Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Spirit of ‘76

This Friday is Independence Day aka the 4th of July. Most of you will probably be having a three day weekend as the 4th has considerately landed on a Friday. Due to our growing gas prices, many are deciding to take stay-cations (stay at home vacations) instead of leaving town. Now, you know what my recommendation will be to fill those long summer hours. Watch a movie!!! (or two or three!). Here are a few of my favorite films that I watch to lift my American spirit:

1776: This movie version of the Broadway musical depicts the events leading up to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and our nation’s first 4th of July. Many of the song lyrics and parts of the dialog are based on actual correspondence of the time. American history has never been so much fun (Sit down, John!). (DVD)

Yankee Doodle Dandy: James Cagney portrays the legendary Broadway songwriter and performer George M. Cohan in this rousing, flag-waving classic. It is hard to remember Cagney’s gangster roles when you see him singing and tap dancing. But his gangster roles didn’t win him his first Academy Award, singing and dancing did (Cagney won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in this film). (VHS)

Glory: During the Civil War, Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) led the first all-black volunteer company. Glory is more about the struggle for individual dignity than it is about the mechanics of war. This film is a winner of five Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Denzel Washington. (DVD)

Independence Day: What could be more appropriate on Independence Day then, well, you know. Oddly enough, when I first saw this film, I didn’t really like it. Even odder might be the fact that although I didn’t like it, I kept watching it whenever it happened to be on television. I guess it grew on me. Will Smith, Presidential Bill Pullman and aliens. All you need to help celebrate our independence! (DVD)

Have a safe and sane 4th of July!!

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