So it’s been a very trying week for most of us, and many of us probably went to comfort ourselves by digging through cartons of ice cream or burying our heads in a pile of sand (I know I did). This being the case, I felt that we all need something to cheer us up and inspire us to think about the hopes of the future and what we can do together as a community instead of squabbling about who voted for who. Some of the most inspiring speeches I’ve heard in movies not only lifted my spirits but made me feel like I could do anything if I put my mind to it. These speeches not only rallied together the actor onscreen but audiences everywhere as they cheered their hearts out for those the speech was intended for. In an effort to regain our hope for the future and trust for one another, I put together a list of some of the most inspiring speeches in films that you should go and listen to whenever you’re feeling down (like now, for instance).
Kurt Russel stars in this true story as Herb Brooks, the man who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory against the Russians. Right before the final game (as is normally done in sports films) Brooks comes in and tells the guys that things seem impossible and if they play the Russians 10 time, the Russians will win nine. Except for this time because it’s their time. This was truly an amazing speech about seizing the opportunities when they come your way and giving it all you got.
“Remember the Titans”
Another amazing sports movie based on a true story of an African-American coach (Denzel Washington) and his racially integrated high school football team on their first season. Set in a time where prejudice and segregation were the social norm in the white community, Washington rallies everyone together at their training camp to encourage teamwork no matter their skin color. Although he does this mostly through threats and reminding them about the Battle at Gettysburg, it’s clear that he will not tolerate any nonsense from the players.
While the sixth installment of the “Rocky” franchise wasn’t exactly noteworthy, Sylvester Stallone still amazes us with this great speech. In the course of the movie, as Rocky prepares for another big fight even though he’s long since retired, his son isn’t happy with where life is leading him nor with being in his father’s shadow. In response, Rocky delivers to his son what being a winner really means. That it’s all about how hard you can get hit and still soldier on. This was a very powerful speech and teaches us not to give up without a fight.
Mel Gibson stars in probably one of his most famous roles ever as William Wallace, a Scotsman who starts a vengeful revolt against King Edward I of England. Although I’m not the biggest Mel Gibson fan, I have to admit that his speech to his fellow countrymen is famous for a reason. As the Scotsmen are getting weary of the large English army, Wallace rides in front of them and proclaims that fighting will be worth it and running won’t solve anything. They may take their lives, but they can’t take their FREEDOM! (C’mon, at least admit that got you riled up.)
An amazing movie about aliens coming to destroy Earth, the only defense we have against their superior technology is our will to survive. Although the film’s long-awaited sequel didn’t do as well as hoped, there’s a reason why the trailers led with the original film’s speech. Right before the final battle, the President (Bill Pullman) gets on an intercom to speak to the army and tells them about the battle they’re facing, not just for them but also mankind. He reminisces how ironic that it happened to be the 4th of July and declared that this day the entire world would be fighting for its independence. A truly inspiring speech about freedom and the will to live.