From Independence Day to All The President's Men to even Legally Blonde (trust us on that one), we take at look at 10 movies that remind us how truly great our nation is.
1. Mr. Smith goes to Washington
Probably one of the first of its kind, Frank Capra's 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington emphasizes the power of the hopeful individual in America. A wide-eyed Mr. Smith is appointed to fill in for recently deceased Senator Foley. Mr. Smith realizes the corruption within the current state of American politics, and with the help of other hopeful individuals, restores justice.
2. Born on The Fourth of July
Based on the story of Ron Kovic, Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July exposes the lines that were blurred and the questions that were raised in the thick of the Vietnam War. Tom Cruise plays the at first patriotic Ron Kovic who returns to a polarized America after serving as a marine in Vietnam. Kovic begins to the question America's intentions in Vietnam, and publicly expresses his disapproval of the war he fought for. Stone's historical film thus begs the question of what it means to be a patriot for your country.
3. Blazing Saddles
Hurumph! Say what you will about this choice, but I personally believe that self-directed parody or satire is the mark of a free nation. This 70s gem pokes fun at the American Wild West by depicting a small American town where everyone's name seems to be Johnson, the ridiculous consumption of beans actually do make the cowboys gassy, and the perils of these small town civillians calls for a change of heart for some racist dwellers.
4. Independence Day
This 1996 blockbuster pretty much set the precedent for July 4th weekend releases, and still leaves us satisfied despite the dubious graphics. We watch Will Smith circa post Fresh Prince form an alliance with the President of the United States (Bill Pullman, yeah from Spaceballs) kick some alien butt on Independence Day.
5. All The President's Men
Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, All The President's Men emphasizes the importance of free press in America. The film follows two Washington Post reporters (Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) who investigate the infamous Watergate Scandal.
6. Little Miss Sunshine
I don't know about you, but Little Miss Sunshine filled my heart with some red, white, and blue fuzzies. Maybe it's the desolate, dry Albuquerque landscape, maybe it's Abigail Breslin's adorably plump four-eyed face- who knows. But this indie film portrays a changing America that makes me proud. The charming, albeit dysfunctional, Hoover family shows us different perceptions of beauty, love, and happiness that bring us an extremely unique underdog story.
Steven Spielberg's two-time Academy Award winning historical film tells one of the most important stories of American history. Spielberg places us in the thick of the Civil War, and shares Abraham Lincoln's story as he fights to emancipate the slaves of a divided America.
8. Legally Blonde
This may be a stretch, but I think that Elle Woods' journey from sorority girl to Yale law student is definitely indicative of how hard work and determination can get you where you want. Also, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde was actually released on July 4th, so ha!
9. Forrest Gump
Probably the underdog film of all underdog films, Forrest Gump teaches us that courage, character, and care can sometimes outweigh ability. As Forrest navigates his way through his childhood, and then adulthood, he finds himself in extraordinary situations that also show us some of America's profound cultural moments.
10. Wet Hot American Summer
What would America be without good times and summer camp? Wet Hot American Summer definitely celebrates this light-heartedness, and shows that we know how to have a good time!