Get into the spirit of Independence Day with a patriotic movie. Here are some suggestions:
“Rocky” (1976) – Apollo Creed gives underdog Rocky Balboa a bicentennial title shot, saying, “There’s nothing they’d like better than to see Apollo Creed give a local Philadelphia boy a shot at the greatest title in the world on this country’s biggest birthday.”
“Drums Along the Mohawk” (1939) – Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.
“Born on the Fourth of July” (1989) – Tom Cruise stars in this biographical film about Ron Kovic, whose paralysis in the Vietnam War turned him into a human rights activist and antiwar crusader.
“How the West Was Won” (1962) – This saga follows an immigrant family over four generations as they travel from the Erie Canal to the West.
“Glory” (1989) – Matthew Broderick plays Colonel Robert Shaw, the white commanding officer of the Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, in a film based on Shaw’s personal letters.
“The Right Stuff” (1983) – The film charts American progress and innovation, from Chuck Yeager’s barrier-breaking flight to John Glenn’s part in the original U.S. Mercury 7 space mission.
“Apollo 13″ (1995) – Few things are as American as the NASA space program. And the American spirit was tested with the disaster of the Apollo 13 mission.
“Patton” (1970) – George C. Scott’s portrayal of Gen. George Patton will forever stand as one of the great pieces of acting in movie history. His “blood and guts” opening speech in front of a giant American flag still inspires.
MOVIE: “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942)
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS (WON): Best Actor (James Cagney) Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture) and Best Sound (Recording). OTHER NOMINATIONS: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Walter Huston), Best Director (Michael Curtiz), Best Film Editing and Best Writing (Original Story).
STORYLINE: Cagney stars as Broadway showman George M. Cohan, famous for star-spangled patriotic tunes such as ” You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Over There” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
NOTES: “Yankee Doodle Dandy” begins with Cohan impersonating FDR onstage when he’s summoned to the White House by the president himself and asked for his life story. The flashbacks begin with Cohan’s birth on the Fourth of July.
TRIVIA: Fred Astaire was first offered the leading role but turned it down … This was the first black and white movie to be colorized using a controversial computer-applied process. Despite widespread opposition to the practice by many film aficionados, stars and directors, the movie won over a sizeable section of the public on its re-release … Cagney won his only Oscar for his portrayal of Cohan.