ByJohnathan Kemp Ball, writer at Creators.co
Johnathan Kemp Ball

For Americans the Fourth of July commemorates our declaration of independence from a European regime. Giving power to a representative republic which governs itself and empowers the individual to strive for their own successes and failures in life. America is considered to be “The Great Experiment” in world history. So to help celebrate Independence Day, I have provided some great films that commemorate such acts and hopefully inspire you.

To quote John Adams "I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival... it ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations {fireworks} from one end of this continent to the other...” Now on to the list.


You cannot celebrate the 4th without films portraying the American Revolutionary War. One of our longest wars in American History. Mel Gibson’s The Patriot is a great starting place for the war. The battles are epic and the desperation of fighting a guerrilla war in the southern colonies is captured very well. Two mini-series that encompass the entire era HBO’s John Adams and CBS’s 1980’s mini-series George Washington (which is no longer in print, but you can buy DVD rips of the VHS tapes) which covers Washington’s entire life and is considered to be one of the best portrayals of him on screen. My Netflix pick is about the first skirmish of the war titled April Morning. These films will help you get a taste of what the founders of this country accomplished.


Films that embody America and have inspired generations are great for remembering our founding and our Heroes who have sacrificed so much to preserve liberty across the globe. The iconic Patton played by George C. Scott is a cinematic masterpiece, giving one of the greatest speeches in film history. The epic battle of San Juan HIll in John Millius’s Rough Riders has the greatest portrayal of Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. Performed by Tom Berenger.

Since I mentioned John Milius let us not forget Red Dawn (both original and remake) is a great reminder for America’s youth. Last but never least is the one man who will forever be identified with America and that is the one and only “Duke” John Wayne. You could probably just pick any of his films but to hand pick a few Sands of Iwo Jima, The Green Berets, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and a family favorite McClintock.


If violence and battlefields bore you and you want something more for the homefront, have no fear; I have a few titles for you. The Best Years Of Our Lives about three WWII veterans coming home after the war. This is a must see for any military family. A Hallmark film called An American Story which is based on actual events. This film is about veterans who come home from the war find that their town has been corrupted by crooked politicians and war profiteers. Jimmy Stewart’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the all inspiring tale of good man comes to corrupted government. Second Hand Lions is a great family film about teaching a young boy about becoming a man. Finally a true story that can only happen in America is Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happiness, a wonderful reminder of what America is famous for, the place where anyone achieve greatness no matter their race, religion, or status.


There are many more films out there, but I hope this helps you understand why we celebrate Independence Day. “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”

― John Adams


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