Wednesday, July 4, 2012
5) Remember the Titans: Race relations have been a contentious part of the American story, and any number of films have attempted to deal with race. Titans certainly doesn't have the gravitas of other films tackling race relations in the US, but it reminds us that when we work together, anything is possible.
4) Rebel Without a Cause: This is the movie that made James Dean an American icon. Rebel perfectly captures the angst of the American teenager. Times may change, but older Americans always think the younger generation is going to hell in a handbasket.
3) Gran Torino: America is a country of immigrants, and Gran Torino is a movie about immigration. Walt Kowalski is a bitter old white man, watching his neighborhood change before his eyes. Walt is a metaphor for the US itself. He is a flawed man who evolves.
2) Rocky: Americans love an underdog, and Rocky Balboa may be the best underdog of all-time. Rocky Balboa is another cinematic metaphor. He gets knocked down, but always gets back up.
1) Saving Private Ryan: World War II may have been America's finest hour, coming to the defense of freedom and justice. Some would argue we haven't always fought for those principles, but freedom and justice are at the core of what America is all about. Saving Private Ryan is the best example of that spirit I've ever seen on the big screen.
These are five movies that scream America to me. What do you think of these choices? And what movies scream America to you?