Top 10 American Revolution Movies & Series

Between 1765 and 1783, the 13 American colonies fought against the British Empire in a war for their independence. In the end, the armies led by the Founding Fathers established the United States of America.

This revolution is one of the modern world’s first independence wars, and its rich history has provided generations of filmmakers with hundreds of captivating stories to tell. 

Today we’ll be taking a look at the top 10 American Revolution movies of all time.

10 Best American Revolution Movies

Here is our top 10 list pick of the best American Revolution movies and Series.

#10. Revolution (1985)

Revolution (1985)

 

Starting our list, we have the 1985 film Revolution, starring Al Pacino and Donald Sutherland.

Revolution tells the story of a trapper who gets involved in the American Revolution against his will but soon finds that escaping the war isn’t an easy task.

Although this British film is a faithful recreation of the American trapper’s lifestyle of the time, the movie was a critical and commercial failure. So much so that Al Pacino took a hiatus from acting after the film’s release.

 

#9. Sons of Liberty (1939)

Sons of Liberty (1939)

 

This 1939 short film is a true relic of American history. Released in the early days of modern cinema, Sons of Liberty tells the real-life story of Haym Salomon, a Polish businessman who emigrated to New York during the American Revolution. Salomon would be remembered for being one of the prime financiers of the American Army.

Filmed in color, Sons of Liberty was a smashing success with critics at the time of its release. It also received recognition by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the form of an Academy Award for Best short subject film.

 

#8. The Howards of Virginia (1940)

The Howards of Virginia (1940)

 

Sure, the Founding Fathers played a pivotal role in the American Revolutionary War. But the lives of the common people of the time are just as interesting and worthy of a movie.

Such as the Case with The Howards of Virginia, a film that takes place just before the war for Independence begins.

The movie follows the lives of Jane Peyton , an aristocratic woman, and her husband, Matt Howard, who works as a farmer.

As the plot progresses and the Revolution begins, Matt leaves Jane alone to go fight in the war. The theme of a family member goes away to war in this film, were deliberately chosen by Columbia Pictures.

Seeing World War II raising Europe, the studio knew that many Americans would probably have to see combat soon, so they decided to boost the people’s morale and patriotic spirits with movies dealing with such an event.

 

#7. The Scarlet Coat (1955)

The Scarlet Coat (1955)

 

The Scarlet Coat is a swashbuckling historical drama that portrays the events of Benedict Arnold’s surrendering of the West Point Fort to British forces.

The off-vilified Arnold isn’t the center of the story, though, as that spot belongs to John André and John Bolton. André  works as a spy for the British Empire, while Bolton does the same for the Americans.

They both fight for the interests of their nations, but their rivalry becomes personal when they both have to fight for the love of the alluring Sally Cameron.

Despite getting favorable ratings, MGM records showed that the film resulted in financial loss.

 

#6. John Paul Jones (1959)

John Paul Jones (1959)

 

When we think of the American Revolutionary War, scenes of two armies clashing in the middle of an open battlefield, might be the first thing that comes to mind.

The truth is that the Revolutionary War was fought on many fronts, including the naval one. Let’s not forget that the British Empire had the world’s mightiest Navy at the time.

John Paul Jones chronicles the life of the eponymous American Revolutionary hero. The film follows Jones through his childhood in Scotland and his service in Europe all the way into his role in the American Revolution.

Directed by John Farrow, this film also marks the onscreen debut of his daughter, actress Mia Farrow.

 

#5. All for Liberty (2009)

All for Liberty (2009)

 

One of Benjamin Franklin’s most famous quotes is this one about taxation. In this world. Nothing can be said for certain except death and taxes.

The high taxes are one of the many reasons behind the American Revolution, and they’re also the force that sets the events of All for Liberty in motion.

In 1775 Swiss German Colonist Henry Felder is tired of the British exploitation. Enlisting the help of his Native American friend, Felder rebels against the Empire, and finally joins the American cause in the Revolutionary War.

Although the film received generally positive reviews, it’s one of the least well-known on this list.

 

#4.The Patriot (2000)

The Patriot (2000)

 

Mel Gibson is no stranger to patriotism. The American actor previously starred in the epic film Braveheart (1995)  as William Wallace, a hero of the First War of Scottish Independenceز

In 2000, Gibson would also star in The Patriot, a film about an American Colonist whose life is destroyed by the British.

Though commercially successful critics and historians have complained about the film’s historical inaccuracies. One point of contention is the portrayal of British forces.

In the movie, British soldiers are seen as heartless killers who won’t hesitate to burn down a church with people inside.

That said, the movie still became a cultural phenomenon, earning three Oscar nominations in the process and grossing over $215,000,000 at the box office.

 

#3. George Washington (1984)

George Washington (1984)

 

George Washington is the most prominent figure in the American Revolution and is widely considered to be the father of the United States of America.

This 1984 biography follows Washington’s early life and formation from the age of eleven to the age of 51.

The story encompasses young Washington’s battles in the French and Indian War of 1754, where he would gain his reputation as a keen tactician.

The plot ends shortly after the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War when a victorious Washington returns to his homeland of Mount Vernon.

 

#2. George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation (1986)

George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation (1986)

 

The Forging of a Nation is the sequel to the 1984 miniseries George Washington and chronicles the role of Washington not as a Warner but as the first-ever President of the United States of America.

The Revolutionary War was only the beginning and it would take more courage to keep the country together than it took to fight the British.

Here we see a seasoned Washington dealing with the aftermath of the American independence. Mobs and riots erupt all over the territory, as not every British is willing to peacefully accept their new rulers.

This is a great demonstration of the hardships that Washington had to endure, and it remains an example of why his figure is so revered in American history.

 

#1. John Adams (2008)

John Adams (2008)

 

Paul Giamatti stars in this nuanced retelling of the life of American Revolutionary hero John Adams. From his first days fighting for the Revolution to his role as the second President of the United States. This is one of the most detailed biopics about a founding father ever to be released.

Giamatti also helps with the overall presentation as his acting as stellar as it is compelling. Released in 2008, John Adams received near-universal acclaim.

It achieved a score of 8.5 on a scale of ten on the IMDb website and received a meta score of 78 on Metacritic.


This was our top 10 list of the best American Revolution movies ever made. It is a great list of the best American Revolution movies of all time.

Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below.  

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