When John Adams once ruminated that Independence Day, which America celebrates on the 4th of July, should be celebrated with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations” he could not have imagined slipping some patriotic movie into the DVD player and enjoying a show along with the barbecue. But at least two films suggest themselves as the perfect 4th of July entertainment.

Before “Hamilton” brought hip hop and a non-period ethnic diversity to the life of the famous founding father, “1776” celebrated the debate leading up to and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The 1972 movie version of the musical starred William Daniels as John Adams (“obnoxious and disliked”), Howard Da Silva (ironically once blacklisted for being a communist) as Ben Franklin and Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson.

The play is a rollicking retelling of how the Declaration was debated, crafted, and finally voted on. The marble statues of the founding fathers came to life as human beings (with great singing voices.) The story even touched on the noxious issue of slavery, which made the work of the Founders incomplete.

A more modern movie, with a lot more fireworks, comes in the form of “Independence Day” the 1996 film depicting an alien invasion that just happens to take place on the 4th of July weekend. The movie, which stars Bill Pullman, Will Smith, and Jeff Goldblum, starts with the destruction of many of the major cities on the planets by massive alien spacecraft. But then, combining some computer hacking wizardry and raw fighter pilot courage, America, as she often does, unites the world in a counterattack that defeats the aliens and destroys their fleet.

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The movie has recently seen a sequel in the form of “Independence Day: Resurgence” in which the aliens strike back in a much different year 2016.

Both Movies have much to recommend themselves. Some might have other suggestions, say “The Patriot” which starred Mel Gibson as the most enlightened plantation owner in North America fighting a guerilla war against the redcoats. In any event, for our American readers Happy 4th of July. If modern politics has got you down, remember America has endured far worse and has survived.