Happy 4th of July to all our fellow Americans here on the Awards Circuit. As our readership is full of international men and women from all around the world, we salute any of your independence days if you celebrate it. This is also a special shout out to all our service men and women who continue to protect so I can have the ability to type this very sentence.
There are many films that have come out over the years that celebrate America in all her glory and where she’s come from. Listed below are my ten favorite films (in no particular order) that celebrate independence and America. Feel free to share your own take on the subject either for here or your own country.
Independence Day (1996)
This is the most obvious choice on a day like today. The film is a good split of funny, captivation, train wreck, and terrible cheesy dialogue. Featuring an all-star cast that includes Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, and the great Bill Pullman, the film is “popcorn movie” at its best. It’s pure entertainment. The script is near god-awful, the special effects are pretty awesome, and some actors are showing up to work, while others are just there. The film celebrates that if alien spaceships come to earth, Roland Emmerich thinks that Americans will be the first ones to figure out how to destroy them. How can you not be more patriotic when you’re from Germany? By the way, did you know there’s a presumed sequel on the horizon?
The famous speech from the film:
Letters from Iwo Jima/Flags of our Fathers (2006)
It’s hard not to include one without the other even though Letters from Iwo Jima is leaps and bounds better than its American counterpart. Clint Eastwood constructed the famous battle with two perspectives put in place. In Flags of our Fathers, the only success given to the film is the powerful and touching performance of Adam Beach as Ira Hayes. The films show America and Japan in their darkest times doing the darkest tasks.
Look at the footage:
United 93 (2006)
The greatest American tragedy that ever occurred on our own soil is portrayed in the most respectful and dignified way. We will never know what happened on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania but what we do know is that humanity can surprise us every now and again because of Paul Greengrass’ spectacular film. It’s the perfect example of unity, just simple and beautiful.
I just watched the ending again, it still makes me cry every single time. I keep praying for a different ending every time I watch it. I really wish there was:
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Oliver Stone is the King of Conspiracy Theories and attempting to “reveal” the truth in most films he produces. Stone is always at his best when he’s not “preachy” or trying to reveal “the man.” In Born on the Fourth of July, now only does he get one of Tom Cruise’s best performances to date, he gives a decent depiction of Vietnam’s aftermath.
Check out this powerful scene, “Thou Shall Not Kill”
All the President’s Men (1976)
Alan J. Pakula’s masterpiece starring the great Robert Redford and the great Dustin Hoffman in the prime of their careers. Not only was it among one of the best Oscar lineups for Best Picture in any year, it delivered a polarizing story of betrayal from our very own leader. Though politicians are likely no better now than when Nixon was in office, the standard is set for what America deserves in a leader.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Racism, interracial relations, and the power of being a parent. Robert Mulligan’s To Kill a Mockingbird had it all. Delivering Gregory Peck in the performance of his career, this powerful film shows America’s ugliest nook and crannies with a few “Gem’s” in the mix. I hope America can one day, likely when I’m dead and gone, be accepting to all races and cultures, in every part of this beautiful country. I will forever mirror my parental skills after Atticus Finch. I will teach my Sophia to always be tolerant and to always exude love, even in the most hated situations.
Atticus’ Closing Statement says it all:
A League of their Own (1992)
A film about women, directed by a woman. A League of their Own remains one of my favorite sports films of all-time and a great directorial effort by Penny Marshall. Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and Madonna are all fantastic in their roles. We tend to forget that women still have a rough time in our country making in either the corporate world, military, or simply being a single mom raising four kids.
Tom Hanks says it best in this scene:
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Tom Hanks, you were so great. Steven Spielberg, you were so great. I want these two to make it back their roots when they were unstoppable and delivering film after film, performance after performance. The opening scene alone is a salute to every service man or woman who fights even when it hurts. America is a better place now but we can never forget the people now or the people sixty years ago that fought to make it better.
Forrest Gump (1994)
I can’t say anything more than what wasn’t already said in my Top Ten Greatest piece. Forrest Gump is America and walks us through some of the finest moments in our nation’s history.
“I Gotta Pee.”
the Italian Stallion. Rocky represents any person not born into fortune that always feels like the underdog. Even now, the Awards Circuit is the underdog in this industry but we will keep fighting and we will come up on top. Rest assured, we are the best Oscar/Film/Entertainment site on the web! We are the American dream!
Rocky vs. Apollo Creed
What does this day mean to you? Include your favorites in the comment section!
Tags: All the President's Men, Born on the Fourth of July, Clint Eastwood, Editor, Forrest Gump, Independence Day, letters from iwo jima, Oliver Stone, Rocky, Roland Emmerich, Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone, To Kill a Mockingbird, tom hanks, Top Ten