One movie that may not be on everyone’s traditional list or they might not think of as a “Fourth of July movie” is “The Sandlot,” but it is very much so.
The Fourth is often celebrated with fireworks, cookouts, swimming and being surrounded by family friends.
Some people also have traditions of watching Independence Day-themed movies such as “The Patriot,” “Jaws” and of course, “Independence Day.”
All of these movies take place on July 4 or the days surrounding it. They also have the theme of the holiday in one way or another.
With “The Patriot,” a man fights against the British during the American Revolution, in “Jaws,” people want to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday with family and friends in the water, but a murderous shark prevents them from doing so, and in “Independence Day,” Americans fight for their freedom against an alien race threatening to destroy Earth on the Fourth of July.
“The Sandlot” foremost is the definitive summer movie. A young kid named Johnny Smalls learns for the first time how to play baseball and makes new friends while doing so after just moving to a new town.
Together, they spend the summer going on an adventure trying to get a Babe Ruth-signed baseball back from the vicious dog known as “The Beast,” and many more adventures after that while playing baseball.
Adventures such as these are what summers were all about as a child. Being outside with your friends all day and having no worries of school, a job or anything else, and going on adventures. “The Sandlot” captures that perfectly.
Although, there is one scene in the film cementing its status as more than a “summer movie” where it becomes a true “Fourth of July movie.”
Out of all the baseball games in the summer, there was only one night game the boys played, according to Smalls. That was on the Fourth of July.
He explains how the light illuminated from the fireworks was bright enough over the field so they could see as they played.
As they rush out of their houses toward the field so they can get there in time as the fireworks are going off, wonderful music starts playing as the boys are still focusing on baseball instead of the celebrations.
The game begins and the best player, Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, hits a home run that has all of the boys turn their heads in awe as they are amazed by Benny’s ability.
When they do, their attention is taken off baseball for once as they become more in awe of the beautiful fireworks on display. The film captures each kid’s reaction to the explosions and captures gorgeous shots of them.
The awe is then placed on the viewer as it is a beautiful moment where they stop focusing on baseball for the first time in the film and realize that there is something bigger than sports.
What is even more wonderful is they experienced it together on the sandlot in the freedom of summer and of the United States.
Something as wonderful as fireworks can take anyone’s mind away from what they are focusing on even if it is just a few minutes, and remind them that the freedom of the U.S. is worth celebrating and is the reason people can often spend time doing what they love together.
In the case of the boys, it is playing baseball.