July 4 is on Friday and if heading to the beach for all-day celebration out in the sun isn’t your thing, why not get in the mindset of the holiday by revisiting one–or a few–of your favorite patriotic movies instead? These six films all make their way through some of the country’s most important historical events. By the end of this movie marathon, you’ll be as willing to fight for your nation as the main characters in these films all are!
1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Playing Jefferson Smith, a man who is appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate pretty much cemented James Stewart as one of the leading actors of his time. Though Smith starts out idealistic and naïve, he quickly becomes privy to the corruption and multitude of political shortcomings of the government once in Washington. The role became one of the defining ones of Stewart’s career, not in small part because of its universal themes of democracy and the American dream.