When Every Day Was the Fourth of July (1978)

Dan Curtis wrote this movie all about his childhood in Bridgeport, Conneticut (it was shot in Echo Park, California for budgetary reasons), inspired by many of the people he’d grown up with. However, he did not have a sister. That character is based on co-writer/producer Lee Hutson’s sister Sarah. The two would also work together on 1980’s The Long Days of Summer.

Here’s the best fact I can tell you about this movie: It was Matt Groening’s first job in Hollywood. He’s an extra that you may or may not spot.

In 1937, 12-year-old Daniel Cooper (Chris Petersen, The Swarm) and his 10-year-old sister Sarah (Katy Kurtzman, The New Adventures of Heidi) are enjoying their summer. The kids have been taught to think for themselves and that leads them to protect Albert “Snowman” Cavanaugh (character actor Geoffrey Lewis) from bullies and finally, the court when he’s accused of murder. Thet convince their attorney dad (Dean Jones, That Darn Cat!) to take the case.

Michael Pataki shows up, which is always a delight. So does former pro wrestler Hard Boiled Haggerty, Charles Aidman (House of the Dead), Henry Wilcoxon (the bishop from Caddyshack), Scott Brady (the sheriff from Gremlins) and soap opera star Louise Sorel.

This was obviously a project near and dear to Curtis. You can watch it on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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