Happy 4th of July y’all. As our friends across the pond tuck into pumpkin pie, cornbread and chicken wings you can instead feast your eyes on some key moments that happened in films on the 4th July.
Thanks to The Movie Timeline for it’s encyclopaedic chronology of movies. We movie geeks are eternally grateful.
4th July 1885: Doc Brown knocked out by one shot of whisky – Back to the Future Part III
The third and final instalment in – arguably – one of the best film trilogies of all time. Marty (Michael J Fox) travels back to 1885 to bring Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) ‘back to the future’ and meets his great-great grandparents in the process. We also find out that Doc just can’t hold his liquor.
After the darkness of Part II, the Western gunslinger setting and comedy of Part III brings the series to a hugely satisfying end.
4th July 1918: Steve Rogers is born – Captain America: The First Avenger
Just your everyday story of a man (Chris Evans) who is rejected for World War II military service, gets injected with a super serum, crashes a plane in the Artic, is dug up 70 years later and is then recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D Director Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) to kick butt 1940’s style.
4th July 1921: : Jack Torrance appears in a photograph taken at a ball at the Overlook Hotel – The Shining
It’s proven to be a goldmine for comedy writers ever since it’s 1980 release, see The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror V episode, but there’s no denying the fear and sense of foreboding that fills every corner of this film. Jack Nicholson at his dark and devilish best.
4th July 1975: The 50th Annual Regatta at Amity Island is interrupted by a shark – Jaws
‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat’! Cited by some as the first ever blockbuster, while Jaws did nothing for skinny dipping it did wonders for Steven Spielberg’s career. Roy Scheider is wonderfully tetchy as Police Chief Brody and John Williams’ dark and ominous score set a blueprint that composers still pay homage to today.
4th July 1996: Aliens destroy human cities; humans fight back. (Independence Day)
We couldn’t forget this one. A film that is the very epitome of the 4th of July. Will Smith proved himself to be a proper movie star as a wisecracking but brilliant pilot, Captain Steven Hiller. And teaming him up with Jeff Goldblum’s computer scientist David Levinson in the final reel provides some of the most enjoyable moments of the film. In retrospect, The ‘Independence Day’ speech may now feel a little mawkish, but we forgive you Bill Pullman,.
Also . . .
4th July 2032: John Connor killed by a T-850. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
4th July 1978: David Scott Freeman falls from a tree, and seemingly jumps through time. Flight of the Navigator
More about The Movie Timeline
The team over at The Movie Timeline freely admit that ‘the coding is gleefully retro‘, but who cares when you can have the chronology of movies at your fingertips.
And don’t forget, you can submit your own event to the list.