BLUEFIELD, Va. — Hollywood has celebrated patriotism and America’s history ever since motion pictures were invented, so favorite patriotic movies often come to mind when the Fourth of July arrives on the calendar.

Friends were talking in Lisa’s Barber Shop in Bluefield, Va., just before closing for the weekend when they were asked about their favorite patriotic movies. Lisa Byrd thought about her choices for a moment.

“I’m trying to think of the name of the movie. It was a World War II,” she said. “It was with the Black pilots.”

The movie was “Red Tails,” the story of the Tuskegee squadron that fought over Europe in World War II. Byrd thought of other war movies such as “M.A.S.H.” when considering her choices for patriotic films.

“But you know, there’s the one with Robin Williams, ‘Good Morning, Vietnam,’” she added.

Her friend Suzie Webb of Bluefield said she didn’t watch very many movies, but recalled seeing and enjoying the patriotic 1942 movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy” starring the late Jame Cagney. 

The movie “Gone with the Wind” came to mind when Dolly Sherman of Yards, Va., was asked about American films.

Outside, Lawrence Reed of Princeton took a moment from cleaning his car’s windows and thought of movies featuring the late Audie Murphy, a Medal of Honor recipient and World War II veteran who later starred in movies such as “To Hell and Back” and “The Red Badge of Courage.”

Down the street at Leslie Ann’s Boutique, Nancy Grant of Bluefield thought of the science fiction movie “Independence Day” when asked about her favorite patriotic film. In that movie, extraterrestrials invade the United States and the rest of the world on the Fourth of July. Another movie that came to mind was the World War II movie “A Bridge Too Far.”

War movies, and the veterans they represent, often come to mind when patriotic movies are discussed.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those guys,” Grant said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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