Happy Birthday America! You're a grand old gal, and at 240 years old, you're looking as young as you ever did. And Happy Independence Day to all of our readers!
There are a lot of great classic films to watch on this day ( if you don't plan on enjoying the fireworks ) but I wanted to share this clip from a very unlikely July 4th film - It Happened to Jane ( 1962 ) starring Doris Day. I doubt that anyone views this movie as a patriotic classic, but if you look at its message - and the small-town American charm it exudes ( plus the presence of Miss America, Doris Day, herself ) - it really is quite fitting for Independence Day.
The film focuses on a young widow ( Day ) who operates a lobster-farming business in Maine. One day a shipment of 100 lobsters gets returned to her because her client, a restaurant, claimed they were dead-on-arrival. The culprit is the Eastern and Portland Railroad, who let the lobster sit in a warehouse over the weekend. She turns to her dear friend and lawyer ( Jack Lemmon ) to ask that she be reimbursed from the train company. A few days pass and they oblige, only by then Day doesn't want to accept the amount offered for the dead lobsters because her business reputation has been ruined by the incident in the meantime. No restaurant will take the risk of buying dead lobsters. When her small case is brought to court it snowballs into a town event; later, when a big-town newspaper picks up on the story, she becomes a national hero, a "David" who is attempting to knock down a "Goliath" of big enterprise.
The town initially is in great support of her....until the president of the railroad company cancels all trains in and out of their town, then they blame her for the trouble they're in. It's at that moment that mild-mannered lawyer George Denham stands up and addresses the town hall: