It’s hot. For many of us, it’s too hot these days. Although much of what we love about Independence Day takes place outside (backyard barbecues and fireworks, anyone?), we do confess that we are also looking forward to spending some time indoors. Our plan? A patriotic movie marathon inspired by the Great Film Directors stamps.
We can’t let Independence Day pass without watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington(1939), Frank Capra’s story of Jefferson Smith, an idealistic young senator played by James Stewart who confronts political corruption. Smith’s impassioned filibuster still makes the heart soar. The movie received several Academy Award nominations, including one for Capra’s direction.
John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln(1939) tells the story of Abraham Lincoln as a 20-something lawyer. The film, which stars Henry Fonda, focuses on Lincoln’s defense of two young men accused of murder in 1830s Illinois. Ford’s affection for the U.S. and our 16th President shines through the entire film, no more so than during the march of the veterans of the Revolution.
Based on the novel by Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1951) was directed by John Huston and starred Audie Murphy (a World War II veteran) as a young Civil War soldier full of hopes and fears. Though doubting his own courage in the face of battle, Murphy’s character must dig deep and find it inside himself to continue.
For a portrait of a man going against the odds to become an American hero, you can’t go wrong with The Spirit of St. Louis(1957). Directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh, the film traces Lindbergh’s quest to fly non-stop from New York to Paris in 1927, a trip that took more than 30 hours. (Did you know that early in life, Lindbergh was an airmail pioneer? Watch the movie and see!)
Don’t see your favorite? Leave a comment with your favorite patriotic movies by the Great Film Directors.
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