Movie Friday: Independence Day Edition

On this day in 1776 the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, and in so doing broke off its ties to Britain and renounced the rule of King George III in favor of a Republican government run by and for the people.

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Relations between the American colonists and the Mother country had been shaky for years, but things came to a head on March 5, 1770 when British Soldiers opened fire on unarmed colonists, killing 3 men and wounding 8 others. Many historians view the Boston Massacre as the spark that started the war for America’s Independence.

In an epic struggle that began with defiant acts of resistance, like dumping British tea into the Boston Harbor, the war ended when the two sides signed the Treaty of Paris. The success of the Revolution and America as an independent country was always up in the air. But the Founding Fathers made the bold decision to break away from Britain, and they fought for a long, hard 7 years and 11 months to claim their—and consequently, our—Independence.

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So on this Movie Friday we pay tribute to those brave men and women who stood up for our freedom. After you slap those burgers on the grill, take a break and enjoy our top 10 favorite patriotic flicks that demonstrate the amazing American spirit!


10. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

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In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy (Harrison Ford) is hired by the American government to locate the Ark of the Covenant and put an end to Hitler’s plan to make an invincible army. Defeating Hitler. That’s pretty American, right there. Don’t you think?

9. An American Tail

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Young Russian mouse, Fievel Mouskewitz (Phillip Glasser), and his family emigrated to the United States believing that there were no cats here. Fievel becomes separated from his family and must track them down in an unfamiliar country.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger

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America is fighting in World War II, and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is deemed too sickly to fight by the military. He agrees to undergo a secret experiment that turns him into an uber-muscular superhero, Captain America.

7. Abe Lincoln in Illinois

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Before he became the 16th President and lead the country through the bloodiest war waged on our soil, Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by Raymond Massey) establishes his reputation in Illinois before leaving to serve in Washington D.C.

6. Lone Survivor

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Based on the true story of Marcus Luttrell (portrayed by Mark Wahlberg), the SEAL and his team were sent on a mission to exterminate a dangerous Taliban leader.

5. Glory

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Also based on a true story Col. Robert Gould Shaw (portrayed by Matthew Broderick) volunteers to lead the first black company of soldiers during the Civil War.

4. National Treasure

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Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) must steal the Declaration of Independence in order to protect in from his wanton fellow treasure hunter, Ian Howe (Sean Bean).

3. The Patriot

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A simple farmer and hero of the French-Indian War, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is driven to join the Continental Army after British dragoon William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) burns the Martin plantation.

2. The Crossing

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Six months after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Army, under the command of George Washington (portrayed by Jeff Daniels) is suffering from a lack of food and weapons. In a last-ditch effort to turn the tide, General Washington sneaks his men across the Potomac on Christmas Eve to launch a surprise attack on the Hessians.

1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

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Head of the Boy Rangers in his hometown, and inexperienced as a politician, Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) is driven by traditional American ideals. His determination to stand up for what he believes in, even when it seems that the cause is lost, is an inspiration to us all.

For more Movie Friday features, check out our articles here.

Which All-American movie will you watch?

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