Most of us will be cooking out and watching fireworks this Fourth of July, but just in case your festivities get rained out or you’re looking for something for the family to watch together, here are some of my favorite movies that celebrate our Independence Day and the quest for the American Dream.
[I am actually saving my very favorite movie about the American Dream and the immigrant experience for my DVD pick for this week, so check back later. In the meantime, feel free to start a discussion about your favorite 4th of July films in the comment box below.]
Avalon: This is a loving cinematic postcard to America as it tells the story of a man who emigrated to America on the 4th of July. It is als a sublte commentary on how family rituals and bonds have struggled and changed over the decades.
An American Tail : It’s not up to the quality of a Pixar film, but who can resist this story of a lovable Russian mouse, Fievel, who moves with his family to America because they are told that “There are no cats in America and the roads are paved with cheese.” Well, despite that false information, Fievel and family eventually end up loving their lives in their new home.
America’s Heart and Soul:Who knew Disney could also make great documentaries? This gem was sadly overlooked when it was released a few yeas ago, but there’s no excuse not to find this inspiring movie on DVD! The documentary is a musical montage that features stories from across the heartland of people who have defied the odds or followed the beat of a different drum.
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington: This JImmy Stewart flick is still the best movie ever made about the struggle bwteen cynicism and idealism in our government.
Rocky: it takes place during the U.S. Bicentennial, has Philly for a backdrop, and features the underdog as hero, not a bum. Hard to beat that for pop culture, American style.