Thought I'd give everyone a head start on movies you might like to consider watching that portray part of the American story. We checked over a dozen websites for their lists of patriotic movies and this is a compilation of some of those and their descriptions (not ours).
After scrawny everyman Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is deemed unfit for military service during World War II, he signs up for a top-secret project that physically transforms him into a Nazi-fighting superhero.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Idealistic Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) is appointed on a lark to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate. He's confronted with crooked politicians and corrupt practices in Washington, but he refuses to give up fighting for a democratic government, for the people and by the people. The Oscar-winning film was attacked by Congress at the time, but is now hailed as a quintessential whistleblower film that shows deep love for America's democratic heritage.
Yankee Doodle Dandy ( Turner Entertainment ) It's the all-American rags-to-riches story of George M. Cohan, an entertainment legend. Tracing his start in vaudeville to his retirement and comeback, the film was a huge spectacle in the grand tradition of movie musicals, filled with dancing and catchy songs. James Cagney gave an Oscar-winning performance, and it didn't hurt that the film came out as the country rallied behind patriotic themes after Pearl Harbor was bombed.
The Sandlot (20th Century Fox )
This classic coming-of-age kids' movie is saturated with American nostalgia, depicting a summer full of swimming in the public pool, telling ghost stories at treehouse sleepovers, and playing baseball by the light of Fourth of July fireworks.
Forrest Gump (Paramount Pictures)
Tom Hanks stars as Forrest, a man who may be a little slow when it comes to intellectual capacity, but lives his life to the fullest. He represents the U.S. as a soldier in Vietnam and as an international table tennis champion, but his most important contribution to the people may have been his ability to unify the country with his simple act of running coast to coast, imparting common-sense wisdom as he went along.
A boy (Nick Stahl) who must save his father's farm teams up with a legion of American legends, including Paul Bunyan (Oliver Platt), Pecos Bill (Patrick Swayze) and John Henry (Roger Aaron Brown).
Independence Day (20th Century Fox )
What could be more patriotic than Americans defending their homeland on the Fourth of July? The movie kicks off July 2 when an alien mothership deploys 36 saucers to hover menacingly above the world's most populated cities. Heroes emerge as the extraterrestrials attack, including President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and Marine Corps Capt. Steven Hiller (Will Smith, pictured). By July 4, the unlikely pair and their fellow survivors are ready to launch an attack of their own.
Saving Private Ryan (Paramount Pictures )
After storming the beaches of Normandy, a company, lead by Capt. John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) sets out to find a missing soldier. Going behind enemy lines, they search for Pvt. 1st Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), whose brothers were lost in the war. Despite losing men of their own, the soldiers continue their search.
Mel Gibson plays normal, goodhearted farmer Benjamin Martin, living with his family in Colonial times during the American Revolution. But when a British officer kills his son, he grabs his trusty axe and joins the military effort, helping take out the unwanted forces occupying his lands.
National Treasure (Buena Vista Pictures)
Nicolas Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, a fifth-generation treasure hunter who travels the globe pursuing an impressive war chest, which was hidden, forgotten and rediscovered by the crusading medieval knights who eventually spawned the Freemasons. However, the map to this national treasure is written with invisible ink on the very document that helped the colonists break from the British.
John Adams (HBO )
This Golden Globe and Emmy-winning TV miniseries about our second president, John Adams (Paul Giamatti), and his role in establishing the United States starts with the Boston Massacre and ends with his death on July 4, 1826, 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
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