Fill yourself with hot dogs and grilled corn then take a break from the heat with a great 4th of July movie.
1. Born on the 4th of July
This is not the happiest film on the list but it is a classic. Tom Cruise stars as Ron Kovic, a real-life Vietnam War veteran who became a prominent antiwar activist after returning home paralyzed. Oliver Stone won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1989. Universal is releasing a new Blu-ray edition this week. Roger Ebert’s review.
2. Forrest Gump
This American epic starring Tom Hanks is fun to watch. The story spans several decades in the life of the slow-witted Alabama native Forrest Gump. His life is a roller coaster ride of disaster, humor and triumph, but such is life. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1994. Roger Ebert’s review
Watching Oscar winner George C. Scott play US General Patton is a treat. It is a 1970’s film which spans the life of Patton during World War II. It won 7 Academy Awards in 1971 including Best Picture and Best Actor. It is also on the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Films in the last 100 years. Roger Ebert’s Review
4. Yankee Doodle Dandy
This is a great family film full of classic American tunes such as “Yankee Doodle Boy,” “Over There” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” James Cagney plays real-life entertainer George M. Cohan. It traces his life as child-star in his family’s vaudeville show to the time he received a medal from the president for his special contributions to the USA. Cagney won the Academy Award in 1942 for Best Actor and it’s on the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Films in the last 100 years. Roger Ebert Review
You can hear the theme song in your head right now. This is the film that made Sylvester Stallone a star in 1976. It’s the story of the underdog fighter Rocky Balboa who is given his one shot in life to fight the heavy weight champ of the world. Rocky touches our core and exemplifies the American spirit. His love interest, played by Talia Shire, adds a sweetness to the film’s gritty story. It won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Roger Ebert Review
I’ve been pressured to add Independence Day and The Patriot to the list. So they are #6 & #7 on the list. There is controversy surrounding the accuracy of The Patriot but we can all agree that Independence Day is fiction.