Midterm Election Reflection: Founding Fathers Edition


It’s Election Day here in the states, and all, so let’s take a little look at some of the films dealing with our founding fathers from the last fifty years (alliteration ftw).

1776 (1972)

Ridiculous costuming for a ridiculous, yet much beloved musical-turned-film. Staring Blythe Danner, Ken Howard, William Daniels, and Howard Da Silva. Costumes by Patricia Zipprodt.


Jefferson In Paris (1995)

Fabulous hats and hair in this film. Staring Nick Nolte, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Thandie Newton. Costumes by Jenny Beavan and John Bright. 18th Century Blog has a ton of screencaps to drool over.

The Patriot (2000)

Entire books could be devoted to Mel Gibson’s masturbatory theater performance in this film. Notable for Heath Ledger proving to the movie going public that he was a talented actor not just another pretty face, and Jason Isaacs as Col. William Tavington, aka the Sexy British Villain To End All Sexy British Villains. Seriously, almost every 18th century themed movie that’s come out since has had some bad guy trying to emulate Isaacs’ performance in The Patriot. Joley Richardson is in it, too, but I can’t recall a whole lot about her role since the vast majority of the movie is devoted to the homoerotic tension between Gibson’s and Issacs’ characters. Costumes by Deborah Lynn Scott.

John Adams (2008)

Staring Paul Giamati and Laura Linney as John and Abigail Adams, this miniseries was hailed for its attention to historical detail in the telling of the Adamses rise as America’s first power couple. The film covers fifty years of their lives together, from the beginnings of the American Revolution to their golden years as elder statesman and wife. The first few episodes are largely “meh” in terms of interesting costuming, as the Adamses start out their lives in a comfortable plebeian existence in Boston. The more interesting costuming comes later in the series as they ascend the social ranks and become the second POTUS and FLOTUS of our brand new nation. Costumes by Donna Zakowska, who also designed the outfits in Original Sin.

Now, if you’re in the states, go out and vote if you haven’t already! Don’t make me sic Jason Isaacs on you.


About the author

Sarah Lorraine


Sarah discovered her dual passion for history and costume right around the age of twelve. Dragged kicking and screaming to her first Renaissance Faire at Black Point, she was convinced she was going to hate it, but to her surprise, she fell head over heels in love with the world of reenactment and dress up immediately. Her undergraduate degree is in Clothing & Textile Design, and she has a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture. When she’s not hauling crap to SCA events and ren faires, Sarah enjoys reading true crime books, writing fiction, and sewing historical clothing from the Middle Ages through the 20th-century. One of these days, she might even start updating her old costuming blog again.

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