June 7, 2011, - 3:07 pm

“The Road to Independence”: Great Movie About Beginning of American History

By Debbie Schlussel

There are so few movies out there about American history that are truly accurate.  And few of those are the kind from which you truly learn something.  “The Road to Independence,” an animated movie, is one of them.  It’s written, directed, and produced by SiriusXM Patriot Channel morning host Mike Church.  (Full Disclosure:  I do movie reviews on Mike’s show, every Friday morning between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Eastern.  But if I didn’t like this movie, I wouldn’t post a review).  It’s the story of the Founding Fathers’ debate whether or not to declare independence from the British and how from 1774 to 1776, we were headed on a path in which independence was unlikely to happen.

This movie is especially good for family viewing and  educating school-aged children–and even college and grad students–on something they’ll never learn elsewhere, so they don’t grow up ignorant.  But it’s good for parents and those without kids, too.  And it’s a great companion to his first animated movie, “The Spirit of ’76”  (read my review).  The movie involves Thomas Jefferson, in old age, recounting to a newspaper reporter, what happened in his philosophical fight and debate for America’s independence.  We not only see the debate between the states at the Continental Congress, but also General Washington’s demoralized discussions with his wife about the state of his troops during the fighting in the Revolutionary War.  We also see the battle plan that eventually beat the British at Bunker Hill and the battle plans for Long Island.

Some of the dialogue might surprise those who are less than adequately informed about American history–which are, sadly, most Americans.  John Dickinson, one of Pennsylvania’s delegates to both the First and Second Continental Congresses, eventually become Governor of that state.  But he wasn’t that gung ho on the whole independence thing, speaking out fervently against it and being moved out of voting on it so that the vote would be unanimous.

Some of Dickinson’s statements sound all too familiar, as they are reminiscent of today’s leftists who seek international approval and the applause of enemy states before America makes a move . . . or as THE reason that America makes a move, such as our ill-fated waste of billions in President Obama’s current, ceaseless attack on Libya, which is going nowhere.  In opposing the Declaration of Independence, Dickinson demands that we wait until France (and other foreign powers) recognizes the new American state and establishes foreign relations.  Huh?  We were supposed to let our independence ride on the whim of the Frogs?  That was Dickinson’s position.  And he had a lot of others among the Founding Fathers considering his position.

But, in the movie–and his real life dialogue, Dickinson’s words show something I’ve always known about the Founders, even those who opposed independence or strongly debated it.  He and all of the Founders–no matter whether they were loyalists to the King or ready to move on to our own nation–were men of great intelligence, intellect, and oratorical and written skill, whose depth was so immense that today’s leaders and elected officials–almost all of them from both major parties–are embarrassingly bankrupt in comparison.  We were so lucky to have such great men developing this inchoate nation.  We are so unfortunate, today, to have the morons, ne’er-do-wells, and frauds, who simply are insects urinating on the sidewalk in comparison to such giants like Jefferson, Dickinson, and Adams.  You knew that.  I knew that.  But this movie really brings it out in such a stark way.

Dickinson had a great quote, which he used to argue against declaring independence, but which has bold relevance today:

Men covet history and delude themselves that they may have a glorious place in it.

Yup, that’s George W. Bush pandering to Muslims after 9/11 and imploring us to respect “women of cover,” a BS-term he made up for Muslim women wearing the headscarves of hate and oppression, which they wear so that Muslim men don’t have to control their impulses.

Barack Obama deludes himself this way, giving speech after pandering speech to the Muslim world instead of fortifying our borders.  But, hey, he already has his “glorious place” in history ‘cuz he won a meaningless Nobel Prize for nothing.

And every single Israeli leader deludes himself into this view when he further amputates his country thinking it will bring the non-existent peace with Islamic terrorist surrounding his already anemic borders.

That quote from well over 200 years ago describes pretty much every Western leader today.

But “Road to Independence” isn’t just Jefferson and Dickinson.  John Adams plays quite a big role in the movie.  And he’s shown–contrary to most contemporary portrayals–as kind of a slob, in both appearance, dress, and demeanor.  But a brilliant, patriotic slob.  Mike Church, who is truly a scholar of American history, says that this was the real Adams, and he wanted to capture and bring that forth.  His wife isn’t sure he should be so involved in the forefront of America’s independence, and neither is he, at first.  But, then, he is resolved to go forth.  And he really shoots down the more polished (at least, in appearance) Dickinson’s arguments against the new nation emerging.  It’s debate like that you rarely see today, and definitely don’t see in a Congress obsessed with private parts on Twitter.  The debate in the movie reminded me of the intellectual sparring the late William F. Buckley, Jr. used to nimbly perform on his television show.

There are also the best and some of the greatest speeches given by Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin (played by Jay Thomas).

We know the ending:  America eventually declared independence, and we became a nation.  But it’s how we almost didn’t get there–and the heated debate between great men–that is well presented here in a way that reinforces my belief in Mike Church as an important American historian in contemporary times and truly brilliant.  And a tremendous patriot.  Mike Church and his family poured their heart, soul, and minds, as well as considerable finances, to produce a terrific portrayal of American history in the making.  His Founding Father Films is the kind of studio we need more of in America and throughout the West.

Get your copy of “Road to Independence-The Movie” in time to watch before Independence Day/July 4th.

Road to Independence-The Movie


Watch the trailer . . .

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16 Responses

What? No pan-ismlamic message, we-are-the-world-feel-good-drivel and Will Smith isn’t playing Thomas Jefferson? it’ll never fly.

DS_ROCKS! on June 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Based upon your recommendation I just ordered it from Amazon. I hope it’s half as good as you say it is!

Jack Meyhoffer on June 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Reminds me of another country almost 168 years later; they, like America, went ahead and declared independence without waiting for guarantees of foreign approval. And since anti-Semitism has been a staple of the world for thousands of years, they haven’t gotten that approval yet. Not really.

Little Al on June 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Nice to know someone is keeping the history of our great country alive, before Angelina Jolie makes her historical
version wherein she play Georgina Washington, the General
who led the troops at Brandywine and took the oath of office
as the first president.

Tim on June 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Jack, it will be worth every minute that you watch it! Yes, it’s THAT good if you love history in its ourest form. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Bill W. on June 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm

In fairness to Dickinson, French support back then was crucial to American victory, as was shown at Yorktown. France was the only country that could truly rival the British in military power. So looking for France’s backing was not just some vanity move.

The subsequent events for the remainder of 1776 came close to vindicating Dickinson’s fears, as the British re-took New York and New Jersey, and were only stopped by Howe’s dithering and Washington’s Christmas attack.

The flaw in Dickinson’s argument, though, was that the French, not unreasonably, wanted some sort of sign that the Americans could succeed, so they didn’t really act until the U.S. won the Battle of Saratoga (led by Benedict Arnold, no less!).

Polichinello on June 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Had the British been less obstinate, America could have taken the same path as Canada.

The problem was London insisted on taking away historic colonial rights of self-government and the American colonies found it intolerable.

There could be no compromise on the issue and the road was paved for independent American nationhood.

NormanF on June 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Thank you for putting us on to this, Debbie!
I’ve ordered mine, and can’t wait to see it!

Michelle on June 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I just checked Netflix. Neither ‘Sprit’ nor ‘The Road’ is found.

Raymond in DC on June 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I’d certainly invest in that one. I need to check to see if it’s available in Region 2 *crosses fingers*

Alison on June 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm

fyi, we didn’t beat the British at Bunker Hill. In fact, the patriots only won a handful of battles. Washington only won one battle by himself, as far as I can determine (Trenton). My impression is that Saratoga was a defining win (by Gates, who later disgraced himself) and by a number of smaller wins in the South. The French seemed to have been a major factor in winning the final effort, Washington took a back seat from what I can tell when they took over.

Palin just got into difficulty over the Paul Revere. Yet he had a very small contribution in the war and was actually court marshaled and considered a bad guy, near to Arnold in distaste, until a poem was written at the time of the Civil War and his name was used as it rhymed.

I know this sounds bad, but I am not a big Revolutionary War fan and think most is propaganda.

david7134 on June 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I’m sure it’s historically accurate and all, but there’s something a bit creepy about this style of animation. It’s very dark, and nothing but the character’s mouths move. It looks like somebody cross-pollinated “A Scanner Darkly” with “Clutch Cargo.”

Irving on June 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Might I also suggest the musical “1776”? It’s got great songs and delves fairly substantially into some of the big issues that were debated in the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It also shows the the struggle Dickinson experienced. Plus, William Daniels is just great as Adams.

matt on June 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I want to see a fan-edit mixing “1776” with “The Patriot”.

    Valley Forgery on June 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm

If you have any interest in America as it used to be, see this movie. We need to support men who put films out that are actually pro-American with reverence for the (truly miraculous) greatness that created the greatest nation to ever be.

In an era where there is a dearth of pro-American films, and it seems that every single movie/documentary is full of anti-American values, lies, propaganda, pro-NWO or pro-Muslim, and an assault on the moral sensibilities of our great nation…. it’s refreshing to see there are still people out there that want to tell the amazing tale of America.

And to Irving, it’s not Pixar mega-million animated production levels.. But then, if the only thing that matters to you is style over substance, you’re part of the problem and not part of the solution.

pitandpen on June 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Debbie Schlussel said:
“We are so unfortunate, today, to have the morons, ne’er-do-wells, and frauds, who simply are insects urinating on the sidewalk in comparison to such giants like Jefferson, Dickinson, and Adams.”

What else can I say? So accurate! Wimps, phonies, gutless fools, and now a Weiner. Feh!

John on June 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

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