Reviewed by: Brett Willis
Better than Average
Older Child to Adult
1 hr. 33 min.
Year of Release:
This made-for-TV film may be the first dramatization of the Lexington-Concord battle since Disney’s “Johnny Tremain” (1957). It’s very well done, although the identity of the person who fired the “shot heard ’round the world” (the first shot in the U.S. Revolutionary War) is fictionalized.
Strong-willed Moses Cooper (Tommy Lee Jones) is one of many colonials who are disposed to take up arms against their British rulers. He’s also quite stern with his son Adam (Chad Lowe) and never tells Adam that he loves him since in those days, men weren’t supposed to express affection. But with a possible battle looming and both father and son arming for it, the elder Cooper makes his best effort at connecting with his son since he may never have another chance. For his part, Adam has some fast growing up to do; and the disciplined way he was raised may now help to save his life.
There’s no sexual content and (as far as I recall) no profanity. There are battle deaths from muzzle-loading rifles; the film style is not particularly graphic. There’s human interest and tragedy built into the storyline, which makes the film anti-war in one sense. One girl is caught in the aftermath of a skirmish; but for the most part the colonial women just stay by their firesides, waiting to see whether their men will come home alive or dead. Overall, the film tells a crisp, but slightly-embellished version of the events of April 19, 1775 that eventually led to American Independence.