So it's July 4 and you've got the day off. Friends and family coming over. Food is, uh, bending the table. And it is pouring outside. Got lightening and thunder? Great storm but kind of a highly improbable day for fireworks.
Plan B: Sign in to Netflix and move the party inside!
We couldn't limit ourselves to just a Top 10 list of July 4 movies, so here's the skinny of some great films to feel patriotic by. And if you are wondering why we included a horse story, then you haven't seen Sea Biscuit, a story about American spirit at its best.
* Gutts and Glory
|Scene from The Great Escape (production still)|
1. The Great Escape
1963. Not rated.
The then-not-so-famous author James Clavell wrote the screenplay. Pretty cool! Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough. Unbelievably, it did not win any Oscars.
2. A Few Good Men
Starring Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Keifer Sutherland, Jack Nicholson.
3. Air Force One
Starring Harrison and Glenn Close.
4. Courage Under Fire
Directed by Edward Zwick. Starring Meg Ryan, Denzel Washington and Lou Diamond Phillips.
5. Men of Honor
Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert De Niro and Charlize Theron. This is based on the true story of Carl Brashear, the Navy's first African-American diver.
(includes some guns along with the romance)
|Top Gun (production still)|
1. Top Gun
Starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis.
2. The American President
Starring Michael Douglas, Annette Benning and Martin Sheen.
3. Pearl Harbor
Starring Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett.
* Family Fun
|Sea Biscuit (production still)|
1. Sea Biscuit
Starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, and Elizabeth Banks.
2. National Treasure
Starring Nicolas Cage, Harvey Keitel, Diane Kruger and Jon Voight. This is an adventure centering around a mystery related to the Declaration of Independence.
3. National Treasure II: Book of Secrets
Starring Nicolas Cage, Harvey Keitel, Diane Kruger and Jon Voight. This sequel is about President Lincoln's assassination.
4. Independence Day
Starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and the scene stealing Mary McDonnell.
* Any excuse for these classics ...
Based on a Pulitzer prize winning musical and starring Ken Howard, Blythe Danner, and Howard da Silva as Ben Franklin.
2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
1939. Not rated.
Directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart. If you have never seen this movie, maybe it's time.
3. All the President's Men
Based on the events surrounding Watergate and President Nixon's resignation from office. Starring Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein and Robert Redford as Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.
Based on the military personna of General Patton and starring George C. Scott in the title roll. It won 7 Oscars.
5. Yankee Doodle Dandy
1942. Not rated.
Based on the life of George M. Cohan, the song writer and composer who authored many of the patriotic songs we take for granted: Over There, It's a Grand Old Flag, etc. Starring James Cagney in an Oscar winning performance (one of 3 Oscars the film won).
* Documentary Bound
1. John Adams
This award-winning HBO mini series about the lawyer, the revolutionary and our second president, John Adams, stars Paul Giamatti in the title role. Laura Linney stars asAdams' beloved wife, Abigail Adams. The series won an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
2. The Revolution
This is a 10-part documentary series by The History Channel that is narrated by Kelsey Grammer. It includes reenactments of key battles.
3. Thomas Jefferson: View From the Mountain
In this documentary, Edward Hermann is the voice of Thomas Jefferson. Also includes Danny Glover and Sissy Spacek. This documentary explores the complexities of Jefferson's personality, his private conflicts versus his public personna. Specifically, it delves into his history with the slave Sally Hemmings.
4. Ben Franklin
A PBS mini series starring Colm Feore and Blair Brown. (For a list of all of Franklin's inventions, click here.)
5. Dolley Madison
This historical documentary (history presented in costume with historians insight) is produced by PBS' American Experience. True, Dolley Madison was not a contemporary of the Founding Fathers but she is considered our "first" First Lady, not least because she defended her home against the sacking of Washington, DC by the Brits. She kept her cool and grabbed a portrait of Gen. Washington on her way out so it would not fall into enemy hands.
Let It Fly!
To find find out how to fly the flag and other flag etiquette, see USFlagstore's Flag Etiquette 101 and USFlagstore's How to Fly the Flag at Half-Staff.