Happy Independence Day - 7/4
On the most patriotic of holidays, Independence Day, TCM celebrates American pride with a quartet of films relating to the 4th of July. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) is a musical biography of George M. Cohan--the all-American showman who was almost born on July 4 (actually the day before)--played by James Cagney in an Oscar®-winning performance. The nostalgic score includes "The Yankee Doodle Boy," "Over There," "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
The Music Man (1962), the movie version of Meredith Willson's Broadway hit, includes a key scene set during an Independence Day celebration at a small-town high school, as con man Robert Preston wins over the suspicious local populace with a performance of "76 Trombones."
Another filmed musical, 1776 (1972), with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards, is based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4 of that year. William Daniels stars as John Adams, with Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin and Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson. Ah, Wilderness! (1935), was based on the only comedy by acclaimed playwright Eugene O'Neill. Positioned as a holiday film and released on Christmas Day, the film delighted viewers with its lighthearted tale of a young man struggling in the throes of adolescence against the backdrop of his lively and affectionate New England family.