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7 Classic Fourth of July Movies

What better way to enjoy some quality family time over the Fourth of July holiday than to watch movies that celebrate the United States of America?

Feeling patriotic on the Fourth of July? Spend some quality family time watching movies that celebrate the United States of America.  This collection of classic films celebrates not only our country’s origins, but also some of the heroic individuals who have given their lives to make her great. You can find each of these films on disc, via live streaming, and if you check your listings, you’ll find a number of them airing on television.

William Daniels as John Adams and Howard da Silva as Benjamin Franklin in a scene from 1776

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This beloved 1972 musical humanizes the founding fathers, reminding us that they each had quirks and failings, but by bonding together and making sacrifices, they created a country like none that preceded it.

Raymond Massey pictured on a poster for the 1940 movie Abe Lincoln in Illinois

2 of 7 Abe Lincoln in Illinois

This 1940 portrait of, arguably, our greatest president celebrates the legend and lore of his amazing life. Star Raymond Massey went on to portay Honest Abe three more times in the course of his career.

Andre Braugher (far left) and Denzel Washington (center) are among those cast as members of the Civil War's first all-black volunteer company.

3 of 7 Glory

This memorable picture celebrates the heroic role that a battalion of  African-American volunteer soldiers played in preserving the union and fighting for their own inalienable rights. Violence and some language make this unsuitable for some viewers.

A 1942 poster for James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy

4 of 7 Yankee Doodle Dandy

This beloved 1942 biopic depicts the life and career of George M. Cohan, proud patriot—he composed the title song, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “Over There,” among many others—and a giant in the world of late 19th- and early 20th-century entertainment. Cohan was a playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer, and James Cagney does him a great turn.

A 1941 movie poster for Gary Cooper in Sergeant York

5 of 7 Sergeant York

Gary Cooper plays Alvin C. York, a devout Christian who applied for conscientious objector status during World War I. When that request was denied, he went on to become one of the most decorated soldiers in the First World War and a Medal of Honor recipient.

A 1939 movie poster for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, featuring James Stewart and Jean Arthur

6 of 7 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Jimmy Stewart, in one of his greatest roles, plays Jefferson Smith, an idealistic if naive average Joe who is selected to fill a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate. The power brokers behind him expect him to be an ineffectual dupe whom they can control, but when Smith sees widespread corruption in the halls of power, he sets out to do battle with them, mounting a memorable filibuster. One of director Frank Capra’s greatest efforts, Mr. Smith shows the power to achieve change that a committed individual can possess.

A 1946 poster for the movie The Best Years of Our Lives

7 of 7 Best Years of Our Lives

This classic 1946 film, directed by William Wyler, depicts the trials and travails of three World War II veterans, portrayed by Dana Andrews, Fredric March and Harold Russell, as they return to their families and civilian life. It illustrates the demands we make on those who protect our freedoms and the challenges they face when the fighting has ended. This acclaimed motion picture won seven Academy Awards, plus an honorary Oscar for Russell, who made his acting debut in the film. Here’s more budget-friendly summer fun for the family!

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