American Experience (1988– )
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John & Abigail Adams 



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Episode credited cast:
David McCullough ... Himself - Host
David Ogden Stiers ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Simon Russell Beale ... John Adams
Linda Emond ... Abigail Adams
James Barbour ... Thomas Jefferson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lauren Abrahams Lauren Abrahams
A.J. Accardi A.J. Accardi
Michael Allosso Michael Allosso ... Delegate from Maryland
Linda Amendola Linda Amendola
John Arnold John Arnold
John Basmajian John Basmajian
Eric Berg Eric Berg ... Town Crier
David Biser David Biser
Kate Blair Kate Blair
Daniel Matthew Bolton Daniel Matthew Bolton


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Official Sites:

PBS [United States]





Release Date:

23 January 2006 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »


Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Green Umbrella Ltd., WGBH See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Linda Emond previously played Abigail Adams in the 1997 Broadway revival of "1776." See more »


O Malheureuse Iphigenie
Written by Christoph Willibald Gluck
Courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.
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User Reviews

Very enjoyable...but read the book!
16 December 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I have a different perspective on this wonderful documentary than most because a few years back, I read one of the best biographies I've ever read--David McCullough's book about John Adams. It was SO good that I forever was thinking '...yeah, but the book said it so much better...' and the like. Now this isn't really that fair, as McCullough's book is something like 700-800 pages in length--and a two-hour film simply cannot go into the same amount of detail. However, I was pleased that at least McCullough was one of those interviewed for the show and I am sure his book greatly shaped this show--so it's probably about as good as it could be given it's small time slot.

Despite the title, the film is MUCH more a biography of John and much of the time his wife, Abigail, is barely mentioned. So, if you are looking for a show that discusses their long and tender letters (of which a HUGE number still survive today--and they are striking for their openness and loving nature), this is NOT your best bet. My advice--read them yourself--they are without equal.

Overall, the usual "American Experience" quality abounds. Actors acting out the lives of the people, wonderful narration (by David Ogden Stiers), FANTASTIC music and brilliant production values throughout. The only qualms listed above really aren't complaints--I just would have loved to have seen MORE--more because he was a truly amazing man--a man whose importance to the nation has only recently been reassessed. See this film.

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