Utah Video Production Blog 37: Patriotic Films to Watch for the Fourth of July

If you have some time this Fourth of July weekend you may want to check out one of these films! This list covers a wide variety of films, some that are fictional and others that are based on a true story, that help portray America’s history and culture. Topics include but are not limited to war, space, and sports. It should be noted that Tom Hanks probably gets the award for the actor most frequently featured in patriotic films that made our list. 


Forrest Gump


The film features Forrest Gump’s accidental experiences with some of the most important people and events in America from the late 1950’s through the 1970’s including a meeting with Elvis Presley, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, fighting in Vietnam, etc. Both conservative and liberal sides of American life are portrayed in this film.


The Patriot


A war hero who is haunted by his past, wants nothing more than to live on his small plantation. After his family is threatened he enlists and becomes a leader in the revolutionary war.


Apollo 13


There are not many things more American than the American NASA Space Program. In this film, three astronauts must devise a strategy to return to Earth safely after their spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage. 




The inspiring story that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope. Miracle tells the true story of Herb Brooks, the player-turned-coach who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Russian squad. 


Saving Private Ryan


In this World War II tribute, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. 



This film version of the Broadway musical retells the American Revolution’s political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin persuade Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence to try and persuade American colonies to support a resolution to independence.  


Top Gun


As students at the Navy’s elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young flyer learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.


Field of Dreams


In this film James Earl Jones portrays how baseball is America’s past time as he tells Kevin Costner that “America has been rolled by like an army of steamrollers…it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good and and it could be again.”


D2: The Mighty Ducks


Gordon Bombay is forced to withdraw from the minor hockey league with a knee injury. Much to his surprise, he is given the job of coach of Team USA Hockey for the Junior Goodwill Games in California. With most of the Ducks and a few new players in town, he sets forth for LA. All appears to be going well for a while, but the hype of Hollywood starts to get to Gordon, and he is distracted when Iceland, the favorites to win the title, appear on the scene.


Yankee Doodle Dandy


If you are desirous to learn more about influential people in America’s history you may want to check out this 1942 classic “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. This film is about the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan. 







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