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Bored On The Fourth Of July? Try These Movies

A promotional image for <em>Jaws</em>.
The Kobal Collection
A promotional image for Jaws.

Cinema sites abound with lists such as Top 10 Movies ForThe Fourth Of July from Forbes and 12 Patriotic Movies by the Los Angeles Times. After all, Hollywood knows that Americans love to celebrate American celebrations.

"Cinematically," says Mary F. Pols — a movie reviewer for Time — a movie in which the action takes place on July 4 "is an easy way to evoke summer and celebration and Americana." But she fears that such shorthand may lead to mediocrity.

Undeterred, we narrowed our list of July 4 films down to a handful. We chose movies in which all — or some — of the action takes place on the Fourth of July. And we listed only movies we have seen. We think that after the last watermelon seed has been spit and the smoke from the fireworks finale has finally faded away, it's a pretty good list of pretty good movies:

1) 1776 (1972): The country's Founders sign — and sing about — the Declaration of Independence.

2) Jaws (1975): An aggressive great white shark terrorizes a seaside village.

A promotional image for <em>The Sandlot</em>.
20th Century Fox / The Kobal Collection
The Kobal Collection
A promotional image for The Sandlot.

3) The Sandlot (1993): Love of baseball against a backdrop of fireworks.

4) Independence Day (1996): America is attacked by aliens.

5) The Bay (2012): A gruesome enviro-horror story on the Chesapeake Bay.

After looking at our list, Pols says that of all the movies, "I'd way rather watch Jaws any day of the week. And particularly on the Fourth of July."

The Protojournalist: Experimental storytelling for the LURVers – Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers – of NPR. @NPRtpj

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.
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