Sometimes when you are down and out in life, with stress and negativity dangling over you all the time like Damocles’ sword, movies can turn out to be a powerful motivational medium to fill you with inspiration and hope. In the history of cinema, Hollywood has churned out many such eloquent and brilliantly worded speeches that not only further the movie plot through transformational character development but also serve as a potent tool to get you out of your static life and energize you with encouragement and an urge to instill change in yourself. Here, we take a look at 10 of the greatest movie speeches that will give you goosebumps and inspire you to change the world!
10. Braveheart: Freedom Speech
Mel Gibson’s epic war movie of a 13th century Scottish warrior leading the charge for Scots for their independence against the English was a blockbuster hit and won five of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for. The high point of the movie is when William Wallace (played by Gibson) gives a soul-stirring speech to rally his troops into battle, exhorting them to never give up their liberties.
‘They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!’- combine this with James Horner’s electrifying score and you have one of the most iconic movie speeches given ever.
‘Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!’
9. Rocky Balboa’s Speech To His Son
Rocky Balboa, the sixth movie in the Rocky franchise starring Sylvester Stallone, shows an aging and retired Rocky eager to come back to the ring in order to resolve his emotional issues. There is a scene in the movie where his son, a corporate executive in the 30s, puts blame on his father for casting a shadow in his life, thus affecting him professionally and personally. Rocky then embarks on a heartfelt monologue, motivating his son to go out and conquer the world, despite all the odds and adversities.
‘Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!
8. Any Given Sunday- Inch by Inch
In the movie ‘Any Given Sunday’, Al Pacino is the coach of a fictional professional football team that is a far cry from its glorious yesteryears, beset with injuries and internal dissension. Just before the big game, Pacino has to give a pep talk to his players in order to motivate them and come together as a team. What follows is one of the greatest inspirational speeches ever that is widely used in classes as a blueprint for public speaking, coaching or teamwork. Though the speech is meant to lift the spirits of the football team in the movie, its underlying message of struggling to find the strength and commitment to face the challenges that life throws at us resonates with each and everyone.
7. Troy- Take It! It’s Yours!
You all remember the movie Troy starring Brad Pitt as Achilles? Achilles gave a rousing speech to his Myrmidons, goading them into seeking bravery and grit beyond human limits.
‘Myrmidons! My brothers of the sword! I would rather fight beside you than any army of thousands! Let no man forget how menacing we are, we are lions! Do you know what’s waiting beyond that beach? Immortality! Take it! It’s yours!’
6. Network- I Am Mad As Hell!
If you have watched the 1976 masterpiece Network, then you may have noticed how eerily accurate that movie was in predicting the state of the media in the 21st century, right from reality TV and Youtube to tabloid news. The impassionate diatribe of deranged and disillusioned TV anchor Howard Beale (played with aplomb by Peter Finch) about crime, banks and unemployment is a hard-hitting visionary speech that is relevant even today.
5. Lord of The Rings- Aragorn’s Speech at The Black Gate
The hallmark of a true leader is to rouse his followers into standing up for firm convictions and beliefs. In fantasy epic Lord of The rings, Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gate warns his people about the terrifying dangers that lie ahead but is so inspiring that you would want to wear a kilt and follow him to the ends of Mordor!
4. Invictus- Listen to your country!
Most sports movies are almost always inspirational and among the big league is Invictus, where Matt Damon’s 20-second pap talk with his teammates is a prime example of how effective brief and terse speeches can be. ‘Listen to your country!’ Another great speech in the same movie is by Morgan Freeman.
3. The Pursuit of Happyness- Will Smith’s Motivation To His Son
If you haven’t watched ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ then drop everything and watch it the first thing now. The movie tells the inspiring true story of Chris Gardner, who faces financial difficulties after his wife passes away and also has to raise his son at the same time. There is a scene in the movie where Smith plays basketball with his son and then remarks that he probably won’t be good at the game so shouldn’t spend too much time at the court. Seeing his son upset, he realizes that discouragement can kill any dream even before the first step is taken. So he gives his son motivation by encouraging him to always be passionate about his dreams.
Don’t ever let somebody tell you,
you can’t do something.
Not even me.
You got a dream?
You gotta protect it.
People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it.
You want something?
Go get it!
2. Independence Day
Can anyone forget Bill Pullmann’s astounding speech as the U.S. president about the duty, faith and unswerving loyalty towards the country in the face of an impending alien attack that threatens to wipe out humanity? Heck, I was ready to get into a fighter jet the moment he closed the speech.
‘We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We’re going to live on!
We’re going to survive!”
Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!’
1. The Great Dictator
Charlie Chaplin mostly starred in silent movies, but the first time that he spoke, it was a speech of such staggering brilliance that anyone could think it was written yesterday. The Great Dictator, set during the time of World War 2, was a satire on Hitler and in the climax of the movie, Chaplin gives a speech that would resonate with everyone for years to come. A speech about tolerance, love, kindness, and disliking greed, war and hatred. In a world where religious and political conflicts are at their peak, and intolerance and bigotry have pervaded all forms of life, this is a speech that should be mandatory viewing for everyone in this world.