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Ten Movies to Celebrate Independence Day

Independence Day
Independence Day
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

No invitation to a picnic? Or fireworks? Weather keeping you inside?

Or even if you have all of those options but would rather spend your weekend in your pajamas eating junk food and staring at the television screen, here are some great movies choices to celebrate your freedom to watch a darn movie even if the sun is out.

American has a great history of patriotism on film. Whether it's the story of American actors who left their careers to enlist in World War II or the stories that have been told over and over of the fight to gain, and retain, the freedom that makes this country great. The silver screen has done a good, and sometimes bad, job of telling that story.

What you think good or bad is for you to decide. Here's a list of ten options.

Because, this is America.

Independence Day
Independence Day Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Independence Day

Independence Day
1996
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia and Randy Quaid
When aliens invade the earth, humankind shows that their best weapon is the will to survive. Besides, didn't you always want Bill Pullman to be your President?
Academy Award winner for Best Effects/Visual Effects
Nominated for Best Sound

Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
- President Thomas Whitmore (Pullman)

Coming to America
Coming to America Eddie Murphy Productions, Paramount Pictures

Coming to America

Coming to America
1988
Directed by John Landis
Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos and Madge Sinclair.
See the wonders of this country through the eyes of an African prince and his faithful servant. The prince comes to Queens in search of a wife.
Nominated for two Academy Awards for Best costume Design and Best Makeup

Look... me and the McDonald's people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're McDonald's... I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.
- Cleo McDowell (Amos)

The Patriot
The Patriot Columbia Pictures Corporation

The Patriot

The Patriot
2000
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Starrting Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson and Jason Isaacs
Well, just because.
While he wished to stay out of the American Revolutionary War, Benjamin Martin, a peaceful farmer leads the Colonial Militia after his son is murdered by a sadistic British officer.
Nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Cinematography, Best Music/Original Score, Best Sound

Would you tell me please, Mr. Howard, why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away for three thousand tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as a king can.
- Benjamin Martin (Gibson)

National Treasure
National Treasure Walt Disney Pictures

National Treasure

National Treasure
2004
Directed by John Turteltaub
Starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel and Christopher Plummer
It's a race to find the legendary Templar Treasure before it is discovered by a team of mercenaries.

Of all the ideas that became the United States, there's a line here that's at the heart of all the others. "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security."
- Ben Gates (Cage)

Red Dawn
Red Dawn United Artists

Red Dawn

Red Dawn
1984
Directed by John Milius
Starring Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey
when a mid-western town is invaded by Soviet forces as the beginning of World War III, a small band of teenagers fights back. Wolverines!

"... In the early days of World War 3, guerillas - mostly children - placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth."
Painted on "Partisan Rock" and the last words of the film.

Yankee Doodle Dandy
Yankee Doodle Dandy Warner Brothers

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy
1942
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie and Walter Huston
The life story of George M. Cohan, composer, playwright, actor, singer and dancer who actually was born on the third of July.
Winner of three Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Cagney), Best Sound/Recording, Best Music/Scoring of a Musical Picture
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Writing/Original Story, Best Film Editing

My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you.
- George M. Cohan (Cagney)

Jaws
Jaws Universal Pictures

Jaws

Jaws
1975
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss
What's more patriotic than sharks on the beach for Fourth of July weekend? A police chief, a marine scientist and a fisherman set out to deal with a great white shark terrorizing a small island town.
Winner of three Academy Awards for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Music - Original Dramatic Score
Nominated for Best Picture

You're gonna need a bigger boat.
- Brody (Scheider)

Glory
Glory TriStar Pictures

Glory

Glory
1989
Directed by Edward Zwick
Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman
Based on the true stor of Robert Gould Shaw leading the Civil War's first all-black volunteer company. The film shows that prejudice was not just a southern trait.
Winner of three Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Washington), Best Cinematography, Best Sound.
Nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Film Editing

I ain't much about no prayin', now. I ain't never had no family, and... killed off my mama. Well, I just... Y'all's the onliest family I got. I love the 54th. Ain't even much a matter what happens tomorrow, 'cause we men, ain't we?
Trip (Washington), the night before the 54th heads into battle.

Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan Dreamworks SKG

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan
1998
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Tom Hanks along with vin Diesel, Matt Damon and Ted Danson
After the landing at Normandy a group of U.S. soldiers are tasked with going behind enemy lines to rescue a young soldier, the last surviving brother in a family.
Winner of five Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Effects Sound Effects Editing
Nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor (Hanks)

My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I wasn't sure how I'd feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I've earned what all of you have done for me.
An Older James Ryan at the Grave of Captain John H. Miller

How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won Metro-Goldwyn Mayer

How the West Was Won

How the West was Won
1962
Directed by John Ford and Henry Hathaway
An all star cast including: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, Eli Wallach, Richard Widmark, Walter Brennan, Agnes Morehead, Harry Morgan, Thelma Ritter and narrated by Spencer Tracy
A Hollywood epic film like you don't see anymore. The story follos the Prescott family through four generations from traveling down the Erie Canal all the way to the west coast. Lilith, played by Debbie Reynolds survives to see the family journey after her parents drown and the country endures the Civil War.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen, Best Sound, Best Film Editing
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Cinematography/Color, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration/Color, Best Costume Design/Color, Best Music/Score-Substantiall Original

The west was won by its pioneers, settlers, adventurers is long gone now. Yet it is theirs forever, for they left tracks in history that will never be eroded by wind or rain - never plowed under by tractors, never buried in compost of events. Out of the hard simplicity of their lives, out of their vitality, of their hopes and sorrows grew legends of courage and pride to inspire their children and their children's children. From soil enriched by their blood, out of their fever to explore and be, came lakes where once there were burning deserts - came the goods of the earth; mine and wheat fields, orchards and great lumber mills. All the sinews of a growing country. Out of their rude settlements, their trading posts came cities to rank among the great ones of the world. All the heritage of a people free to dream, free to act, free to mold their own destiny.
-final narrative by Spencer Tracy