The 4th of July – every year it means barbecue, fireworks, and parades as we celebrate our nation’s birth. Consider checking out of any the following movies this holiday weekend to help get you into the patriotic mood.
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) Based on the 1936 novel of the same name. Newlyweds Gil (Henry Fonda) and Lana Martin (Claudette Colbert) try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley right on the eve of the Revolutionary War and soon find themselves menaced by Indians and a group of Tories led by a man named Caldwell (John Carradine). Directed by the legendary John Ford it was his first color feature and garnered two Academy Award nominations; Best Supporting Actress for Edna May Oliver and Best Cinematography.
The Devil’s Disciple (1959) Based on the George Barnard Shaw play of the same name. Family Black Sheep Dick Dudgeon (Kirk Douglas) takes the place of local minister Anthony Anderson (Burt Lancaster) when British troops led by General Burgoyne (Laurence Oliver) come calling to find out who removed the body of Dick’s father (mistakenly hanged as a rebel) from the local gallows. A combination of comedy, drama, and romance, marked by Shaw’s trademark wit AND one of the films starring the dynamic duo of Douglas and Lancaster on screen together.
1776 (1972) No we’re not talking about the restaurant in Georgetown here, but the acclaimed movie musical directed by Peter Hunt (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Touched by an Angel) telling of the Continental Congress’s political struggle to declare independence. Starring William Daniels (St. Elsewhere, Boy Meets World) as John Adams, and Ken Howard (Michael Clayton, The Judge) as Thomas Jefferson it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, a Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical, and won the National Board Review award as one of the year’s Ten Best Films.
The Crossing (2000) This dramatization of Washington’s crossing the Delaware river to win the battle of Trenton was directed by Robert Harmon of The Hitcher and Blue Bloods. Starring Jeff Daniels (Looper, Pleasantville, Terms of Endearment) as General Washington and Roger Rees (The Prestige, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as General Hugh Mercer. It won the Peabody Award for Excellence.
John Adams (2008) All about the life of John Adams, one of our Founding Fathers, the second president of the United States and how he shaped the first fifty years of our nation. Ok it’s an 7 part HBO mini-series rather than a movie, (and 500 minutes long) but it has to be included for its sheer quality. It won four Golden Globe Awards; Best Actor for Paul Giamatti in the title role, Laura Linney as Abigail Adams, Tom Wilkinson for Best Supporting Actor as Benjamin Franklin, and Best Mini Series as well as thirteen Emmy Awards including Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Supporting Actor, and Outstanding Mini Series.
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