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Tag Archive: Maureen O’Hara


It’s a little difficult to get your head around.  Eight years ago when I suggested going to your video rental store to watch the ultimate Fourth of July movie–Jaws–we still had several video rental stores in every town.  It’s very different now with streaming services (have you finished Season 3 of Stranger Things yet on Netflix?) and any Blu-ray you want available overnight for purchase from retailers like Amazon.  To be fair, you can still rent movies, the plastic disc kind, at local Redbox machines, and Family Video still has a good footprint across the nation and a broad video selection (pretty much Blu-rays prevail, so sorry to people still with only VHS and plain ol’ DVDs).  Back in 2011 when I listed some recommended viewing material for Independence Day here at borg, I mentioned some films including my pick for today.

Every audience, every moviegoer, is after something different.  If you’re looking for action try on Captain America: The First Avenger, or even binge the entire Captain America series of films.  The first Independence Day movie from 1996 has your dose of sci-fi, and it’s an easy choice to go to especially if you’re too young to have watched it before.  Even Independence Day–the day, not the movie–means different things to different people.  I would recommend to anyone films like Dave, The American President, The Post, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, All the President’s Men, Sergeant York, Far and Away, The Last of the Mohicans, Lincoln, Glory, and Dances with Wolves–each covers some aspect of what America stands for.  Actually Frank Capra has more in the category, too, including Meet John Doe and State of the Union.  

Four of my favorites are playing on Turner Classic Movies/TCM today.  At 8:30 a.m. Central is John Ford′s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, followed at 10:30 a.m. Central by Ford’s Fort Apache These are some of the famed director’s finest works, and high points for both Henry Fonda, John Wayne, and Maureen O’Hara, plus the stories tell other tales of the American experience (and both rate high on my all-time best Westerns list here).  A recent anthology film fits the bill for today well–that’s the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which we reviewed here at borg last year.  It tells several stories of the pain, struggle, and sacrifice of peoples from throughout the world coming together to build a nation.  But what’s that sure-fire Fourth of July movie that should appeal to everyone?

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The original 1947 production of Miracle on 34th Street, as holiday movies rate, is rivaled only by 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life.  Both delve into the magic of Christmas, Miracle with an undertaking by a man claiming to be Santa Claus to convince two skeptics of his claim by making wishes come true with the help of a lawyer and the United States post office, Wonderful Life with its hard-working dreamer at a low moment in his life having his life turned upside down by an angel who shows him how important he is to those around him, A Christmas Carol style.

In November 1986, Miracle on 34th Street became the first movie shown on television in a colorized format.  It is still broadcast each December in both black and white and colorized, and despite most colorization in film detracting from a movie, I think this is one work where colorization reveals details you might not notice otherwise.  Written and directed by George Seaton, Miracle on 34th Street has one key scene, a turning point, that is so well-directed and performed that it may be one of the best scenes, and certainly one of the most classic, ever committed to film.

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