Best 4th of July Movies

sandlot

The famous 4th of July scene from “The Sandlot” (1993).

It’s that time of year again. Time to bring out the burgers, apple pie, cupcakes, candy, and American flags. It’s the 4th of July, the one day of the year when we can grill out, set off fireworks, and enjoy being an American (well we can do that every day). But for all the parades, pool parties, and bonfires there’s a lot of great movies that make the 4th of July truly American. Here’s the top four 4th of July movies.

4. Rocky IV (1985):

This list could pick from any of the first four Rocky films as a top 4th of July movie, but “Rocky IV” is one of the greatest American pride films ever. Made during the Cold War, Sylvester Stallone plays Rocky Balboa who comes out of retirement to avenge the death of his friend Apollo Creed who is killed in the ring by the cold Russian boxer Ivan Drago. From the Apollo Creed walk in to James Brown’s “Living in America” to the red, white, and blue boxing shorts, Rocky IV is one of the most heroic “us versus them” stories of American victory and success. Play the “Rocky IV” soundtrack  at your 4th of July party to make your celebration the most epic and American holiday ever.

3. The Patriot (2000):

Sure Mel Gibson is crazy. But he’s crazy awesome as Benjamin Martin, the wealthy colonial landowner and war hero that reluctantly takes up arms in the Revolutionary War to protect his family. Although the film’s historical accuracy is far from respectable, Mel Gibson still encapsulates the courage and pride of being an American at our nation’s infancy. Plus this scene is awesome.

2. The Sandlot (1993):

America’s pastime is no better portrayed in its adolescence form than “The Sandlot”. The story is of a 1960s group of rag tag friends that play baseball together at a local sandlot. Through the eyes of main character Scotty Smalls, a new kid with low self confidence, the baseball gang goes through the joyous exploits and adventures of a suburban American summer. One of the most famous scenes of the film is when the boys play a night game under the lights of 4th of July fireworks. The montage of them playing is underscored by Ray Charles’ “America the Beautiful”. “The Sandlot” is a romantic American tale of friendship, adventure, growing up, and baseball. What’s more American than that?

1. Independence Day (1996):

It’s not just the name that makes “Independence Day” the best 4th of July film of all time, it’s the spirit behind the film. When aliens invade the world, only the United States can save everybody. Thanks to a swashbuckling pilot Will Smith, always quirky Jeff Goldblum as a hippie IT guy, and a really cool president, the United States not only survives the alien invasion but they are the country that figures out how to beat them. Bill Pullman’s speech on the 4th of July before the Americans attack the aliens is one of the greatest (and cheesy) rah-rah movie speeches of all-time. “Didn’t I promise you fireworks?”

 

Guest post by Dan Galany, a movie enthusiast and representative of  Chatham Gables Inn.