Declaration Of Independence Movies

Saturday, April 23 by Jackie Barlow

Declaration of Independence movies give us a real sense of patriotism as well as often an additional education on this extremely important part of the United States of America becoming its own independent country.  Where would we be if the Declaration of Independence had not been written to give us the right to separate ourselves from England?  This document that governs our country to this day has 1,337 words and 56 signatures. 

  1. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is an all-time patriotic favorite.  It is hard to believe that it was released back in 1942. In additional to the upbeat music that has contributed so much to the country's morale throughout the decades, James Cagney tells the story of George M. Cohan who was actually born on Independence Day in 1878. President Franklin D. Roosevelt awarded Cohan the Congressional Medal of Honor, and Cagney won an Oscar for Best Actor for this movie. 
  2. "Declaration of Independence", a video in 2003, had famous actors taking turns reading the document.  Although short, it is enjoyable to have the sections read by such stars as Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Bates, Mel Gibson, Kevin Spacey, Renee Zellweger, and many more. It was filmed in Philadelphia's Independence Hall in the very room where the Declaration was debated upon and finally approved.
  3. "Declaration of Independence":  Even earlier in 1938, this was a short drama film about Thomas Jefferson.  It won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject.
  4. "The People Speak, a History Channel movie, is based on Howard Zinn's book, "A People's History of the United States".  Actor Matt Damon reads the Declaration of Independence in this movie where stars such as Josh Brolin, Morgan Freeman, and Marisa Tomei join Damon in reading speeches and letters from famous Americans. 
  5. "Just The Facts:  The Declaration of  Independence" was a 1999 educational DVD.  This American History documentary offered educational and fun facts about this important and cherished liberty symbol. 
  6. "John Adams", a 2008 eight-hour seven-part television miniseries, has been released on DVDs for the continuing enjoyment of viewers.  This is an excellent way to learn about President John Adams' part in the founding of our country, his political and private life, and the first 50 years of this new nation.  This miniseries won four Golden Globe awards and more Emmy awards than any other series.
  7. "John and Abigail Adams":  This 2005 American Experience joint PBS biography made use of the voluminous intimate correspondence between the second president and his devoted wife. This was not only a personal story but also showed what was happening in the country during the time of their lives. 
  8. "1776" was a 1972 movie based on a Broadway musical comedy.  Telling of the time leading up to July 4, 1776, it relates in songs and spoken words scene taken from the actual memoirs and letters of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. This is the story of how Adams and Franklin persuaded Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. 
  9. "National Treasure":  This 2004 adventure mystery movie is from Walt Disney Pictures.  Starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, and Christopher Plummer, Benjamin Gates (Cage) is a historian who dabbles in cryptology and ends up leading the search with a coded map on the back of the Declaration of Independence to find the greatest of history's treasures. 
  10. "Independence Day", the movie in 1996, was a totally different take-off on this subject.  Aliens arrive to destroy our planet in this action science fiction PG-13 film starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum.  Everyone on Earth ended up celebrating Independence Day afte fighting back.