IndePotato Day

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The problem with the Fourth of July is that it's always the same, and has been for what -- 200 years? It's a static holiday, with no accumulating candles. Just a barbecue, some fireworks, a lot of oohing and ahhing, with everybody staring at the same spot -- and getting stiff necks, mustard stains and heartburn for their trouble. Unfortunately, if you're looking to beat the mosquitoes this time around, the cinematic alternatives to neck-craning are scarce -- and just as predictable. There's really only one way to go.

If Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) isn't quite what It's a Wonderful Life is to Christmas or The Longest Day is to D-Day, it's probably at least the The Quiet Man of this Mom-and-Apple-Pie-type thing we got going this Saturday. To call it corny is an understatement, but it didn't sneak its way onto that AFI top 100 list for nothing. Jimmy Cagney singing, tapping, and all-around melody-making in one of those old wicker campaign hats. He's a real-live nephew of his Uncle Sam, and if this one don't get your tri-color blood pumping just a little, then just go ahead and move to Canada. Not to be confused with Yankee Doodles Donkey, Daffy, or Bugs, also made in the early forties.

Listen, there's not much to go on. There's usually a Star Trek or Twilight Zone marathon on, there's the bermudas-and-burgers scene, and I suppose you could always read a book or something. I'm not going to push you -- you do whatever the heck you want. After all, that's the American way.