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BellaOnline's Classic Film Editor

Classic Movies for Fourth of July

This is a list of five films that simultaneously celebrates American's independence, democracy and freedom while reminding us that we need to take care of America, just as much as she has taken care of us.

1. 1776 (1972). This is the fantastic film adaptation of the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical about the writing of America's Declaration of Independence. The film stars most of the principal actors of the original production including William Daniels as "John Adams," Howard Da Silva as "Benjamin Franklin" and Ken Howard as "Thomas Jefferson." Although some of the historical accuracy was substituted for dramatic purposes, most of what is accurate is based off of memoirs and diaries of the Founding Fathers. This film continues to remain a staple in many homes on the Fourth of July celebration.

2. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). This is a big production musical based on the life of multi-talented man George M. Cohan, starring James Cagney in the only film he won an Academy Award for. The film opens during Cohan's service being rewarded for his service in World War I with the Congressional Gold Medal. From there, the film chronicles Cohan's life that was dedicated to music, dance and the theatre.

3. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). This film, directed by Frank Capra, stars Jimmy Stewart as "Jefferson Smith" who is selected as a replacement for a recently deceased U.S. Senator. The powers at work behind picking Mr. Smith believes that his wholesome character can be manipulated once he is admitted into Congress. But Mr. Smith relents the opposition in a powerful scene where he must defend his innocence and fight for what he believes America is can be on the Senate floor.

4. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939). Directed by one of the great American directors John Ford and starring another American treasure, Henry Fonda. This is a film about one of our most-celebrated presidents, Mr. Abraham Lincoln, and his roots in Illinois as a hardworking and honest lawyer. Based on actual events, the story builds to a climax when Lincoln must be persistent in his knowledge of solving a local murder.

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