There is no doubt that these rebellions demonstrate the strength of the human spirit, whether they are overthrowing empires or defending humanity against alien invaders.
The Fourth of July has taken on a life of its own these days. Hot dogs, fireworks, and cans of American beer are usually what spring to mind when we think of the Fourth of July (formerly known as Budweiser). Observing the Fourth of July today is as much a celebration of America’s independence as it is a memory of that independence. There is still a celebration of the revolution to be had on this day.
Consider displaying a revolution movie as part of your 4th of July celebrations in remembrance of that occasion. Throughout the ages, films have been fascinated by the idea of rebellion against a strong power. A major cinema picture’s worth of suspense, action, and shock can be found in a revolution. When it comes to the finest movies ever created, the sheer spectacle of an insurrection is what sets them apart.
Here are Screen Rant’s picks for the top 15 revolutionary films of all time.
15. They Live (1988)
Revolt is a common theme in most films in which the world is overtaken by aliens or some other outside force. We see our heroes stand up against the invaders in a major military effort to take back their world on Independence Day. Those movies, on the other hand, always have a biased perspective. In these films, the human resistance to aliens is often motivated by the necessity for mankind to rise up in order to live. However, it lacks the guerrilla warfare sophistication of other great revolution titles, making it an easy cause to support
It avoids this by depicting an alternate reality in which the aliens have defeated humans without ever firing a shot. To discourage us from focusing on the things that really important, they utilize subliminal messaging in positions of authority. This strategy allows the film’s heroes to stage the kind of subterranean coup that we generally associate with revolutionary figures.. In the present day, They Live remains a superb metaphor that skillfully depicts the class battle in a martial style.
14. Red Dawn (1984)
Most people in the United States were obsessed with the thought of Russia taking over before they got obsessed with the idea of a world ruled by zombies. A classic ground invasion, such as those that began many previous conflicts, was expected by some, while others were content with a series of nuclear missiles being launched from around the world. It wasn’t long before other forms of entertainment seized on the anxiety of what would happen in this nightmarish scenario by giving their own interpretation of what would happen.
In many respects, Red Dawn marks the pinnacle of this attitude. Despite the absurdity of the story’s subject, techniques, and language, it sheds insight on the daydreams of invasion and resistance that many people had at this time. We have a rare group of heroes that can rise to the occasion and execute heroic deeds in the face of adversity. When it comes to wish-fulfillment rebellion, this is the pinnacle of it all
13. Bananas (1971)
Rebellion films come in a wide variety of forms, but they are almost universally serious works of art. That seems logical, given that rebellions are, on the whole, pretty serious affairs. However, even in the most dire of situations, it is necessary to find humor. It’s impossible not to find absurdity in life, and it’s impossible not to find absurdity in revolutions.
Woody Allen, of course, is the only one who could see it. One of the main themes of Bananas is a series of uprisings. When Woody Allen visits Cuba, he leads a formal rebellion against New York society, as well as a rebellion against a fictional country that isn’t Cuba in the opening sequence. All of these rebellions are ridiculous. Bananas is a rare film that sees the sheer act of disobedience as something that you can laugh at so long as you’re ready to darken your sense of humor just a little bit.
12. V For Vendetta (2005)
The thing about V for Vendetta is this: The portrayal of resistance is perhaps a little too effective. One guy in an oppressed planet willing to take action against the totalitarian government that governs the day, as well as a loner of unshakeable nobility who happens to be highly proficient in many martial techniques, is the character of V in the film V. Among anarchists of the first world, this individual has taken on a mythic status.
It’s simple to see why so many people have grown emotionally attached to V and the V for Vendetta franchise as a whole. Isolationism fueled by media, government, and religion is creeping ever-closer to becoming a reality. In other words, if you can just enjoy the movie for what it is, you’ll enjoy it quite a bit. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a movie about a brutal revolution, V for Vendetta is the one for you.
11. The Patriot (2000)
The Patriot is easy to dissect from a cinematic perspective. Even though the film’s heroes are almost entirely pure (the writers go out of their way to even clarify that the family slaves are not, in fact, paid laborers), its villains are the kind of evil reserved for cartoons, its historical accuracy is laughable at best, and the film’s writing is about as subtle as that one scene in which a soldier has his head removed with a cannonball. Technically speaking, The Patriot isn’t a great film.
However, none of this matters. While The Patriot has numerous shortcomings, it nevertheless manages to be an incredibly enjoyable film. Though the action and entertainment value are off the charts in this large budget blockbuster, the film is much more fascinating when viewed as a revolutionary propaganda piece. Throughout the movie, you won’t find yourself asking many questions since The Patriot does such an excellent job of capturing the unbridled energy and passion of revolutionaries. You’d give anything to see the sniveling British troops finally suffer their comeuppance at the hands of the righteous Americans in the movie’s last fight. If you’re looking for a patriotic pick-me-up on the Fourth of July, this is the movie for you.
10. The Matrix (1999)
It’s strange that The Matrix isn’t considered a revolutionary picture. A revolutionist motif was used in the later films of The Matrix trilogy (the ones you prefer to forget about), but the first Matrix does not directly convey the story of a small group of people trying to (very literally) fight against the machine in any way.
However, that is exactly what the film is. There is a shockingly intimate story hidden beneath the kung fu and religious metaphors and the classic Keanu Reeves lines and John Woo gunfights. The story revolves around the desperate hopes and doubts that a small group of survivors place in one person as a possible savior in an impossible battle. That intimate portrayal of their struggle in the first movie, even while sequels explicitly said that they were revolutionist stories, is what made it such an outstanding revolutionist piece. What really makes The Matrix a revolutionary film is the film’s response to the age-old question, “What is the matrix?” You want to see these rebels succeed and bring down the falsehood of the world we live in from that point on.
9. Che (2008)
The two-part biopic directed by Steven Soderbergh about Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara was always going to be divisive. After all, there will always be critics willing to tear apart a revolutionary film about the complicated life and times of a man whose mere visage has come to symbolize the act of revolution itself. That being said, the film Che remains highly debated since some fans claim that it romanticizes the persona of Guevara rather than focusing on the darker aspects of his life.
Although it is difficult to make a film like this, it is conceivable to make a film like this. No film could possibly do justice to the events and intricacies that took place during Che Guevara’s stay on this planet, even a two part, four and a half hour and a half and a half long movie like “Che” could not. It conveys, however, the whole of the revolution via the life of a guy who tried to remain in the center of it all. ” If you’ve ever wondered why some of history’s most romanticized figures are revolutionists, this film is for you.
8. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
We can’t say we blame you if you find it difficult to sit through films from the early days of filmmaking. We’re personally a fan of these early works, but the films of the 1920s can be rough pieces of entertainment that have qualities concealed beneath a layer of technical flaws and the period’s passion for theatrical performance. Even if you don’t consider yourself a big movie enthusiast, we strongly urge you to see the 1925 classic Battleship Potemkin as soon as you have the chance. Even though it pioneered montage editing, this film’s depiction of the sailors on board the Russian warship Potemkin is still among the most gripping tales of uprising ever shown on screen.
An uprising over maggot-infested meat supplies swiftly escalates into an on-land revolt by the working class and their own mutiny against the Potemkin military commanders, as well. It all comes together in an unforgettable ending that is as effective as it was nearly a century ago as a call to action for these two causes.
7. Reds (1981)
It was a contentious book when John Reed, an American writer, wrote Ten Days That Shook The World in 1919. During the October Revolution, Reed’s attention was drawn so intensely to the suffering of Russian revolutionists that he was forced to abandon his position as a conscientious objector in favor of a more sympathetic position toward the uprising. It’s worth noting that Reds’ criticism over portraying this kind of affection on screen during the height of the Cold War paled in comparison to that around its publication (the film was released in 1981).
Regardless of its subject matter, Reds was universally acclaimed for the quality of its filmmaking and the emotional impact it had on its viewers. It was the perfect combination of dramatic entertainment and emotional connection that Reds gave in its depiction of the American Revolution and John Reed and Louise Bryant. Despite the fact that the film depicted “the enemy” in a positive light, no one was bothered by its distribution because it was such an engaging depiction of life during a moment of sweeping change. It’s still impossible to avoid being swept up in the blaze of its world.
6. Les Miserables (1998)
The theatrical play, television series, Broadway musical, and film adaptation of Les Miserables have all been popular. The only time Les Miserable wasn’t regarded a huge success was when it was published as a novel for the very first time. Critics at the time argued that author Victor Hugo’s tale was too complicated and crammed with too many personal writings and musings. In the event that you’ve read the original novel, you’ll probably agree with them.
However, despite the novel’s eventual success, a large portion of the film adaptations’ popularity stems from its ability to condense the novel’s bloated sections into an overall storyline focused on an overarching theme of rebellion. Jean Valjean’s rebellion against a cruel and oppressive world is equally as important as the greater insurrection at play in the story’s final moments. A 1998 version, in particular, manages to condense this epic into an instructive work of filmmaking. However, there are a slew of outstanding films based on this material that would be eligible for consideration.
5. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Similarly to the grandeur surrounding The Matrix, it is difficult to think of the first Star Wars picture as ultimately a film about revolution. When it comes to reading a story, it’s far easier to get sucked into its universe’s big mythology or even its particular individuals. Even words like “rebel” and “empire” begin to take on new connotations in the Star Wars universe when a long period of time has passed.
Despite the fact that A New Hope attempts to depict the intrinsic cinematic nature of revolutions and the way that they tend to expand in such a way that they engulf everyone who comes near them, few other films have ever managed to do this. Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi, two of the most famous characters in Star Wars, were never really interested in joining the revolution. To avoid being trampled by the growing rebellion against the Empire, they had no choice but to join in or risk being obliterated. Rebellion will always remain a central theme in the Star Wars universe despite everything that follows (great wars and tales of magical abilities, for example).
4. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
It’s rare that you get to describe a movie as an “essent
The Battle of Algiers is a “important viewing experience,” and it’s uncommon to find a film that qualifies. For a variety of reasons, it’s important to a number of viewers. When it comes to documenting guerilla combat on film, this is one of the most ambitious and stylistic works ever made. It’s a must-see for moviegoers because it’s an engrossing war film that doesn’t feel quite as long as it is.
However, international leaders and military minds are the most critical audience for this film. Algiers’ insurrection against France may be depicted objectively in Battle of Algiers, but the movie’s representation of the horrors of rebellion and combat nonetheless manages to get under its viewers’ skin, despite the film’s lack of personal involvement. An official screening of the video was held at the Pentagon in 2003, with the stated purpose of showing military leaders “How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas. The tactic works, but the strategy fails.”
3. Spartacus (1960)
When Hollywood was competing to produce the most ambitious historical epics, Stanley Kubrick made his own entry with 1960’s Spartacus, a picture he wasn’t even supposed to direct at the time and the only one in his impressive oeuvre that doesn’t quite meet his infamous creative vision…..
A rarity for Kubrick, Spartacus would eventually become the gold standard for historical epics and revolution movies. Because to its stunning cinematography and unheard-of production standards, the film is a remarkable addition to the revolution genre. It properly depicts an uprising as one that snowballs. As a lone slave sentenced to gladiatorial battles for his defiant attitude, what begins as the genesis of a folk hero soon transforms into something else entirely. It then evolves into a full-scale conflict, with the folk hero caught in the middle. Despite the insane plot twists, Spartacus remains the film’s primary emphasis. By Spartacus’ own admission, he was the hero his people deserved, regardless of the outcome of his battle.
2. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
In our previous article, we mentioned that Hollywood was once enmeshed in a conflict of grand historical epics. As far as Spartacus goes, that war ended in 1962 when Lawrence of Arabia debuted.
A real-life British soldier, T.E. Lawrence, is depicted in the film, as he is dispatched by his government to keep tabs on Prince Faisal’s uprising against the Turks in order to determine who will win. Soon after, Lawrence finds himself entangled in the rebels’ suffering and quickly becomes one of their most valuable strategic resources as well as a formidable combatant. There is no denying that Lawrence of Arabia is a beautiful film, despite the film’s occasional criticism of its romanticism of this period and Lawrence himself. When it comes to capturing the enormity of a rebellion, this film’s majestic cinematography does a great job of conveying its breadth and impact. A simple viewing of this film will answer any questions you may have about how so many people can be swept up in such a revolt.
1. Braveheart (1995)
To see pure good battling pure evil is always pleasant, no matter how nuanced the morally dense film rebellions that demonstrate the futility of war are. When it comes to the finest movies ever filmed (a couple of which you’ll see early on our list), Braveheart is possibly the best of all. Braveheart falls far short of historical accuracy expectations. It is true that there was a William Wallace who led a rebellion against England and King Edward I, but specifics such as Wallace’s love being the driving force behind his insurrection are purely the product of Hollywood.
But it’s a complete fabrication, to boot. Forgiveness is easier to come by after watching Braveheart and realizing just how much William Wallace’s quest for this fabled notion of independence has you engrossed in his journey’s most hard times. By virtue of his noble drive, his victories are a delight to behold, while his defeats are sad because of the inescapable consequences of his failure. It’s as near as film has come to cries of “Freedom!” while he is subjected to some of the most heinous torture.