John Adams

( 122 )

Overview

Emmy Award-winning director Tom Hopper takes the helm for this epic, seven-part miniseries produced by Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and presenting American history as seen from the perspective of fiercely independent founding father John Adams (Paul Giamatti). Based on author David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, the film tells the tale of a leader whose remarkable vision helped to guide a burgeoning republic through an especially tumultuous period. Thanks to the tireless support of his ...
See more details below
Blu-ray (Wide Screen)
$49.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Blu-ray)
  • All (11) from $16.09   
  • New (8) from $37.54   
  • Used (3) from $16.09   

Overview

Emmy Award-winning director Tom Hopper takes the helm for this epic, seven-part miniseries produced by Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and presenting American history as seen from the perspective of fiercely independent founding father John Adams (Paul Giamatti). Based on author David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, the film tells the tale of a leader whose remarkable vision helped to guide a burgeoning republic through an especially tumultuous period. Thanks to the tireless support of his loving wife Abigail (Laura Linney), and lifelong friendship with political rivalry Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane), John Adams rose to prominence as the spokesman for the American independence movement before moving on to become America's first ambassador to Holland and England, the first American Vice President, the second American President, and the father of the sixth American President. As with McCullough's best-selling biography, the film draws on a comprehensive collection of letters, diaries, and family papers in order to create the most accurate representation of Adams' life and achievements ever captured on film.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Enhanced features include:; Facts are stubborn things-an exclusive onscreen historical guide; Who's who in history-character biographies; David McCullough: painting with words-a rare and personal glimpse at the life and works of author David McCullough; The making of John Adams-featurette
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/16/2009
  • UPC: 883929057542
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Hbo Home Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound
  • Time: 8:21:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 9,893

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Giamatti John Adams
Laura Linney Abigail Adams
Stephen Dillane Thomas Jefferson
Danny Huston Samuel Adams
David Morse George Washington
Sarah Polley Nabby Adams
Tom Wilkinson Benjamin Franklin
Rufus Sewell Alexander Hamilton
William Yelton Sam Maverick
Technical Credits
Tom Hooper Director
Deva Anderson Musical Direction/Supervision
Michelle Ashford Screenwriter
Kathleen Chopin Casting
David Coatsworth Producer
Danny Cohen Cinematographer
Kirk Ellis Screenwriter
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
Gary Goetzman Executive Producer
Nina Gold Casting
Tom Hanks Executive Producer
Gemma Jackson Production Designer
Evyen Klean Musical Direction/Supervision
Rob Lane Score Composer
Melanie Oliver Editor
Trefor Proud Makeup
Steven Shareshian Producer
Joseph Vitarelli Score Composer
Donna Zakowska Costumes/Costume Designer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 122 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(85)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Well-Done Insight Into the Man

    This is a great series, and captures very well the essence of the man John Adams. Paul Giamatti does a wonderful job of portraying his insecurities, his certainty that history will get it wrong, his self-respecting need to speak his mind however unpopular, and his combined inability and refusal to play shmooze politics, a trait which cost him dearly, including most likely a second term as President. Likewise, Laura Linney makes a wonderful Abigail, supporting him, challenging him, and reminding him that he has a family to tend to. There is an excellent DVD feature called "Facts Are Stubborn Things" "a quote of John Adams' from the Boston Massacre trial". Historical facts and explanations of characters and events appear in non-obtrusive text boxes at the bottom of the screen, a feature I would say is essential for those who haven't read David McCullough's book, and a quite helpful tool for those of us who have read it but do not have perfect recall of detail. The film's greatest fault is its historical inaccuracies. This is ironic, given the penultimate scene in which Adams is reviewing John Trumbull's famous painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Adams rails on the painter, pointing out that these men were never in the same room at the same time to sign the document and that the painter fails to see the larger picture. Trumbull asks that certainly the artist has some amount of license, considering the purpose of the painting, and Adams expresses his belief that American history has already been lost. In the film, we have son Charles throwing play cannonballs at wooden British soldiers during the time of the Boston Massacre trial, but Charles was only 7 months old at the time! We hear the verdict read that the British soldiers are acquitted of murder, but there is no mention of the two who were found guilty of manslaughter. And while the Massachusetts Assembly is singing "Chester" in 1774, the "Facts Are Stubborn Things" footnote tells us that the song was actually written in 1778. The screenwriter and producer must have consciously sided with John Trumbull's point of view. Still, there are some wonderful moments. John and Abigail's ability to laugh and love each other during the most serious crises is well-expressed. John's disdain for the French, who want to discuss whether he traces his family line directly to the Adam in the Garden of Eden while he is trying to convince them of the critical need to send ships to America to fight in the Revolutionary War, is highly humorous. The tarring and feathering of the British officer who delivers the King's tea to John Hancock is extremely graphic but quite instructive in understanding the mood and passion of the times. And Abigail's passing, after 54 years of marriage to John, is touching. My advice: read the book, watch the DVD, and enjoy.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply amazing...

    This series brings American History vividly alive. It made me pause to think about the day-to-day issues that history books gloss over. Thinking about the sacrifices - especially familial - that were made makes me appreciate those men and women even more making hard choices to act and stand for what they believed in.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    All historical films should be this good

    The movie covers the life of John Adams - signer of the Declaration of Independence, first American ambassador to England, first Vice President of the United States and second President of the United States - from his early years as a lawyer in Boston, through more than 60 years of his life, until his death at the age of 90 on the 50th anniversary of the country, July 4th, 1826. Paul Giamatti plays the role of John Adams and does a fantastic job of portraying the complicated personality of Adams - a highly educated idealist who loves liberty, but embraces conservative ideas, fights for the presidency, but hates every minute of the job. Laura Linney plays Abigail Adams with equal depth. At a time in history when most women are believed only useful for having children and managing the home, Abigail and John Adams have a true partnership of ideas that would be more at home in the 21st century than in the 18th. She is not just the love of John's life but the sounding board for his thoughts and ideas. Much of the credit for the ideals found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution can be traced back to the writings of John and Abigail Adams.


    In addition to the fine performances of Giamatti and Linney, Stephen Dillane does a great job as the standoffish Thomas Jefferson. David Morse is reported to have played George Washington in the film, but it appears more likely that George himself was resurrected for the role, the performance is so spot-on. And Tom Wilkinson once again creates a ultra-powerful performance as the boorish Benjamin Franklin.


    Along with the dazzling performances of the cast, the cinematography is well done, the costumes are perfect to the period and the overall construction of the story truly captures the confused mess that the American Revolution really was as opposed to the two-page summary we all received in school. If you have any interest in the history of the Revolution and you wish to see an excellently produced film of the seminal biography of John Adams' life, this is a must have DVD for your collection. But don't just take my word for it - the film garnered 32 awards including 13 Emmy's and 4 Golden Globes. Pretty impressive for a historical documentary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Brilliant!

    HBO John Adams is a wonder to watch. Paul Giamatti is brilliant. The relationship between Adams' wife, Abigail Adams, portrayed by Laura Linney is fascinating. It is refreshing to see a strong, intelligent woman, Abigail Adams was steadfastly against slavery, a stanch advocate for women's rights and often John Adams' council , coupled with an equally strong, intelligent man. Their relationship is unique and portrayed with humor and humility. Equally interesting is the long time relationship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, portrayed radiantly by Stephen Dillane. The rest of the cast and crew did a stunning job bringing to life the living conditions of a precarious time in American history. Wonderfully written, it cancels what you think you know about the beginnings of the United States and brings the truth into focus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sedatives not needed

    Yuck! I'd settled in for a nice, engaging story, given all the hype, but this! How did it manage to win those awards? Trouble sleeping? Just watch a few minutes.
    OK, so it is well-written. Unfortunately, it's painfully obvious the actors are unfamiliar with the speech patterns so everything comes out very ponderously. Very slowly. It does not trip off the tongue as naturally as Helen Mirren does in "Elizabeth I."
    Don't waste your money on this one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    John Adams Powerful DVD recreation

    Having read the book I was worried that this "TV" HBO production would be superficial. It is impossible to completely recreate a perfect representation of John Adams of the biography or of the man, but this production was simply outstanding. I never dreamed that this would be so developed and informative. Paul Giamatti was amazing. I will watch this again and again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    THE EARLY DAYS OF THE USA INDEPENDENCE WITH THE HBO DAILY COMPETENCE

    BRILLIANT ACTORS IN A GREAT SERIES. IT'S AN EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY FOR NON USA RESIDENTS TO REVIEW THE HISTORY.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best mini-series ever produced. This one should be shown again and again just like The Wizard of OZ and Sound of Music. Every year! Perhaps then our disgruntled citizens will get it. Freedom is not free...there is a price.

    Everyone citizen in our country should watch this. Then perhaps they would appreciate what our country stands for and be grateful for the rights they enjoy...... This is why we fight so hard for others' freedom. The acting is superb and the message is clear. The freedom this country enjoys is bought and paid for by the blood of our forefathers. If you don't like it here, then leave. God Bless America.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Thoroughly enjoyable and informative

    I read the book but missed the series on television. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and found it well done. I would recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about the formation of our Country.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    By far my favorite Christmas gift!

    Excellent acting by the entire cast! My husband and I decided we would watch one episode a night for a week, and had to keep from watching more because we were instantly hooked. We were sad for it to end. John Adams and his compatriots were a fascinating group of individuals, and thanks to the miniseries, I have an even greater understanding and appreciation for what went into creating our constitution and nation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    John Adams

    Paul Giamatti was outstanding in the role of John Adams and should have won the Oscar, Golden Globe, and any other award available in this category. Laura Linney was also outstanding as John Adam's wife and best friend. I feel there could have been even more factual and historical explanation in the film, but it was very easy to follow for those of us who needed a refresher of this time in history. I am sorry that films such as this are limited to those families that can afford the extra and the special channels instead of being open to the general public. I feel more individuals could be affected by such films if they were broadcast, commercial free, to us all. I am very thankful I could afford this film for my husband's Christmas present. We have enjoyed it and have passed it among friends and family for their pleasure and enlightenment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    We are a history loving family and have enjoyed watching this. Would definetly recommend this one! Worth the time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic!

    This is a fantastic series in all respects. The attention to detail is marvelous. I've not only read the book, listened to the audio, and now watched the series numerous times. The series, plus interview with David McCullough, give you a wonderful perspective. I learn something everytime.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Excellent Account of history

    John Adams was an engaging series starring excellent actors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Choice

    This historical DVD caught my eye as I really like historical and period books and movies. This was a great treat given my husband were watching this very near the current inauguration. Some of the history was very timely. I now feel as though I have a greater appreciation of the history around the Adams presidency. There are seven episodes and we watched them over a few evenings. The only complaint is that some of the scenes are dark (lighting) but the dialogue was excellent as well as the acting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    John Adams

    We watched the mini-series on HBO and my 13 year old requested the DVD for Christmas. It really helped her in her American History class - the teacher even played parts of the series in class. It really engaged her to learn more about our country.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    John Adams

    This was a wonderful series! We couldn't tear ourselves away from this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    History Comes Alive

    I own this DVD and have given it as a gift to several people and plan to give to many more. It engaged me in the revolutionary history of our country as no other DVD has done. The acting, music, scenerey are all superb. It should be viewed by all high school students and above to begin to appreciate how complex the issues were at that time, and how important good character really is!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Over-hyped

    I finally saw John Adams after months of encouragement from my manager. She had repeatedly raved about how outstanding it was. I finally rented it and was dissapointed. The acting is solid every character fully teleports themself into the dawn of America. The writing is superb the conversations between John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Dr. Franklin reflect grately on today's government and a government in general. I'm not normally a big fan of bio-pics, feeling that they often jump around the characters life too much. This is one of the best bio-pics I have seen, and for once you get a better understanding because of the years the show spands. However, if it wasn't for the writing I would have stopped watching after part four. After part two there is no action in the movie. Every scene seems like the next because the characters are just standing around talking or breathing. I'm all for a dramatic pause but this director seems to have forgot that in most films there is a climax and resolution. I was bored watching after the revolution started, I kept wating for maybe a battle shot or some sort of action other than people talking. My biggest complaint about the mini series is the cinematography. It drove me crazy because all seven parts have the same pattern of shots (Extreme close up, extreme close up, extreme long shot, close up). Worst of all the extreme close ups that litter the show cut the characters' foreheads off so much you beggin to wonder if they had foreheads. The average viewer probably doesn't care about the shot composition, but if you do give yourself a break and take two weeks to watch this. Otherwise I still recommend this miniseries because the acting, writing, set decoration, costumes, and historical relevence is some of the best that is out there.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2014

    Among the best TV has to offer!

    HBO did a fine job adapting David McCullough's biography of John Adams. The mini-series is beautifully produced, well paced, and superbly acted. This was my introduction to Stephen Dillane's acting, and he was fantastic as Thomas Jefferson. There are many delightful cameos to watch for, too. Giamatti, Linney, and Morse are perfect as John & Abigail Adams and George Washington. The sacrifices these men and women made for the United States were staggering, and should be a source of inspiration to all.

    I saw this shortly after it was broadcast, and finally bought the DVD recently because no quality collection should be without this extremely moving portrait of one of the nation's giants. My wife and I will look forward to reprising this fine series often.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews