Sunday, July 3, 2011

Five Film Favorites for the Fourth of July

By Zoe Portman, BMFI Intern

To commemorate America’s Independence Day and spark that patriotic spirit, here are five films that celebrate America and inspire that fourth of July feeling.

1) Independence Day (1996)
Starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman, Independence Day is the story of an alien invasion of Earth launched in the days preceding America’s Independence Day. Nothing screams American patriotism like blatant xenophobia and making the rest of the world celebrate our independence. No wonder this was a #1 hit!                                         

2) Air Force One (1997)
Get off my plane!

Harrison Ford is the President of the United States, flying home on Air Force One from a conference in Russia. All he wants to do is relax with his wife and daughter, and watch the football game. However, his plans are disrupted when the plane is hijacked by Soviet radicals, led by Gary Oldman. Can good old American know-how defeat these highly trained military terrorists?

3) Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Starring James Cagney as the singer/songwriter/performer George M. Cohan, Yankee Doodle Dandy is the story of Cohan’s contribution to World War I morale, told in flashback as his patriotic songs are revived for World War II. James Cagney won a Best Actor Academy Award for portraying the song-and-dance man.

4) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Jefferson Smith, a Boy Ranger leader filled with idealistic patriotism, accidently discovers political corruption in the senate. Despite his naivety, he refuses to back down, instead fighting for the American values he believes in. Even in the wake of recent political corruption and scandals, this Frank Capra classic is sure to inspire faith in America. 

5) Good Night and Good Luck (2005)
In the same vein as All the President’s Men, Good Night and Good Luck shows how honest reporting can shine through the darkness of fear and hysteria. Edward R. Murrow, already famous and beloved for his radio reports during the London Blitz, decides to attack Senator Joseph McCarthy’s fear tactics during the height of the Red Scare. This film is a testament to the power of the press.

Zoe Portman is a Film Studies student entering her fourth year at Hampshire College, currently interning at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

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