Patriotic Films to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Hollywood is very fond of making patriotic films, many of which are set during times of war. Many of these films are highly regarded and praised by critics, reviewers and fans alike.

Since the Fourth of July is tomorrow I decided to share a list of some of my favorite patriotic films and/or television shows to help you get ready to celebrate America’s Day of Independence.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I’m not ranking this list but if I were this would be my top pick not only for patriotic films but also one of my favorite movies ever. I’m always inspired by the story of how one man willing to stand up for what he believes is right regardless of the cost, can make a difference. It’s also a good reminder that the  fight against government corruption has been going on for a long time. We need a lot more Mr. Smiths in Washington. Streaming on Amazon.



Although technically not a patriotically themed movie, it is a nice glimpse of Americana and does feature a Fourth of July celebration and a young Hayley Mills singing America the Beautiful. Streaming on Amazon.



Turn: Washington’s Spies

I love this AMC series based on the Culper spy ring which helped contribute to America’s battle for independence.  Many of the characters are based on actual historical figures even if their story lines veer from historical fact occasionally. Plus, I really love spy stories and the depiction of General Washington. The last season is currently airing on AMC with prior seasons available on Netflix.



The More the Merrier

In a time of war, everyone must learn to sacrifice. This comedy is a good look at the effects of war time on the civilians of Washington DC when living quarters were scarce and people worked long hours in jobs supporting the government war effort. But that’s not why I watch it. Nope, I’m a fan of the devious old Cupid who tricks two strangers of the opposite sex into living together. Streaming on Amazon.



The Hasty Heart

Set in a foreign field hospital this film shows the boredom and anxiety of wounded soldiers eager to return home. Plus, it stars Ronald Reagan one of our nation’s Presidents, so how much more patriotic can you get?




Soldier in the Rain

A Steve McQueen film which totally surprised me and which quickly became one of my favorite films ever. Soldier in the Rain shows the friendship of two unlikely men but also the regular daily lives of soldiers living on an Army base during peace time.




Sons of Liberty

I love this television mini-series which tells the stories of some of our nation’s earliest patriots such as Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere,  John Hancock and more. Although some license is taken with historical facts it’s still a good look at the days prior to the Revolutionary War as well as the personal and financial costs to those fighting for freedom. Occasionally airs on The History Channel.



Romance in Manhattan

A more obscure film starring Ginger Rogers, this film shows the plight of an illegal immigrant desperate to stay in America. Although it does have moments of drama, it is more of a romantic comedy. It is such a beautiful sweet story which you can stream on Amazon.




The Clock

The only Judy Garland film in which she doesn’t sing, The Clock is a beautiful depiction of a wartime romance and marriage between two strangers who meet and have only one weekend together.





Keep Your Powder Dry

Another rather obscure film, I loved this story about three women who enlist in the Womens Army Corp. It’s a story of friendship and rivalry but also what women were doing for the war effort during WWII.





Hail the Conquering Hero

The hero of this film enlists in the army to honor the memory of his soldier father only to be discharged for health reasons. He can’t return home to face the disappointment of his mother and the town so a group of soldiers travel with him to corroborate his story that he was wounded in battle. Absolutely hysterical! Available to stream on Amazon.



Little Women

What could be more patriotic than the story of four sisters lives during the Civil War written by a beloved American author? I’ve seen every version of this film and they are all great. Several version streaming on Amazon.




It Happened to Jane

The David and Goliath battle between a small business and large corporation makes this feel pretty patriotic since American’s love to support the underdog. Not to mention the small town election that is a side story line. Jack Lemmon gives a rousing political speech to the town about the duties of every citizen and the importance of the election process. Plus, it’s a comedy with Doris Day so you can’t lose. Streaming on Amazon.


The Best Years of Our Lives

There is a reason this film won Oscars and is always on a list of best films…because it is that good. It follows the lives of three service men returning home from war and their readjustment to civilian life. Available to stream on Amazon.




What are some of your favorite patriotic films?

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