As I type this horns are honking in the streets of New York and a crowd is forming outside the White House, full of cheering Americans waving flags and shouting “mission accomplished”. Stereotypical representations to the contrary, it's not all that often we Americans really get together as a group and agree on much of anything, let alone get together and universally celebrate our country. What's both bad and good about the United States is that we are rarely all on board with any idea all at once, not even the value of ourselves. Tonight though, most Americans are nodding their heads and agreeing on something: We done good.
If you're not American, don't worry, by tomorrow morning we'll likely be back to arguing over whether any of this was truly all that great, and it'll surely be at least another decade before we're all holding hands and singing the national anthem again. Still, while it lasts, enjoy the national good mood by celebrating with these twelve movie moments of pure, unadulterated, patriotism and one in which we prove that we don't mind letting Canadians make us look ridiculous.
Air Force One
It's unlikely President Obama will ever be in a situation where he'll have to do any actual fighting himself, but if terrorists (or Gary Oldman) ever take over Air Force One, I'd like to think he'll handle it the Harrison Ford way. Get off my plane!!
Team America: World Police
Team America: World Police is actually a satirical commentary on exactly the kind of rah rah patriotism we're suggesting you engage in right now. Frankly, I can't think of anything more patriotic than that. Along the way to making fun of ourselves, Team America in a way also celebrates what we're all about. Give yourself permission to sing along ironically. America…
Rocky IV: Rock beats Ivan Drago
Thanks to the cold war we had a clear enemy, for awhile, and Rocky IV took that enemy and literally punched it in the face. In the film Stallone faces off against Russian boxer Ivan Drago, wearing an American flag for shorts no less. Here's what happened when a man in American trunks kicked Russia's blonde, brutish ass:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Jimmy Stewart plays an idealist elected to office, only to be crushed under the machinery of politics. Refusing to give up, he comes up with legislation to help the people who elected him, and refusing to give up on his lost cause, launches into an endless fillabuster on the Senate floor. Here are his last words, before he collapses from exhaustion, standing up for lost causes to the bitter end.
In an incident of obviously terrible timing, DC Comics recently had Superman denounce his American citizenship in the pages of their comic. That's a shame. Superman's story is, at its root, one of the greatest immigrant stories ever told. No matter what they do in the pages of those comics, the Superman exists, and he's American. Here's proof:
This country was founded the ideas of freedom and inalienable rights, both of which the Union fought for during the Civil War. In the film Glory it took a while for Col. Robert Gould Shaw's men to overcome their own prejudices, but by the end of the film, during the assault on Fort Wagner, the 54th regiment is unified and fighting against the confederacy as not only brothers, but equals.
With the world facing its greatest crisis, America takes the lead to wipe out alien invaders with a computer virus. That's what they get for blowing up our White House. Better than the computer virus though, is the speech Bill Pullman makes as the US president, urging his hastily cobbled together force of fighter pilots on to battle in the name of not just America, but the world. Today we celebrate our independence day!
The Vietnam War is easily the most controversial conflict in American history, but unlike Full Metal Jacket, Platoon or Apocalypse Now, Forrest Gump didn't treat it that way. Instead, it focused on how some of our best and brightest were fighting an enemy not for political reasons, because their country asked them to. I can't say it much better than Forrest himself – “I don't know much about anything, but I think some of America's best young men served in this war."
White Christmas traditionally ends up on a lot of best Christmas movies list, but what it's really about more than Christmas, is the loyalty of a few old army buddies to their retired commander. The opening scene to the film has always hit me the most. When they revisit this song at the end, it's a glorious moment of camaraderie and old fashioned American fighting spirit. Watch them both.
Shirtless volleyball aside, director Tony Scott's fighter jock movie Top Gun is as pure a representation of red-blooded American testosterone ever to make it's way on film. It doesn't waste any time in getting around to it either. The film's opening credits are a love letter to American might. Watch as the sun rises and the music builds, before launching planes into the danger zone.
If you need me to explain why this video is patriotic then I request that you go to the nearest hospital and have your head surgically removed from your ass… you dumb bastard.
Based on the true story of the all amateur US hockey team's victory over Russia's team of seasoned, unbeatable professional this 2004 Kurt Russell movie captures the Miracle on Ice better than just about any movie before it. Here's America's on-ice victory over the Russians, and at time when the United States as a country needed it most.
If you've watched all twelve of the preceding videos, or just watched the news last night and scrolled down to this one, then you're probably feeling pretty pumped up about America. That's great, but let's not start taking ourselves too seriously. Face it, we Americans are really just a weaponized beaver attack or two away from becoming Canadians. Especially with guys like these defending our border with the Great White North. Sing along:
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.