Movies to Watch on July 4th


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
The Fourth of July or Independence Day is the main patriotic holiday in the United States of America, so obviously any patriotic American movie would be a good choice for a patriotic American to watch on the Fourth of July.

I suppose the most appropriate of countless patriotic American movies would be 1776 (1972) about the Declaration of Independence.

Because most Americans usually celebrate Independence Day or the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrations are seen in many American movies, and the better the movie, or the more someone likes it, and the more important the Fourth of July festivities are to the story, the more appropriate it would be to watch such a movie on July 4.

One famous example I can think of is Winchester '73 (1950), which begins at a Fourth of July Celebration in Dodge City, Kansas on July 4, 1876 (the centennial of the Declaration of Independence).

And a probably much more famous movie is connected with the fourth of July.

Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) is about a trip around the world in 80 days time, from 2 October 1872 to December 21, 1872. Around the World in Eighty Days - Wikipedia

But the famous movie Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) has a different chronology.

When the bet is made the dialog says:

"You engage to be back here in London in the Reform Club...On Saturday, September 21, at 8:45 PM."
"Right, gentlemen."

Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) Movie Script | SS

September 21 is equivalent to July 83. 83 minus 79 is 4, so Fogg should make the bet and start on July 4. Also the Bank of England is robbed the day before Fogg leaves, and later Fogg is falsely arrested for robbing the Bank of England on July 3.

So the Fourth of July is the anniversary of Phileas Fogg beginning his trip around the World in the 1956 movie version of Around the World in Eighty Days, which is a good reason for someone to watch the movie today.
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May 2011
New Iberia, La.
What is the best war movie to watch on the 4th of July? I suggest "Flags of Our Fathers". It helps you appreciate the men who died for our country, but also warns against blind patriotism.

BACK-STORY: “Flags of Our Fathers” is a war movie directed by Clint Eastwood. It was released in 2006. It is based on the bestseller by James Bradley and Ron Powers. The film tells the story of the famous flag-raising on Iwo Jima and the individual stories of the flag-raisers. It is the rare Hollywood production that not only came in under cost ($55 million compared to a budget of $80 million), but was filmed in almost half the time scheduled. Seventy six year old directors apparently don’t like to waste time or money. (This is movie making by your grumpy old grandpa.) The Iwo Jima beach scenes were filmed in Iceland. The film did well with critics, but performed weakly at the box office. It is a companion piece with “Letters from Iwo Jima” which Eastwood filmed the same year. “Flags” was nominated for Academy Awards for Sound and Sound Editing.

CRITIQUE: The structure of the film is interesting. It is a good example of the method of "in media res". This is when a director starts the movie in the middle or end and then uses flashbacks and flashforwards. “Flags” is very non-linear and actually follows three threads – the battle, the bond drive, and Bradley’s quest to research the book. This concept works well and is not confusing. The Bradley interviewing veterans scenes are the weakest, but necessary. One questionable decision was to reveal the three survivors early on. From that point on the suspense was not who would survive but how the other members of the squad would die.

There are several themes that pop up. One is the use of patriotism to manipulate individuals and the public as a whole. In this case the media is a willing partner of the government. We see the power of these two to create heroes. If you think things have changed, remember Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman? A second is the gap between the war front and the home front. What the soldiers face and what the home front is going through and what the home front imagines the soldiers are going through is a wide gap. I might add that although I doubt it was a conscious decision by the makers, the movie clearly contrasts the WWII home front involvement in the war with the lack of involvement of the home front during the Iraq War. Necessity versus ignorance. By far the biggest theme is “what is heroism?” The film strongly suggests that the three flag-raisers who died were heroes and the three survivors were not (which all three would have agreed with). This “only the dead were heroes” approach is standard, but belies reality. Bradley, for example, won the Navy Cross for his bravery in saving wounded. He was definitely a hero!

The movie is very technically sound. Eastwood is a great director and it shows in this movie. The cinematography is great. He uses a variety of shots. There is some off-center, hand-helds, and POVs. The scenes on the island are muted in color and this contrasts with the colorful home front scenes. The sound effects are amazing. This must have been close to the way the battle actually sounded. Eastwood’s soundtrack is sparse, but effective (like the man himself). Some good period songs (ex. “Any Bonds Today”) are included.

The acting is top notch. Adam Beach deserved an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Hayes. Bradford is also strong as the star-struck Gagnon. This “hero” takes a beating in the screenplay and I felt sorry for him. He is used to hammer home the theme that just raising a flag does not make you a hero. One good thing – Gagnon gets to make the strongest “we’re not the real heroes” comment in the film. The rest of the cast is solid.

The action is excellent. Once the bullets start flying, it’s very reminiscent of the “Saving Private Ryan” style and foreshadows combat in the miniseries “The Pacific”. The violence is graphic, but not outlandish. A flamethrower takes out a pill box. A severed head lands on Hayes. Horrific sights abound.

Jun 2018
New York
First one to pop into my head:

Same. What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July (aside from the usual celebrations) than with some good old fashioned alien extermination and the spirit of America in one campy movie.
Jul 2019
United States
I saw independence day, It's my favorite movie so far, after seeing this every time I get to know how to come back, I first time saw it in cinema by using coupons from Florida Ticket Station at Reecoupons, now this independence day I especially saw it with my family. :upsidedown::upsidedown: