Sons Of Liberty full movie review - Only entertaining for those who care nothing for history.
Shame on the history channel. I won't be able to take them seriously ever again. Let's break it down.
The Sons of Liberty: What were they? Who were they? What did they do? What good and bad things did they do? Such as threatening colonists and British, burning down civil servant houses, etc. The show showed some of that (Hutchinson's house), and the Sons certainly did horrible things, but the show failed to relate the why's very well, or at all. The Sons pretty much made it possible to build up tensions in the colonies, to convince many colonists to their views, and to create the political atmosphere that led to revolution. There were other factors and actors, certainly, but this is one of those critical ones, and I felt it was sadly under-described in this show.
Samuel Adams: The second is that Samuel Adams was educated; a businessman, religiously (Puritan values) and politically active. I have read some of Adams' letters. He scatters references to the Bible, God, and Christ throughout, adapting the religious fragments in reference to personal and public life. Yours and mine personal religious opinions (or lack thereof) aside, any historical show that tries to be accurate would be honest regarding the religious views of the people of the time, and include them accordingly. Most references of any religion in this show by the people were by swearing only. I seriously doubt they ran around damning God so casually on a daily basis. This show made Adams seem like some rough-and-tumble crude, gun-ho backwater colonist. Adams was active in the political circle and in Congress. He was not a soldier, and certainly did not lead any battles, such as Bunker Hill. General Artemis Ward led the charge at Bunker Hill (fought on Breed's Hill. Another oversight of this show). Adams was active in both Congresses and held a position for a time on the Board of War. He was instrumental in sundry committees, dispatches, and articles, but he did not actively grab a musket and run out and fight the British regulars. After he left Congress, he returned to MA and continued being politically active there.
Dr. Joseph Warren: I was extremely displeased in how this man was presented. It is because he's such an under known person, and one that is such a key person, that how he is presented to the viewing public, to me, is extremely important. He was a college-educated doctor. He fought bravely at Bunker Hill, and was shot through the head there, but not by General Gage. The romantic drama in this show between Mrs. Gage and Dr. Warren, with General Gage seeking personal revenge on the doctor at Bunker Hill was just ridiculous. I actually scoffed when Gage shot Warren through the head, then ordered his troops to "mutilate the body". What pure Hollywood nonsense.
General Gage: Thanks for, once again, ensuring the "bad guy" is an unrepentant, sexist, whoring, unfaithful, brutal, dishonest, pure evil person. How cliché. How annoying. How overused. And in this context for any English persons, and for Americans who give a crap about their own history, how insulting! This show portrayed General Gage as all this: a man who hypocritically cheated on his wife, then abused her both physical and emotionally, and killed her lover out of disgust and jealousy. There is much historical material to work with for General Gage's personality and actions. This show sadly chose to focus in on one or two possible unflattering characteristics of his, blow them up, and turn him into an evil, one-dimensional brute. I'm highly offended, and I'm an American.
Congress & George Washington: This was another huge error in the show. True, Congress was constantly in disagreement, but this show made it seem as though Congress was so inept, so divided, so stupid (to be honest) that, even after Bunker Hill, they could decide on nothing. The blithering, sad, timid, fearful yeomen gentry could do nothing but wring their hands? What a laugh. It took a constantly angry, impatient-looking George Washington to storm out, after proclaiming he would just throw some men together and handle the whole battle himself. Side note: Washington sat in Congress in his 1963 Colonel's red and blue Provincial Virginia Militia uniform. The buff and blue uniforms didn't exist until Congress approved of a Continental Army. What actually happened historically was that Congress bequeathed the rank of General to Washington, who humbly accepted, then rode out to Cambridge, MA, with a set of officers to take command from General Artemis Ward. While in command, he constantly had bodyguards with him. There was never any time when he sat around a fire with Paul Revere or Samuel Adams all by themselves, in the dark of night, allowing a British soldier or commander (Gage) to approach. The correspondence Washington handled between General Gage and other British officers was always dispatched by courier. They never met face-to-face. The way the show displayed that snug fire scene between Washington and Gage was such an outrageous, hilarious display of lax security (and idiocy in this show's scripting) that I literally laughed.
End Summary: This show is an embarrassing, awful, degrading, preposterous "representation" of the Sons of Liberty, of the British, and of the Revolutionary War. Key characters were distorted and rewritten into fictional scenarios or into historical situations they were never present at, or partook of directly. Characters such as Paul Revere, John Hancock, and George Washington were written and displayed so erroneously, I would have to write a whole essay about it. And no one would want to read that. The little bits of actual history were presented in such a manner as to highlight unflattering historical "gossip" or unproven supposition. Insulting. Degrading. Cliché. And the two saddest parts of this is that many Americans will think this show is accurate; and many more won't care that it's not.