Hollywood movies have time and again come up with some great patriotic films. Whether it’s Tom Cruise’s ‘Top Gun’ or Jessica Chastain in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ or Will Smith in ‘Independence Day’ – Hollywood filmmakers have never disappointed to bring the thrill in their patriotic films.
As the United States celebrates its Independence Day today on the 4th of July, here’s taking a look at some such popular patriotic movies that one can watch to commemorate this day.
'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington' (1939)
In this classic film, legendary filmmaker Frank Capra celebrates and portrays pre-war Americana and pride. Jefferson Smith, the leader of the Boy Rangers, is chosen to replace a dying senator, but his naïve political ambitions are overwhelmed by Washington corruption and big business. The senator battles his colleagues diligently, finally mounting a 24-hour filibuster that leads in his fainting but eventual success. Mr. Smith, a classic American underdog triumph tale, is widely regarded as one of the finest films of all time.
‘The Longest Day' (1962)
Back in 1944, the United States Army and its allies planned a massive assault landing in Normandy, France. Regardless of the bad weather, General Eisenhower issues the order, and the forces land as General Norma Cota (Robert Mitchum) arrives to Omaha Beach with his men. The forces venture deep into French territory to try to overthrow Adolf Hitler and the German Wehrmacht after a lot of hard effort and men dying.
'Top Gun' (1986)
Maverick (Tom Cruise), a hotshot pilot, is sent to Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School, where his arrogant conduct earns him some enemies, especially Iceman (Val Kilmer). Maverick and Iceman are assigned with retrieving a communications ship that has strayed into unfriendly waters after being hit by lightning. In the end, Maverick wins Charlie's (Kelly McGillis') heart and returns to Top Gun as an instructor. Top Gun: Maverick, which will be published in May 2022, will see Cruise and Kilmer reprise their roles.
This star-studded production portrays the inspiring narrative of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the Civil War's first all-black volunteer unit. The infantry (featuring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman) is led by Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) and confronts racism from Union soldiers as well as Confederate attacks. Five Oscar nominations and three wins were given to the film, including best supporting actor for Washington.
'Born On The Fourth Of July' (1989)
Though the critical undertones of Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July are not as patriotic or all-American as those of other films on this list, the film is patriotic for addressing and redefining American patriotism. The film follows Kovic (Tom Cruise) from his naive adolescent years to his eye-opening tour in Vietnam, when he was crippled, to his anti-war activism in the mid-'70s, and is based on Ron Kovic's memoir of the same name.
'Independence Day' (1996)
The title is self-explanatory. When the globe is overrun by an alien invasion, it's up to America, commanded by a fighter pilot (Will Smith), a scientist (Jeff Goldblum), and the President of the United States (Bill Pullman), to push the aliens out on the Fourth of July. The blockbuster directed by Roland Emmerich symbolised American confidence in the 1990s, riding spectacular explosions and theatrical speeches to a worldwide box office total of nearly $800 million. In 2016, a sequel was released.
‘Air Force One' (1997)
President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) and his family (Wendy Crewson and Liesel Matthews) board Air Force One after giving a speech in Moscow declaring that he will never deal with terrorists. Once in the air, a terrorist cell commanded by Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman) hijacks the plane, forcing the president, an ex-soldier, to arrange an escape for his family and everyone else on board.
'Saving Private Ryan' (1998)
Saving Private Ryan was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Hanks as US Army Captain John H. Miller, who leads his team on a mission to rescue James Ryan (Matt Damon), the last-surviving brother of four, and deliver him home to his mother. The film starts with a 30-minute furious, well-shot account of D-Day and never lets up. Saving Private Ryan was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won five of them.
'Black Hawn Down' (2001)
In 1993, US Special Forces were dispatched in Black Hawk helicopters to Somalia to remove the government and provide food and help to the hungry populace; however, two of the helicopters were destroyed by an unexpected strike. Once on the ground, US forces must fight for their lives while being fired at.
'We Were Soldiers' (2002)
The film depicts the first major fight between US and North Vietnamese soldiers, and is based on the best-selling book We Were Soldiers Once... and Young by Lt. General Harold G. Moore and writer Joseph L. Galloway. This Mel Gibson film depicts the valour and sacrifice of men and women both at home and at war.
When extremists storm the US embassy in Tehran, Iran, and kidnap 66 Americans, six of them slip through the cracks and seek refuge with the Canadian ambassador. The US government orders extractor Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to save them, knowing it is just a matter of time until they are apprehended and executed. Mendez's plan to return to Tehran is to pose as a Hollywood producer researching locations and training refugees as members of his film crew.
After another year of high casualties in the Civil Conflict, President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel-Day Lewis) utilises his passion and expertise to produce his defining legacy: the 13th Amendment, which ends the war and abolishes slavery. Despite the criticism, Lincoln continues to work for a better country and a better future for all of humanity.
‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (2012)
Following the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden became the most sought man in the planet. While the global hunt for Bin Laden consumes the attention and resources of two US presidential administrations, the work of one female operator (Jessica Chastain) holds the key to locating the terrorist. After knowing of his whereabouts, Navy SEALs plot a midnight raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 11, 2011.
'American Sniper' (2014)
US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) has saved hundreds of lives as one of the most deadly snipers in American history. Kyle served four deployments in Iraq despite being a prominent target of the Iraqis and having a wife and children, but after he returns home, he can't get the war out of his head.
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ (2016)
The Conscientious Objector, a 2004 documentary, served as the inspiration for Hacksaw Ridge. Desmond Doss, an American pacifist combat medic who, as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refused to carry or use any weapon or rifle during World War II, is the subject of the film. During the Battle of Okinawa, Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty.