Stagecoach (1986)). See more »

Goofs

The British were firing while they were marching forward. Standard practice was to halt and then fire. See more »

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Good job of presenting history
13 September 2005 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

On April 18, 1775, along a Massachusetts road, Solomon Chandler is secretly delivering shot and gunpowder to colonists who want to stand up to the British. He is captured and beaten by Redcoats.

The people of Lexington are divided on how exactly to handle the situation, but if the British are coming, they want to be ready. 15-year-old Adam, whose father does not respect him, wants to join the militia. Amazingly, Adam's father does not try to stop him. His mother fears Adam will be killed if the circumstances lead to gunfire.

Eventually, the people are warned that, in fact, "The British are coming!" (This exact quote is not in the movie.) The men have to be ready for anything. Those who know history have some idea what will happen next.

Tommy Lee Jones did a great job as Moses, though he was somewhat more low-key than Agent K or Samuel Gerard. The fact that he came across so differently than those more outspoken characters proves he has acting skill.

Rip Torn gave the standout performance here as Solomon. Most of the other actors playing Americans also did a good job. I couldn't help but feel the British were portrayed as buffoons, but this was nothing like "Hogan's Heroes".

I thought a little too much time was devoted to the relationship between Adam and Ruth. I did like Ruth, though.

What is important here is that this movie makes the American Revolution personal. Regardless of how much a man wants to be free, can he actually shoot and kill another human being? What if that other human being wants to kill him? Was all the killing really necessary, or could the situation have been handled better? The face-off in Lexington that April morning was an impressive thing to watch. Perhaps no one had to die that day, but we all know that would have been unlikely. I won't say exactly what did happen there, but before the movie was over, at least one major character lay dead on the field of battle.

I would recommend this movie for high school or even junior high school history classes. The violence was not that explicit, and it was necessary to the story.


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