Steaks, burgers, beer, bacon, hot dogs, barbeques, charcoal, and fireworks – this is how you celebrate your American pride. And a selection from rich film history of the United States which will get your patriotism raring to go. Here is a list of 10 most American movies to watch while celebrating July 4th, our nation’s birthday.
1. Rocky (1976)
No list would be complete without a sports movie. Even though baseball looms large in the consciousness of our nation, it is this boxing drama that feels most emblematic. In this movie Rocky depicts a warrior who refuses to take a dive.
2. Born On The Fourth Of July (1989)
Biographical movie of paraplegic Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic got career-high performance out of Tom Cruise. In addition, it reclaimed the notion of our nation’s pride for those at the forefront of the era’s protest movement. The movie tells us that real patriots don’t just wave flags. Real patriots demand accountability.
3. Apollo 13 (1995)
The Right Stuff was a pageant of the space race, but the tense, uplifting drama of Ron Howard about the ill-fated shuttle mission looks at how a technical malfunction transformed out post-Moon-landing apathy into nail-biting attentiveness. In case you ever doubt your country, just take a look to the stars.
4. Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
Musical of Vicente Minnelli is the ultimate hymn to the all-American family. The Smiths, our heroes, live a comfortable life in the America heartland, the daughters’ pinning for boys next door and having themselves merry little Christmases. They can overcome any problem through the power of kinship.
5. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)
From the political-monument montage to the awestruck look on the face of Jimmy Stewart when he first sees the Capitol dome, populist parable of Frank Capra pays peerless tribute to the spirit of American democracy.
6. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Early days of Honest Abe as a lawyer in a small town receive the bucolic John Ford treatment, with Henry Fonda doing an interpretation of our 16th president – Abraham Lincoln. The story is a mostly fictional amalgam of legend, conjecture and rumor, but few films do American mythmaking so well.
7. The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)
Some movies salute our troops’ sacrifice in World War II, such as Saving Private Ryan. This movie tells us what they were fighting for. Oscar-winning drama, which is directed by William Wyler, deals with psychic wounds as well as physical trauma, but it also gives equal emphasis to what these veterans came home to – community, family, and the everyday life that others died to defend.
8. All The President’s Men (1976)
Alan J. Pakula’s excellent dramatization of the Woodward-Bernstein scoop turns young people on to the allure of the freedom of the press, which is America’s finest tradition. Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford crystallized the image of the idealistic crusader in 1970’s. The supporting cast of the movie is just as inspiring, especially Jason Robards, who plays defending publisher Ben Bradlee.
9. Sergeant York (1941)
This is great, complex movie about why we fight. World War I heart-stirrer of Howard Hawks comes from the diary of Alvin York. This man was religious pacifist and poor Tennessean who nonetheless took up a rifle and became an ace marksman.